This “ What Is Money To You?” post details the definitions of money through the perspective of the author. The definitions of money may or may not necessarily be the same as the definitions of the readers.

When I was a little kid, I used to make money by finding scrap metals just about anywhere my feet would take me. I would sell those scrap metals to junk shops for a few pesos (Philippine currency). I knew what money meant even when I was young. So, the hours I spent looking for these metals was worth it.

Money meant food for the table. This is why I didn’t ask money from my parents and found a way to make my own. Luckily, this pseudo-job worked perfectly.

As I grew up and learned more about life and finances, I realized money meant more than just something that could buy food. If I have to say one thing about it, it is that it has many faces and a person can look at it one way and the other person next to him may look at it in a different way.

Money has been my friend or foe and, sometimes, both at the same time. I’ve gotten to know money that it has been a native language to me and my family. I have gotten to know it either by choice or by experience.

What Is Money?

What is money to me? Here’s how I define money. My definition of it may or may not be the same as yours but it’s all perfectly fine with me.

Money is security

Just the other day, a fellow blogger interviewed me and asked the question “What is money?” The response I gave her was that money is security. When I was young, money was tight in our family. My dad was only earning a few dollars a day and it was not enough to feed a family of 9 (mom and dad not included).

This meant the money wasn’t secure. We were living day by day. We didn’t have anything saved and so when rainy days came, my parents would sell the things they had and/or borrowed money from some loan sharks. They could not get a loan through bank institutions because my father was a tricycle driver and the money coming to us wasn’t regular.

For me, money is security. By having money, I know that I don’t and won’t have to worry if we have money to pay our bills. I don’t have to borrow from people or institutions when emergency situations come around.

Money reveals true friends

When I lost my retail business and asked for help (not necessarily money), some of my friends left me. Mind you, I wasn’t asking for money at all. I was only asking for companion because during that time, I didn’t have a family of my own yet. Those who I thought were my friends decided to distant themselves from me.

When I borrowed money from my true friends, they were there to help me even in the smallest possible ways they could think of. For those true friends who couldn’t lend me money, they were there to emotionally support and guide me throughout the time I was in one of the lowest points of my life.

Money does reveal true friends. What I consider true friends are friends who are there for me through good and bad times. Friends are not only there when it’s convenient for them to do so.

I am just thankful that money has shown me who my true friends are. I may only have few friends but that’s all I need in my and my family’s life.

Money is a means to an end

Having said all the statements above, money is necessary for survival. For me, it is a means to an end. Without money, I would not be able to put food on the table for my family. Without money, I won’t be able to provide my family’s necessities (i.e. clothing, roof over our heads, and health insurance).

My family and I cannot live without money. This is probably the same for all individuals or families out there. I don’t need a lot but I only need a sufficient amount to help me satisfy all our needs (i.e. retirement, living, and emergency). It would be nice though to have more than enough but it’s not a requirement for me and my family.

I guess having a little bit more than what we need is a bonus and it isn’t bad at all.

Money is worthless

These past couple of months have been the worst time of my life. In these past months, I lost people I love (i.e. through death).

Even when you have millions of dollars, money is worthless when you cannot control the situations you are in. My brother died at a very young age. His money couldn’t save him because his health was failing to the point that science couldn’t do much.

This is why I call money as worthless. No matter how much money you have, it means nothing when your health is on the line and science cannot do anything.

If you lost a loved one, money can divert your attention because it can buy you the products you like. But money is not worth a thing because it cannot replace what you lost and it may never permanently mend your feelings.

Money provides pleasures not happiness

Have you ever bought a product that you were happy to use but found yourself discarding it after you’ve used it a couple of times because you didn’t like it anymore? If your answer is yes, then, the experience you had was pleasure and not happiness.

Pleasure is temporary, which is what money does, but happiness is almost always permanent. According to CNN Money, people get more happiness by spending their money on experiences than things (even though these experiences are temporary). For me temporary happiness is what the definition of pleasure is.

Happiness is long-term. Having a strong, intact family is happiness. Having a good relationship with friends is happiness. Seeing your kids grow up to be good, loving citizens is happiness. This is something that money can’t buy.

Money is evil (sometimes)

A lot of people say that money is the root of all evil. This is true (many times).

Many people try to build wealth for various reasons. Building wealth is good but it can be bad as well. Many times, people become too greedy that they primarily focus on just earning money. They turn the “want for money” to “love for money”. This love for money is a root of all kinds of evil according to the Bible. What is money

These people become too focused even if it means that they knowingly or unknowingly hurt people in the process of building such wealth. In other words, money can or will change people for the worst. This is what the definition of greed is.


What is money? Money has many faces and definitions. It can be good, bad, or both at the same time. I believe that aspiring and wanting a lot of money is generally good. However, it is bad when you are hurting people as you try and continue to build your wealth.

How about you? What is money to you?



