Finding the Value in Money

Posted by Amanda on October 27, 2009

Let’s be honest—money has no real value. When you strip away the power, the glamour and glitz, and the intrigue that is associated with owning some, it becomes nothing more than exactly what it is: a piece of green and white cotton paper with some jargon about trust, a photo of a dead president, and a few seals.

Am I in Love with Money?

One of my favorite retorts to the occasional person who feels that I am in love with money is, “I don’t love money. I love what money can do for me.” I say this with confidence because the actual value is not inherent in this piece of paper, but rather is captured in its owner’s ability to trade it for the things that do hold value for them—food, clothes, trips, jewelry, a home—all of which are tangible and gratifying.

There is nothing immediately gratifying about money. Why hang onto a green piece of paper when I can purchase a candy bar to satisfy my chocolate craving? Or a new HD television that is more pleasing to my eyes? Or a sporty car that will make me feel young and prosperous? Money cannot satisfy nor compete with any of these feelings of need and desire.

This is where the dilemma is for so many people, and perhaps one of their biggest obstacles to saving money rather than spending it. If money has no value and does not offer you gratification, whereas purchasing things with money can and has satisfied your needs and desires in the past, then each time an opportunity arises to spend money, you will. It just makes logical sense.

Give Your Money Value

If saving money seems like a futile exercise or perhaps saving money is a priority that you just cannot seem to keep, then you need to give money value. For me, money symbolizes independence and freedom. I value my personal life and my ability to live on my own and to make decisions based off of my needs and wants, not based off of others’ opinions. By saving money I can live by my own standards.

Case in point: I saved throughout college, and the week after graduation I was able to leave home and move into my own apartment. After I was laid off from my first job, I was able to move down to West Palm Beach, Florida and start a new job with the money I had saved. When it came time to move in with my fiancée in Houston, once again I paid to move me, my cat Lyla, and my belongings halfway across the country. These were my choices, and I was able to make them because of the money I had saved.

Find Clarity in Your Purchases

What are your basic values in life? Perhaps you want stability, independence, a new car, to purchase a house of your dreams, to travel the world. Whatever it is that you hold near and dear to you, attach this to your money. By giving your money value, you will find clarity and priority in the day to day purchases that you make because each dollar you spend is being taken from the blueprint of your principles and your dreams.  

Give your money value, and then bank that value. You will be amazed at how much more quickly your savings will grow.

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Comments to Finding the Value in Money

  1. I hear the being “in love” with money – I think one of the perils of getting your finances really in order is being kind of obsessed with what else you can do, and how soon…as in “ok, if I pay XX more per month, I can pay off my student loan Y months faster.”
    I think it’s very important to give your money value so you know what you’re saving for – but also to remember to live your life!!


  2. I actually like the money with the dead non-president the best…


  3. “Money” in this case isn’t just a green piece of paper, it’s actually a Federal Reserve Note (in the USA) and says so at the top of each note.

    Most people who want more money (including federal reserve notes) really want more options; money is actually an abstraction of current and future options. I’m glad the author decided to use the word ‘choice’ here as in a free society money = choices…


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