Yes, Money & Wealth DO Matter — And Pretending Otherwise Hurts Everyone

by | BiggerPockets.com

“Money isn’t important.”

I hear it frequently — most recently and painfully from someone very close to me.

You see, in my experience, the people who don’t value money are the people that don’t have any. I used to be among them.

Our culture has a split personality when it comes to money. On the one hand, society as a whole is frequently admonished for having an over-developed lust for gold. Anyone in pursuit of the almighty dollar is accused of greed and a hatred of both people and the planet. The moment someone accumulates a bit of wealth, the vultures begin circling, threatening to take it all away. On the other hand, the vast majority of people in Western cultures don’t actually have that much wealth and are finding it difficult to make ends meet. People are clamoring about wage stagnation and the need for a higher minimum wage. Many of our retirees are living on a paltry government stipend. Basically, people want more money.

So, which is it?

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Know Your Enemy

First, we need to distinguish between the ultra-rich — corporate entities, families, and even individuals in the top 0.1% — and the average person just trying to support themselves and their families. Most of the anti-wealth vitriol is really intended for the uber-wealthy. But much of the detritus lands on any individual or business person trying to make or save an honest dollar.

I am not making any particular statement about those in that top tier. I think they probably all started out much the same way as you and me — or at least their ancestors did. But they really aren’t the problem that you are facing right now. The reality is that it is completely achievable for the majority of households to build a net worth of $1,000,000 or more over the course of a working lifetime. The vast majority of people don’t. In fact, I believe they simply won’t.

This belief that money is unimportant or somehow even evil is a handicap that prevents most people from living the lives that they imagine.

Your enemy isn’t the rich; it’s you.

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Higher Values

The problem stems from the over-simplification of a very important principle: Money is not the most important thing.

If you have children or have ever had a sick family member or close friend, it will be very clear to you that there are things in life more valuable than money and possessions. Health. Family. Relationships.

In addition, selfless passions and pursuits inspire us with their nobility. My mother spent years lobbying for women’s rights in Canada and served on the board of directors for a shelter for battered women. She also helped start up a new Habitat for Humanity affiliate; during eight years in the roles of President and Volunteer Coordinator, she oversaw and participated in the building of six new homes for people who wouldn’t otherwise have qualified for a home loan.

Related: Why the Wealthy Put Their Money Into Multifamily & Commercial Real Estate

Her contributions have made the world a better place. She is my hero.

And so, there are many things on which we naturally and correctly place a higher value than money.

Basic Needs for Survival

Yet this coin is like all others: It has two sides.

Anyone who has taken an introductory psychology class will be familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In it, psychologist Abraham Maslow classified human needs by relative importance. When a need lower down the hierarchy fails to be met, it becomes difficult or impossible to meet needs of a higher order. At the very base of this hierarchy are the things needed for life itself: food, water, shelter, clothing.

There are, of course, a number of ways to obtain what is required to satisfy these needs. You could hunt, fish, gather wild berries, or grow a garden to obtain food. In today’s society, however, specialization allows a few people to perform these tasks for the many. Others who provide value to the world in different ways can convert that value into the basic necessities — the mechanism for this conversion is money.

And so, the masses get jobs, go off to work, get paid, and consider the sticky problem of basic human needs to be solved.

But the solution is temporary.

What happens when you stop working? Whether you become ill, lose your job, or simply want to rest your weary bones, there is a problem. As long as you are living, you must meet your basic needs. But if you stop working, the money stops coming in, and you are no longer able to pay for these essentials. The problem doesn’t go away if you choose to hunt and gather berries; when you become unable to do so, you will no longer have food. Even squirrels understand this principle and set aside nuts for less prosperous times.

Perhaps Robert Kiyosaki said it best in his classic book Rich Dad Poor Dad:

“A job is really a short-term solution to a long-term problem” (45).

