Money has No Value in Itself, Its Value Lies in Its Ability to Enable . . .

Yes, this is primarily a money blog. And yes, I’m telling you that money has no value, and that money is only a tool. What I mean is that money can’t do anything for you while it’s just sitting in your bank account. I mean, it can provide peace of mind. But it can only do that because it’s just a tool. Let me try to explain. . .

There have been a few people in my life who seemed to always have all the tools. They had a tool for this job, and the right tool for that other job. Sometimes it seemed like they only ever just collected tools. And sure, the right tool makes any job easier. When you’re trying to change the oil in your car and all you have on hand is a couple of screwdrivers, you’re in for a long afternoon.

Money can be the same way. There are people who only collect money. They rarely spend it, and they only hoard it. We normally call these folks misers. And then at the opposite end of the spectrum there are those who never seem to have any money. Either because they spend it the second it comes into their possession or they haven’t figured out how to get more of it. But either way, they are always struggling to make ends meet.

Is there a way to strike a balance between these two extremes? Of course there is. Let me share with you a few tips that I’ve used to have what I would consider a more balanced relationship with money.

Using Money Correctly

The first tip is to learn how to use money to your advantage. In other words, using it correctly. Now I understand that everyone has a different situation. And not all money tips are applicable to each situation. I think we know this.

But there are ways to use money correctly – as a tool.

And there are certainly wrong ways to handle money. Just like using a hammer as a socket wrench will result in some broken parts, using money incorrectly can result in broken finances.

Buying things you can’t afford on payments. Overspending your budget because . . . well, you forgot to actually look at it. And speculating with bitcoin or some other commodity. These are examples of using money incorrectly. Eventually, your loans come due. Overspending your budget results in more month than money. And investing in risky ventures can quickly deplete your savings.

Instead, remember to keep it simple. Learn to control your behavior when it comes to impulse spending, budgeting, and investing. In short, take in as much personal finance content as you can stomach.

And then . . . practice. Implement what you’ve learned. Practice makes perfect – as the saying goes. Learn to use money as a tool to better your life. Otherwise the lack of it will certainly complicate and make your life difficult.

You need an End Goal.

Money itself should not be the pursuit. As money does you no good unless you spend it. Remember: just a tool. So it follows that money is simply an enabler. An enabler that can allow you to live almost any life you choose . . . if you have enough of it.

So what’s your end goal, or goals? Where do you want to be five, ten, twenty years from now? Most likely, whatever your goals are, money can make it happen. But you’ll need a plan to get there. It won’t just happen.

Getting out of debt. Spending more time doing what you want to do. Traveling the world. Working on that passion project. Or just relaxing with family and friends.

All these are good goals. And money can enable any of them.

So instead of just accumulating money, set a goal for which to use the money you collect. Live the life you want to live.

Don’t Get Caught Up in “Just a Little More.”

This is the big trap of accumulating money. No matter where you are in the accumulation phase, you can still fall victim to the “just a little more” mentality.

Rockefeller was a billionaire when he died. And in 1937, that’s saying something. When he was once asked how much money is enough, he replied, “Just a little more.”

And no doubt, Rockefeller did a lot of good with his wealth. But the drive to make just little more isn’t always healthy. Especially when that ambition comes at the cost of other important things.

If you can’t be there for your kids while they’re growing up because you’re always working, “just a little more” might be your motivation. If you’re so driven to make money, even for worthwhile goals, that you ignore your relationships, “just a little more” could be getting in the way.

It can be hard to learn to be satisfied with what we have. There always seems to be more out there, and there certainly is always someone else who has more. But learning to be content can be the difference between a happy life and a miserable one.

Final Thoughts.

Money is just a tool. It has value only when you use it to live your life. Accumulate enough of it to live, but don’t let “just a little more” creep in. A balance between the drive to succeed and contentment is not something I’ve completely figured out. But if you can master these aspects of money, you’ll be further along than most.

If all you have at the end of your life is money . . . you did it wrong. Click To Tweet

How about you? What do you think? Do you have any other tips to use money correctly?

Please leave me a comment and let me know. Thanks for reading and sharing.

Author

Chris is the original Cash Dad. He's a father of 3 and a mechanical engineer by trade.

6 Comments

  1. I love this! So true that in the end we should have more than just money. I am blessed that you are not a workaholic and that you invest time into our family. ? you!
    Kate

  2. Really insightful post! I really appreciate the perspective. Thank you for helping me feel better about my path.

  3. Wow, you actually let your wife read your posts? Yikes! Mine has no idea what the name of my blog is. I mean, that could be, like, really dangerous! On a serious note, great points. Money is a horrible goal in itself, but using it to help others, including your family, that makes it a tool that lifts up others. The great achievers of note in this world have rarely had any kind of balance in their lives. Rockefeller is kind of typical, yet I wonder if we would have any of the great inventions or advances in society without unbalanced people consumed with their personal quests? And I wonder how many of the great achievers were consumed by the goal of achieving versus the goal of making more money?

    • Chris Reply

      Hahaha, she’s one of my most loyal readers.

      That’s an interesting point . . . Did the money come because of the drive to succeed? And then they did succeed? So the money in their mind was just a consequence of their great contribution? And you’re right about their lives being unbalanced. Good comments. Thanks. ?

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