Last week, I asked if money is the love of your life? This week I’ll ask the opposite question. Do you hate money?
Hate is a strong word (it can literally mean to want to kill as my 7th-grade reading teacher once taught me) & that’s a question that many of us have probably never asked ourselves. But, I bet we have probably all said something to the effect of, “I hate greed” or “I hate how money corrupts people and institutions.”
These are some reasons why you might hate money & what to do about it:
Money is Security
Several comments from last week (myself included) stated the reason people might cling to money is for security. Having money means your house has heat, electricity, water, and the bill collectors away.
Unless you have a rich uncle or a swimming pool full of gold coins like Scooge McDuck, the only way to acquire this thing called money is by working for it. Unfortunately, financial security (& job security) is a relative thing. Just ask anybody who overinvested in the wrong stocks on Black Tuesday, the Dot.com Bubble, or the 2008 Great Recession.
Solution: Prepare for the future but remain flexible to career changes as technology and automation constantly change our lifestyles.
Invest in a Roth IRA plus your company 401k and invest in you & your family as well.
We also only have one true source of security in life. As Laurie commented last week, “I’ve been focusing really hard this year on making God the first love of my life, Rick and the fam second, and everything else third. And you know what? It’s reaped amazing results. Financially and otherwise.”
While the Biblical writings were written 2,000 years ago, the messages are timeless and we still have a direct line to God today. Life truly is simpler when making God the center of your life.
#2: You Have Too Much Money or Not Enough
I have repeatedly found myself saying “If I only made this amount at work I would finally be happy with my job” or “Once I pay off the loan I can finally relax.”
You have probably said the same things and experienced the same results as myself. You always find yourself wanting more until it’s too late and realized you already had plenty already and misfocused your time & energy.
Despite voluntarily going from one end of the employment pendulum (a job that earns too much) to the other (a job that doesn’t earn enough) & trying to have the pendulum stop in the middle, my wife & still have thought the above statements even though we have had several small financial blessings in the last year.
Solution: Make the most of what you have already (time, energy, money, & other assets or talents). We are all blessed in different ways. Take a few minutes each day to ponder & pray how to be a wise financial steward.
#3: Money Corrupts
While the actual verse is “The love of money is the root of all evil,” many leave off those first three words causing the above sentence to be one of the most misquoted verses in the Bible. Because we don’t live in a perfect world, some people have more money than others. Those with less get jealous, those with money naturally want more.
It’s why used snake oil salesmen have bad names & people have an aversion to professional sports. To refute Gordon Gekko, sometimes greed isn’t good.
Just like political power corrupts, money can corrupt as well. The only catch is that politics & money are both necessary for a functioning society and need to be used wisely. We are all human we all make just as many bad decisions as we might smart decisions and think our financial wealth can get us out of trouble or temporarily “sell” our integrity to make an extra buck.
Solution: The desire to have more money is something we all struggle with. Learn to be happy with what you have and focus on using it for good. Pray for guidance for yourself, family & friends, and our own political & business leaders that “hold the strings.”
#4: Money is Addicting
This parallels the previous point of “money hate” but money is like sugar, gasoline, fast cars, and anything deep-fried. Once you get a taste of it, you want more and become a mindless zombie until you get your fix.
Your money addiction could come in the form of gambling at the casino or buying lottery tickets, being a workaholic at work (whereelse?), or constantly monitoring your stock portfolio or bank balance like it’s a Twitter or Facebook feed.
Solution: Take a “Money Sabbath” by not looking at your financial accounts one day a week. Your Sabbath might be not spending any money one day each week. Quitting your money habit might be like trying to quit smoking or drinking two bottles of Mt. Dew each day. It takes time, but, with positive think and support, you can do it.
There’s No Need To Hate Money
We often don’t like money because of how it negatively affects our lives and society. Don’t get me wrong, I’m lost for words when I hear about the extreme poverty & resulting civil unrest in Africa & Asia or the rising drug epidemic that has affecting our own local communities in the U.S.
Money does buy opportunities and improve lives when used properly & I wish I could use every dollar in the world to make society better.
But, I’m only one human and can only do so much beyond my physical control. Therefore, I focus on my own situation and do the best I can & my wife & I look for opportunities to help others locally and abroad. Also, saying a sincere prayer can be very helpful as well.
Do you hate money? How do you try not to hate it?