And so, our ability to meet these most basic of human needs is tenuous. Much of the population lives hand-to-mouth in a precarious existence on the brink of financial disaster.

The obvious next step is to seek a more permanent solution.

Safety and Security

In his book Business Secrets from the Bible, Rabbi Daniel Lapin outlines a paradigm that describes how people have both physical and spiritual needs. Physical needs are similar to those identified as physiological needs by Maslow: food, water, shelter, clothing. Interestingly, Lapin demonstrates how the physical world can meet certain kinds of both physical and spiritual needs, while recognizing that there are needs that can only be met by the spiritual (117).

The world provides food, water, shelter, and clothing in a physical way. In other words, these things are tangible and are obtained from the physical world rather than the spiritual. No matter how in touch with your spiritual side you are, you will eventually starve to death if you do not eat.

Critically, Lapin also identifies spiritual needs that can be met by the physical world. Savings, financial security, and discretionary income fall into this category.

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Emergency Fund

Consider the emergency fund. This is basically some money set aside in savings. When life presents any number of difficult situations, such as job loss, medical concerns, or the need to suddenly make major car repairs, you have the ability to deal with them with minimal disruption to your life.

Related: The Secret the Rich Understand About Building Wealth (And No, It’s Not All About Cash Flow)

What about a trip overseas to visit a relative who has become suddenly ill? Without savings, any of these crises could create a knock-on effect on your finances. You pay for the car repairs, but now you’re short on funds and can’t make the mortgage payment. Suddenly, your ability to provide shelter for you and your family is in jeopardy.

Not to mention a job loss. When you are unprepared financially, a job loss can change your whole life, causing you to lose your home and maybe even your relationships as a result of the stress and upheaval.

I can say from personal experience that the establishment of an emergency fund containing enough money to cover several (3-8) months of expenses actually changes you. There are things that can and will happen in life, about which my wife and I no longer need to worry. This money doesn’t make us better people. But it does make us more resilient to unexpected events. And this in turn reduces stress. Reduction of stress has short-term benefits for our marriage, parenting, and job performance. It also has long-term benefits for our health.

Insurance

But what if something should happen that is more costly than your emergency fund can absorb? Fire, theft, natural disasters, major accidents, health care, surgery — the list goes on. Many of these calamitous events can’t be covered by a few thousand dollars.

The answer, of course, is insurance. Many of us don’t enjoy paying insurance premiums — often, we never cash in on the benefits. But the reality is that the monthly payments buy peace of mind. Without it, a single accident could ruin you financially. Worse, you might not be able to pay for a necessary treatment. This could cost you your life.

As you get older, the need for insurance — particularly healthcare — only increases.

Discretionary Spending

But if we only do the minimum to fulfill basic human needs and stave off disaster, we end up leading miserable lives.

I believe it is universal for humans to aspire to a better situation for themselves and their families. It is for this reason that we buy homes to live in; the need for a sense of safety drives almost everyone to purchase in the best neighborhood they can afford.

It is also natural to want to provide as much for our children as we can manage. Education tops the list. But experiences such as family vacations are also common desires.

And who doesn’t want at least a few of the nicer things in life?

Ultimately, financial security means financial independence — the ability to live on the income from your investments.

Charity

One of the major objections to wealth accumulation is that there are those who need that money more than the person who has accumulated it. I find this an interesting argument. First of all, the people most likely to consistently donate to charity are, of course, those who actually have money. The more you have, the more you have to give.

It is true that charity requires character — the ability to see past your own wants and needs to the needs of those around you. And the willingness to sacrifice something of your own to the needs of another. But it also requires having something to sacrifice. If you have very little, you can only help a little. If you have more, you have more to offer.

Donating one’s time and expertise are, of course, extremely valuable. But many charitable projects require money, and it is the wealthy who provide this capital on a sustainable basis.

As I’m sure you’re well aware, all of these things — food, shelter, clothing, savings, insurance, a home, education for your kids, a little extra to spend and invest — cost money. Yet where is the greed?