71 thoughts on “What Is Money To You?”

  1. Wow, great article with so many perspectives on what money is.

    For me, I view money similar to how you say it is a means to an end. Money is only one tool we use within our daily lives. I don’t view money as evil, but I do believe people with money can develop negative behaviors, such as wanting more (via greed) and willing to do whatever it takes to get it (such as burn bridges or unethical activities such as steal or cause harm to others).

    As a beneficial tool, money provides security. Once we are able to take care of ourselves, we are then free to help more of our community. Money allows us to unlock our potential to help others.
    Distilled Dollar recently posted…Health and Taxes: What’s an HSA Anyway?My Profile

  2. Some interesting Point of views.

    I look at money as security and means to an end. When reflcting further, I cn maybe stick to justone: means to an end. And the end is to have freedom to do what I want, to be financially independent.

    I do see the other points you make

  3. Money is freedom of choice. With enough money you can choose the neighborhood you live in, the school you child attends, how much you eat each meal, where you vacation, etc.

    With that said, no amount of money is never enough & it doesn’t solve every life issue (as you mentioned). You will always want more & can always find a way to spend positively or wastefully.

    Money is great because it is universally accepted by most people. One dollar from a computer whiz is just the same as one dollar from a mechanic.
    It’s not like barter where I might trade you a haircut if you give me a dozen eggs. If I’m bald or my wife cuts my hair, you need to offer me something else I want in order to get the eggs.
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  4. I completely see money as being security. And I also agree that while it brings pleasure that’s not the same as happiness. An awful lot of people confuse the two! I enjoyed reading this and looking forward to reading more from you!

    On a separate note I’m so sorry to hear you’ve lost loved ones recently, Allan. I hope your next few months are better than your last few.

    1. Thanks. Life is getting better. What I have experienced have made me stronger as a person and made my family stronger than ever. Thanks for your kind thoughts.

  5. Great post! You’re so right with your points. I especially like how you said money was worthless. While I was working for the bank, my only concern was money. I soon learned the hard way what really matters. Unfortunately sometimes it takes these life altering situations to make you understand. I’m sorry for your loss. To me, money is more about freedom and the time it buys you. It’s a tool you can use to make your dreams happen. Thanks for sharing Allan!
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    1. The experiences I’ve gone through and the lessons I learned from these experiences have really taught me what money is all about. It can my best friend or my worst enemy just to sum it all up.

  6. Ah, money. I love it and I hate it. For me it is security, peace of mind. If I had more of it, I would rest easy knowing that my children would never want for anything.

    1. Yes, money is security and it allows you to not worry for things that may come to your way especially the unexpected ones.

  7. Very interesting post, all the things we think but never really say out loud. I agree about money/lack thereof revealing true friends. I always wish I could focus less of money but unfortunately in today’s world, money makes the world go round
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    1. Yes, unfortunately, money makes the world go round. In addition, money truly does reveal who your true friends are.

  8. I definitely think money is security. Obviously the more you have, the more freedom you have to do things and buy things that you want, but as long as the mains are covered… you’ll be ok.

    1. For me, money is security. I’ve been in situations when my family didn’t have money. There was no sense of financial security. It was hard at times. During those times, I felt bad because I couldn’t do much.

  9. MONEY is what you want it to be. Different people have different needs and some do love money for the money, while most others love the benefits of money.

    1. Absolutely on the money, Robert. Money is what you want it to be. It can be your best friend or your worst enemy.

  10. I think you perfectly showed what money is. I know that the saying says “money doesn’t buy you happiness” however, sometimes I think that only money shows you the truth of the people around you – if you have none, then people truly like you for you, however if you do have it, you may like yourself better (we must not forget many people are not happy in their station of life and always want a better future for themselves and their progeny)…

    1. That is true. Some people are just there for you because you have money. But when it’s all gone, then, your so-called friends will no longer be there as well. Money or not having money can show you who truly are your friends and those pretend friends.

  11. Money for me is security, safety. I feel so unsafe without it – counting out days, checking bank account. It’s such a horrible feeling to be without. The more money and the more I get to do the things that I want to do, that’s what makes me happy – options and opportunities, not money. It’s just a shame that sometimes money is needed for options and opportunities.

    1. Yes, money can be evil or your worst enemy. It can also your best friend. It just depends on how you use it.

  12. I totally agree that money provides pleasures and not exactly happiness, but it is necessary for survival so whether we like it or not we gotta deal with it!

    1. Money is truly necessary for survival but I never consider money to be a way to happiness but only a way for pleasure

  13. To me, money gives me options. Nothing more or less. It is a good servant, but a horrible master. Finding a balance of doing what I love and doing what brings a decent income is important to me. However, it is not like me to go after money for the sake of just building wealth. I have to enjoy the process and the growth in myself that this experience brings. One thing I have learned though is not having enough money in North America is very different than not having enough money in other places of the world, like Africa. In my opinion, individualism is upheld above all else here and if you can’t hold your own financially, people quickly flee. In contrast, community and helping out family and friends is seen as essential in many other parts of the world. Having lived in both continents, both extremes have their good and bad. Good post

    1. Yes money gives us options. It just depends on which options we use. I always believe that there are always positives and negatives for anything and everything and money is no exception to the rule.

