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?