Do You Love Money or Hate It? Either Way, You're Sick.

by Nora Dunn on 8 August 2008 14 comments
Photo: Nora Dunn

Do you love money?

Do you love to earn it? Dream of what it can buy? Visit your bank accounts often and watch them grow? Review your investments with eager anticipation, and fancy yourself an amateur trader in your spare time? Do you read countless articles on money making strategies, from businesses to investment and tax-saving tips? Discuss detailed money matters with your family and friends over dinner?

 
Well, you’re sick.

 

Do you hate money?

Do you ignore your investments? (Or not have any to begin with)? Bury your head in the sand when the monthly bills roll in? Politely excuse yourself when family or friends start talking about money or careers or taxes? Put off filing your taxes each year? Cringe when you have to go to the ATM, and quickly discard the transaction receipt without looking at the balance?

 

Well, you’re sick too.

 

 Or maybe not.

 

 Maybe it’s not bad to love money.

Maybe keeping track of your accounts and investments helps to provide peace of mind for the future, and empowers you to spend within your means now.

Maybe knowing what your money can buy and working towards goals helps you stay motivated, and even tolerate a job you can’t stand, by keeping your eye on the ball.

Maybe an awareness of your investment portfolio and trading activity is good in this ever-changing world of economics.

And reading articles on business, taxes and money matters just might save you a few bucks or help make a few more, getting you even closer to your financial goals (both short term and long term).

And with a family and circle of friends who share the same ideals and attitudes towards money, maybe talking with them about it creates an open and healthy relationship with finances, and gives you a forum for keeping your own finances in check.

 

Then again, maybe it’s not bad to hate money.

Maybe talking about finances with other people is unsavoury, socially awkward, and unacceptable in your circles.

Maybe ignoring an investment portfolio is the best way for it to grow in the long run, since you’re not supposed to actively trade and get sidetracked by short-term fluctuations. They do say “slow and steady wins the race”, after all.

Nobody likes bills. So is it really so bad to hate them? They still get paid in the end after all, right?

And for heaven’s sake, taxes are highway robbery. Procrastinating on filing in an effort to enjoy the little things in life is not a crime. (Then again, maybe it is)!

 

 

Within both scenarios, most people would agree that there are some legitimate points. Loving money to the point of obsession is unhealthy, as is hating money to the point of ignoring all financial matters to your own detriment.

Luckily, if you are reading this article you probably already chose to be aware of your finances and take control of money matters, either to repair blunders of days gone by, or to take your financial plans to the next level.

 

But do you love money? Really love it? Or is it a necessary evil that rots your socks?

 

Ultimately, is it possible to love some aspects of money and what it can do for you without letting it control your life and turn you into a money-hungry pig? Can you become the Millionaire Next Door and quietly harness your money to work for you and still maintain friendships with people from all walks of life?

 

Does living in a mansion and driving a fancy car make you unattractive, or attractive? And to whom? Is being the object of envy a good thing? Does it inspire people to create achievable goals for themselves and have something to work towards, or does it further create a rift between the haves and have-nots of the world?

 

 

I honestly don’t know the answer to most of these questions. Is it good to love money? Or hate it? Is there an easy middle ground to stand on? It seems that to have an attitude towards money at either end of the love/hate spectrum is considered sick in one way or another. So what are we supposed to do? Love it or hate it?

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Guest's picture
Smores

With everything in life, money is something I'm trying to find a happy medium with. I don't think anyone should love money and I don't think anyone should hate it. It's something that exists and it's something to be aware of but obsessing over it just can't be healthy.

Guest's picture
Ken

I don't love money or hate it. It's just a tool. I think it is possible to be financially responsible and even acquire wealth. Loving money too much can be the root of all kinds of evil. DOn't really know about hating money...

cheers,
Ken

Guest's picture

We all have such strong feelings about money! But there is a difference between greed and burning desire for wealth, as taught in Napoleon Hill's excellent self help book Think and Grow Rich, summarized at http://shanelyang.com/2007/10/10/think-and-grow-rich/. Greed is wanting money for nothing or by cheating others. A burning desire for wealth, on the other hand, always lead to action and lots of hard work -- but doing the work you love so much that it doesn't even feel like work. I discuss the difference further in my post "Greed v. Desire" at http://shanelyang.com/2007/11/23/greed-v-desire/

Guest's picture

That's true, just wanting wealth vs. being greedy about wealth are two totally different things. On a personal level, I don't think that wealth is really an end to itself. But financial wealth is not an inherently bad thing either to avoid so there is no point in hating wealth.

In the end, like Ken said, money is just a tool. A painter can have the most expensive and extensive brush set and exotic paints, and yet still be an awful painter. And alternatively, a painter can have the simplest and most basic tools yet be a great painter. It's not what you own or the number of tools that makes you valuable to other people, but rather-- what you do constructively with it.

Guest's picture
PicNSniff

For The Lust Of Money?....It's as shallow as the relationships built upon it. As disposable as the beliefs it betrays. As empty as the convictions it buys and the content of character it dissolves. It is as deceiving in promise and intent as the clutched tight fist it hides. As ugly as the nightmare it creates. As vulnerable as the heart it breaks. As fraudulent in power as the arrogance it breeds in. As enticing as heroine is to its addict. As unforgiving as the face it has aged. It is the law lived, the law broken. The ruler of many, the leader of none...The deal maker, the deal breaker. It is the reason...it is the cost. Loyal to no one, not even its lover...For Lust of Money...

Guest's picture
Guest

"Does living in a mansion and driving a fancy car make you unattractive, or attractive?"

It makes you a big honkin' target.