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Greed

While we’re on the subject, let’s talk about greed for a moment. There is absolutely a line that, when crossed, constitutes greed. But that line is blurry and based on no objective standard.

If you believe that a wealthy person should not have the things that they have, ask yourself a few questions. Do you know how much money they have given to charity in the last year? What percentage of their income does this represent? What percentage of your income have you given in the past year? Is percentage even the most important factor? If you have given $1,000 to charity this year and they have given $100,000, who has done more good?

How many jobs have you created in the last year? Ever?

What percentage of your income have you spent on luxuries?

How much of your time have you spent educating yourself on your customers and their needs?

How much value have you brought to the market place?

The purpose of these questions is not to offend you, but to get you to consider what value other people might be adding to society that you are not seeing — and to consider whether greed lies only in the accumulation of wealth or may also hide in comfortable underachievement.

Burden

Now consider the impact on others of not having money of your own.

Do you run out of money before the end of the month? Do you borrow from family or friends to make up the shortfall? Consider the effect that this has on the lives of those you tap for a few bucks just to see you through. They have financial obligations, and supporting you is getting in the way of their prosperity.

Maybe you don’t ask for money directly. Perhaps you are in a position simply to take advantage of the prosperity of others. If you borrow their car, drink their wine, or eat a lovely meal at their house regularly — which you can’t reciprocate — then you are being hypocritical. In this case, it’s not that money isn’t important, it’s just that you don’t have any. You are relying on the prosperity of others to live your life.

Related: The (Totally Unfair) Secret Advantage of the 1% — and How to Level the Field

The reality is that every single person requires money to get through everyday life. You can moralize all you want – but it is to your own detriment. Money is not evil — it is a basic requirement for survival and prosperity.

Stress

The lack of money also creates stress. You want to do something — say, go on a holiday. But you know that this is only going to happen if nothing goes wrong. The moment your car breaks down, you realize that you can no longer afford to go on that holiday.

You also know that if you were to lose your job, then you couldn’t pay the mortgage and the car payment and the student loan payment that you have accumulated. As a result, every little event at work causes you undue stress.

I also understand that money issues may have precipitated the demise of more than one marriage.

On top of all of that, you can’t afford to consider the breadth of your opportunities. How many people stay at a job they don’t like for years or even decades, just because it “pays the bills”? This is financial slavery! And what’s worse, it’s self-imposed.

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Conclusion

Money is a proxy for the essentials of life. It allows you to convert your particular contribution to society into those things without the need to be a hunter-gatherer-weaver-builder yourself. And it allows you to help others who are in need. Need will always be around us; would you rather be in a position to help or merely to lament its presence?

Put simply, there is wisdom in accumulating enough wealth to take care of your needs and to provide a good life for you and your loved ones.

Having had those needs met, how many of us can honestly say that we do not want anything more? Who among us would choose to live a miserable life, scratching out a meager living in an unforgiving world? Who among us does not want the leisure time to follow higher pursuits — education, art, travel? Who does not want the ability to visit and spend time with close friends and family who are scattered around the globe?

The very concept of financial independence is to create an environment in which you can meet your basic and discretionary needs, no matter what happens to your ability to work.

I know what you’re thinking: Why is this guy so hung up on money? The reality is that I’m not. As I’ve pointed out, there are many things more important. But when I was growing up, and even into my adult life, nobody talked about money. At least not in a constructive or instructive way. As a result, I knew nothing about it. My choices put not only myself, but also my family, at risk. I talk about money so that others might consider their choices and make better decisions.

The mistake that so many of us make is this: While money is not the most important thing, money is important. Without an understanding of personal finance, you put yourself and your family at risk.

Were you taught about money growing up? How do you ensure a balance of financial security and giving back?

Let me know your thoughts on this topic with a comment!