  14. Money is everything. And at the same time Money doesn’t mean anything.
    We can’t pretend we don’t need money, but we should not let money lead our lives. Many contradictions…
    That’s a nice post, with everything points of views

    1. That’s true. I can be and cannot be something at the same time. Like what you said money is everything and it doesn’t mean anything at the same time.

  15. I am one of the believers that money do bring happiness and I do find it as a necessity for feeling secure. I haven’t seen anyone yet that is truly happy and not have money in the same time. The lack of money brings worry and worry brings negativity and depression. I am finding my way to that financial stability because I don’t want to depend on anyone ever in my life. And financial independence means also freedom to fulfill your life and not be stuck in a difficult situation that you cant get out because you can’t afford it.
    Joanna recently posted…The best food I’ve ever had while travelingMy Profile

    1. That’s a good point. What I can say is that money has its pros and cons. Money can be your best friend or worst enemy, depending on how you use it.

  16. I really enjoyed reading this. Money to me is security, I think, but I’m guilty of saving too much and not enjoying my life, I always say no to things and use the ‘I’m skint’ excuse when I’m really not. I need to snap out of that and start doing more!

    Ami xxx

  17. Money is that piece of paper that dictates our lives. Money it became the root of all evil when we started put it that piece of paper higher than human lives. How many people died, lost their families, committed suicide, killed other people just for money?
    Money makes lose our humanity, as you said we can buy pleasure expensive things but certainly not happiness and not real people who are genuinely there for us.

  18. I love the idea that money provides pleasures not happiness. I’d never thought of it that way but that sums it up perfectly! For me, money is security too 🙂

  19. I completely and utterly agree with you on this! Money can buy you experiences but it doesn’t buy happiness but at the same time when you have a serious lack of it, it can make you so unhappy because like you said it is the route of all evil! Its great when you have it but when you don’t it can make your life so difficult and full of worry.

    1. Irony isn’t it. I think the key here is that too much money won’t really buy you more happiness. It may be bonus pleasures but not really happiness. I agree with you, serious of lack of money can or may cause a person to be unhappy.

  20. Hi Allan,

    I’m sorry about your brother! It really depends on the situation we are and how we define money. For example, I value a cup of tea on a coffee shop better than buying new clothes or jewelry. Our values, ethics and morals also define the way we perceive money. Thank you for this mind provoking article!

    Psychic Nest recently posted…Spiritual Education Prep-GuideMy Profile

    1. Thank you.

      Yes, I agree with you that our values, ethics, and morals define how we see money. The lessons I learned when I was young and the lessons I learned from this debt experience have showed me something that I never thought I have in me.

  21. You are right, money is so many different things to different people, and even on person’s perspective on money can change from one life stage to another!

    1. Yes. The money of changes as we grow older or as we mature. What money was before to us may have a different now.

  22. Money is security is probably the most important one for me. Money means I can provide for my family. It means we don’t have to go without food, water or clothing. I am pretty frugal because every time we seem to get some money saved up, life happens. Here recently it was a new roof.

    1. Same here. I believe the money is security. When I was a little kid, there was no security because we didn’t have enough money. I learned from an early age that money is security and can help tremendously especially when unknown situations do happen.

  23. This is a great post! After reading Rich Dad Poor Dad, I learned a lot about my conditioning regarding money. I know now that to me, money is freedom. =) I want to help so many people (financially) and money would allow me to help others. Money can also provide time, (time is money) which gives me time with family and friends. Great post! I look forward to following your blog.

    1. Money can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. The sooner you define what money is, the better you are going to be when it comes to managing it.

  24. money is a pain in the ass. when you think you have enough, you don’t. but i guess if money is your only trouble in life than that’s pretty good.

  25. Some great points. Coming from a poor background myself and now just about to graduate (a combination of luck and hard work on my part), I completely agree that money means many things that we often take for granted until we go without.

    1. Thanks. There are a lot of definitions of money. For some, it is a necessity and for others, just wants. But I do agree with you when you stated that money means many things and that we take it for granted until we don’t have it anymore.

  26. What an informative and thoughtful post. Money is so easily the root of evil and at times can be so much more than that!

  27. All so true! I especially love the money is worthless aspect. It’s so true–we can easily get distracted by the importance of the security or other elements, and not focus on other things that are important too.

  28. For me, money is just a means to an end. In other words, it’s only worth the value it brings me. People work their lives away to make money to purchase “things”, only to become tired of them and purchase something else (like you said in your post.)

    Great article!

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