I've known wealthy people with high-consumption lifestyles targeted by every huckster out there.

My net worth and income are...comfortable, but I make sure to live in a modest home, wear jeans, and drive a 5 year old car.

I splurge out of town, on vacation, but here locally I'm a regular Joe.

And that's the way I like it.

Guest's picture

Whether you love or hate money, money is a tool to fulfilling your goals. You shouldn't become emotionally attached or even avoid it. Loving it won't necessarily make you more money unless you find ways to increase your income. Hating it will just won't make current financial problems go away, or secure a future for your retirement. Take a balanced approach to your life.

1 - Am I saving for a purpose? Without a purpose, you have no incentive to save...
2 - Do I have my money setup for retirement on an ongoing and consistent basis to reach that goal?
3 - Is my money earning the interest it should to get me there? Don't assume that it will, but use a money calculator to find. If not, what should you be investing in?
4 - Do you have a guide to help decide what to invest in and why traditional investing doesn't work? (OK, a little self promotion - I wrote a guide on my site, but you can also listen to greats like Warren Buffet or Ben Franklin who preach similar investment philosophies).

The most important thing you can do about money is to find pathways - a pathway to invest, a pathway to save, a pathway way to get out of debt or a pathway to achieve your goals.

Guest's picture
A

I like money. I like to work. I enjoy being able to have the diverse options that financial security allows. BUT--the thought of "living in a mansion or driving a fancy car" kind of make me feel sick. I hope to live in my small-scale, 100-year-old house that was built in simpler times and drive my 21-year-old classic car until I die. (Although I may upgrade the car to something more eco.) Having financial security is great. Flaunting money in a vain effort to impress others does not lead to a healthy life, in my opinion. But maybe that's just me.

Guest's picture

I have to admit, I love money. I work in finance and got into finance because of my love for money. I don't think that it's greedy to love money, but the main purpose of working is to earn money, so why not make as much of it as possible?

Loving money enables you to learn and better understand your finances. It helps you to accumulate wealth at a faster clip than others. It makes you aware of financail dangers (like the interest free loans). And ultimately, I'm sure that my love for money will enable me to retire sooner and weathlier than people who hate money.

To me there is no comparision as to which is better.

Guest's picture
PicNSniff

To "LOVE" money...is to put it first and foremost...top of the list in priority...to forsake all to acquire it, and keep it, the optimal goal of possessing it. To "Love" money is to never reach a limit of 'having enough' (more is better)....sharing it's wealth would be like sharing a lover.
Money is a tool in our society of survival. Some are fortunate to have plenty, more than enough. Most will never have enough.

"Wealth" shouldn't be measured in terms of money alone.... ...."Life" in itself can be lived well with very little money.....and it is true that some very rich humans remain so very poor in "Life"....and many money "poor" individuals...are so full and rich in "Life".

Having 'enough' money...is a blessing...that can offer different degree's in comfort, freedom's, opportunities. It's what we work and strive for. Some being more fortunate than others...can have more of these...some having less. Being financially rich in money, is NOT in itself...wrong by any means, it too is a 'blessing'....it is in the manner in which it is achieved and the manner in which it is maintained.... manner by which one "Lives"....As so goes for the less 'fortunate' in obtaining and maintaining "Money".

At the end of the "day"...the last "day"....the Journey is what you will look back on, measure your "life's" worth by....not the accumulations in money and 'things' you've managed to acquire, ....once reaching your final "destination". How is your very existence 'measured in value' by others?.....Will it be your "worth" to them in terms of money when you die?....will you mean more to them dead or alive? How will their loss be measured in losing you? Measured by the amount of money you left or the value realized, deeply felt and remembered.... of the good you possessed and shared... your loving, generous caring ways, your personal character. The remembrance of the YOU and the value of YOU, greatly missed now, by the very absence of YOU in their lives.

The LOVE/LUST for money...blinds us all to the true value of ourselves and the true value of others.

Guest's picture

I guess I fall into the "love" camp, but not because I'm obsessed with it or knowing what it can buy allows me to tolerate a job I can’t stand - but rather because it's a means to an end.

In order for my wife and I to meet our life goals and even fulfill some of the sense of purpose we have - having more money rather than less provides greater freedom, flexibility and "safety" to take some risks and to try things that we might not be able to afford if we didn't have enough money. To this end, it just doesn't feel practical to hate the means to an end...

Guest's picture
Suz

I don't love money... I like the numbers game of making it and making it multiply. That's what I enjoy and what I find interesting. But it's just a numbers game, not really about the money itself.

I also enjoy giving money- that's the best part about having enough $$, being able to give some away.

-Suz

Fred Lee's picture
Fred Lee

To paraphrase Orson Welles, I hate obsessing over money as much as I hate eating peanuts. I just can't stop eating peanuts (he actually said this in reference to watching TV).

Obsession over money bothers me, but I find myself obsessing over it at times. I'm guessing that wouldn't change if I had more of it.

Guest's picture
Bruce

I have mixed emotions about money, but if you think about it, we all put too much value in money. The bible says the love of money is the root of all evil, I believe that, I have done some dumb things trying to get more money, trying to "make ends meet". I am currently downsizing my family's life to the point where we can live on one income, something we should have done years ago. At some point I would like to be financially free, free enough to chose where I spend time, no one in control of my time. I have a dream of doing mission work for example, giving back to mankind in a small way.
In short, you cannot either love or hate money, it is inanimate, money is a tool, the trick is to use your tools for social good, don't be so hung up on it that you can't use it. If you live all your life with lots of money in investments and die rich, what have you accomplished except to make your heirs rich.