It’s Not About the Money

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Why is personal finance so important? Well, it’s not about the money. It is about your life. Money is a tool. Use it correctly.

Building wealth and being rich is not an admirable goal by itself. Collecting money for the sake of collecting money is not a good thing. The desire to amass wealth as the end goal is not something to be lauded or praised.

We all know the idiom “Money is the root of all evil”. However, The real quote is actually “the love of money is the root of all evil.” There is a big difference between that phrase, and those who choose to use the former are not correct. I think that money for the sake of money is the root of all evil. Greed is bad. Love of Wealth corrupts. The desire to have and to have without thought is the problem.

Having money is not the problem. There is nothing inherently evil about wealth. There is a lot wrong with not recognizing that money is not the goal. When it comes to your life and the decisions and choices you make- it’s not all about the money.

Money is not the goal.

So why do I write about personal finance? Why do I spend so much time dealing with my finances, saving money, budgeting, and preaching to others to do the same?

It’s not about the money you have or about accumulating wealth. It is about being able to lead the life you were born to lead, regardless of money.

Have a Goal

Money is a tool. What you do with money is the answer. My goal isn’t to accumulate wealth. My goal is to use my money to build the best possible life that I can. My decisions in life reflect that. Others would disagree with a lot of my decisions in life. This is especially true if you approach it with the goal of “wealth.” My decisions may not lead to “wealth.”

I work a flexible job that pays less so that I can be home and available for my kids. My husband works in a low-paying field because he feels a calling to do that. Hopefully, my kids will one day go to a private school where I will pay an exorbitant amount of money in tuition because I believe that this is best for them. All these decisions are not leading to “wealth.”

My blog is not about “wealth” or “becoming rich.” Many blogs do focus on those things. Many bloggers have become wealthy and are doing great things with their wealth. They are giving charity and creating foundations, and using their wealth (and the freedom that comes with wealth) to do amazing things.

I’m not saying that I wouldn’t want to be rich (who wouldn’t?!), but that is not my goal. I am trying to make life choices that will get me to my goals. Those goals include a level of financial security that will enable me to live the life I want to lead.

Optimizing my Finances to Optimize my Life

That is why I spend so much time optimizing my finances and trying to teach others as well. The unavoidable reality of life is that the things we need and want to do require money. Having a good life necessitates reducing the stress caused by poverty, debt, and living paycheck-to-paycheck. I can’t help myself or others without money. I can’t do what I need to do if I can’t provide a stable living environment for my family.

Things cost money. Peace costs money. Happiness costs money. Kids cost money. Education costs money. These are all things that are important to me. But I won’t sacrifice everything in my present to pay for the future. As a mother, I am not missing my kid’s childhood to retire a little earlier someday. If my needs and many of my wants are covered, then I am good. As long as I can live my life, save a little for the future, and give some charity, then I am good.

Doing Good

Optimizing finances and saving as much as you can to DO GOOD in the world is, in my opinion, an extremely admirable goal. Click To Tweet Of course, there is a balance that is hard to maintain. I struggle with this often. That is why I often have to remind myself of the goal, and I occasionally have to take breaks from frugality. The goal is not the money. The goal is my life.

If I have to sacrifice some small things so that I can do big things, then so be it! Click To Tweet

I’d rather not drink coffee from the coffee shop (I know, I know- so overdone) or ever go out to eat but work a flexible job that pays less but allows me to be a better mother and wife. (That I have that choice is, in itself, is a form of privilege that I am incredibly grateful for).

Of course, I wouldn’t mind making more money to be able to make all these things a little easier. My budget is pretty tight right now, and I wouldn’t mind a little breathing room. I have to work on making things easier for me while not giving up on other things. It’s a tight balancing act. Of course, this blog can always make some money (hint, hint… feel free to click on any of my affiliate links).

Use your money to build the life you want! Use your wealth to create happiness for yourself and others. It’s not about the money but about what you do with the money. 

