Don’t misunderstand this: There is nothing fundamentally wrong with making money or having money – lots of it. But there is a hazard associated with money that is worth assessing, in case we fall into a dangerous trap.
When the behavior that kept us broke and in debt is suddenly and radically changed like a wildfire to an intense desire to never be foolish with money again, which is a very sought-after transformation, we run the risk of going too far the other way if we’re not prepared. Thinking we’re just being frugal, we can suddenly transition from careless to cheapskate, from an open hand to a stingy closed fist.
You probably know people who seem to care only about money. Money, money, money. It’s funny, because it seems that we too are frequently focused on it. Deborah and I often discuss money together – perhaps every day in some way. We write about it. And in our relationships with friends and family it seems that the subject of money always comes up, and we always have a strong opinion about it! Have we gone too far the other way? Not necessarily.
Planning and discussing your finances is wise. Money is a great tool for buying time and resources to pursue our dreams. Money allows us to help others and make a difference while we’re alive (and maybe even after we’re gone!).
It is the love of money that causes the problems. If we make our lives all about getting more and more money, then we have missed the point of even having it. If it’s always all about the money, then at the end of our lives we will have gained nothing and done nothing of real significance. And we won’t be taking it with us either. In fact, after we’re gone others who haven’t worked for it will likely spend all our hard earned money like there’s no tomorrow!
This money-thing is a real balancing act. If you don’t have it you must work far too much to just get by. If you’re great at making lots of money then you may also be spending way too much time working.
Both of these options leave us little time for much else. So each of us must answer this question: When is enough, enough? Is it as long as I have the basics, food/shelter/clothing? Is it when I’m out of debt? Is it when I own my house? Is it when my net worth is a million dollars? When will I back off a little (or a lot) and enjoy life along the way too?
Daniel R. Murphy
Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.