It’s not about the money or about accumulating wealth. It is about being able to lead the life you were born to lead, regardless of money. It is about taking the money you have and using it to lift yourselves and others. It is about doing good- for many and for yourself. It is about making your little corner of the world a better place. It is about giving. It is about helping. You cannot do these things if you do not have the means. If you are struggling for survival, then there is no room for light. There is no room for helping and no way to stretch yourself to help others.

What about you? Why are you concerned with your finances? Are you trying to build wealth? Are you engaged in the same balancing act as I am? I’d love to hear from you!

Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.

11 thoughts on “It’s Not About the Money”

  1. Well since I’ve finally become stable in my mental illness. I’ve become frustrated and obsessed with how much I’ve lost in time to take care of my mental illness over working my career and investing, So now all I think about is creating financial stability for myself since my mental state is considered stable according to my treatment plan and doctor’s opinions. So the sacrifice was get better mentally and live below the poverty line. something I never saw coming. *My reply might be a new blog post for me. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Reply
    • Its so hard but sometimes we need to make “sacrifices” and live the life we were meant to live. Mental health is more important than money will ever be.
      I hope things get better for you soon!

      Reply
  2. “The goal is not the money. The goal is my life.” So well said! Of course, there’s a twisty irony there, because the two things (money and one’s life) are so inextricably connected. Good financial habits can open up more joy in one’s life, but good financial decisions can also put the cart before the horse – or in other words – put our money before our life. My new full-time job might be one of those cart-before-the-horse decisions. That’s it…you’ve inspired me to quit. Right NOW. Just kidding. But it is worth thinking about. More money, more stress. These decisions are definitely an art, not a science. Thanks for your great post.

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    • Don’t quit! Jk. But yes- the decisions are definitely nuanced especially since we need money to live! But definitely don’t want money running our lives. Good luck with any and all decisions!

      Reply
  3. This article is so inspiring. The thought of money is a concern everyone has, most want financial wealth as a means to a better life, however most of us have no respect for money and thus are in financial ruins therefore not living a happy life. How to meet in the middle is the question?

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  4. Thanks for the inspiring post!

    I think it’s easy to paint an “us vs. them” (people wanting to become rich v. people wanting to enable a life), though.

    Most people wanting to build wealth do it for a particular reason: empower their family, buy the luxuries they want, free themselves from financial constraints in daily life.

    It’s pretty rare to find someone who is building wealth obsessively, just to do so. Even if we look at someone like Bill Gates, I’m fairly sure he’d say he built obsessively to give obsessively. Not that I necessarily think that it was appropriate to do so on the backs of all the labor Gates controlled.

    Anyway, I think my point is that there’s a spectrum along the way rather than a binary choice. We should all have goals for our wealth, though, and that’s probably your standout point. Thanks!

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  5. I am trying to build wealth. However, similar to you my job my career path is also on the low-end of the spectrum as far as income. But, it has high intrinsic. Money is important but in the end people regret lost opportunities, not the chance to make more money. Cheers to the journey, not the destination!

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  6. Very true, money is a very poor goal in itself. But I would push back on the idea that you can’t earn great money in a low paying field that is all about having a calling. I don’t think there is anything noble about being paid low compensation. I am the board chair for two nonprofits in our small town. We pay the president of each of these from $200,000 to $300,000. They would both be considered low paying fields and both of these people see it as a calling, but they also had a lot of ambition and worked themselves up to the top of the organizations where they have far greater impact on peoples’ lives than they did when they were part of the low paying cohort. Plus they make serious money. Life is not a choice between achieving wealth and having meaningful work. Both are possible.

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  7. Money is such a strange thing…but I think the way you describe it as being a tool, because you are so right, that’s what it is. I have been working towards living more frugally and meeting with some success, we have even cleared off debts. And we have done this to live a life more in line with what we want out of life, rather than possession of things or fitting a mold. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Reply

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