About Author

Brad Lohnes

In 2013 Brad awoke from lifelong financial slumber and took responsibility for his family’s financial future. His primary vehicle for wealth-building is buy-and-hold real estate. He is passionate about financial education and helping others learn the tools they need to take control of their money. Brad believes there is nothing more empowering than self-reliance.

43 Comments

      • Cody Steck

        But is that what really matters? I know that Brad addressed that in his article. But if I have $10 million, and I give away $100,000, (1%) and you only have $1 million and give away $10,000 (also 1%) who actually did more good? I’m not saying that generosity should only be counted on a monetary basis as time given is also important. But being able to give more, makes the difference.

    • Brad Lohnes

      Hi, Katie. Thanks for your comment. As requested by others below, I’d be keen to learn more about what the studies reveal. If you could provide some links that would be fantastic.

      I don’t necessarily disagree with the statement, though it doesn’t match my experience so far. I think that the devil may be in the detail – i.e. percentage points. My experience so far is that people with relatively “less” as you say, tend to be generous with their time and the people with relatively “more” tend to be generous with money. I am happy to be proven wrong though.

      For me, it’s not even about what people actually do now, it’s about the overall message of whether it is or isn’t good to care about and think about your money. And that if you have a heart to give, then having more will allow you to give more.

      It’s just important to remember that it’s not a fixed pie. People create money out of thin air every day – it can actually be used for good! 🙂

  1. Kathy Buckley

    I appreciate the call for self sufficiency in this article (and thankfully have had the resources; a good education, good health, good luck, appetite for risk etc to have been able to be so).
    But it is incorrect to say that “the people most likely to consistently donate to charity are, of course, those who actually have money. The more you have, the more you have to give.”
    All reputable studies have shown that the wealthy give a lower rate of their earnings, than say the middle class, for example.

    • Brad Lohnes

      Hi, Kathy. Thanks for reading and for your comments. Your point is well-taken. It’s possible that I did not explain myself clearly enough in the article and I’ll try to be more clear next time. My comment in the article is targeted at the reader who does not believe that money is important, spends without a clear plan, and has nothing much left over at the end of the month. It is very difficult to have something to give to those less fortunate when you spend all of your money and do not have a habit of accumulating anything. If you re-read the portion that you’ve quoted, I’m talking about actually having something to give away. Perhaps the confusion is the difference between having a discipline that will lead to wealth accumulation (i.e. setting some money aside for a rainy day, having a few investments) and actually being wealthy, which comes after a great deal of accumulation.

      I am also talking more hear about what a person can do with money. They can do the things to look after themselves and they can give some money away. In other words, money can be used for good.

      This is an area that we ourselves are trying to improve now that we’ve figured out how to live in a manner that is not so wasteful. We are looking at our own percentages and striving to improve. By no means am I saying that we’re perfect. But then again, we’re not wealthy. Yet. 🙂 (Thought that probably depends upon the definition of wealthy.)

  2. Kathy Buckley

    ” The moment someone accumulates a bit of wealth, the vultures begin circling, threatening to take it all away. ”
    You lost me here. What vultures? And they threaten to take it all away? I have accumulated a bit of wealth and do not feel that people castigate me for it. Neither on a day to day basis, nor by society in general. And I certainly do not feel like any “vultures” are circling and ready to steal it.

    • Brad Lohnes

      Haha. Perhaps I am guilty of a little hyperbole here. You are right to call me out on it. 🙂

      It also depends where you live. I know that most of the audience will be US-based so maybe it doesn’t apply as much there.

      I currently live in New Zealand. We’ve just gone through a housing boom. Now property investors are being vilified in the media. The reserve bank has instituted many new rules making it much more difficult to invest in property, and with an election next year there is talk of introducing a wealth tax. Obviously this feels like there is a concerted effort to work against wealth accumulation. And this in a nation that redistributes wealth reasonably well – e.g. after redistribution, the bottom 50% of household incomes effectively don’t pay any tax.

      A good lesson for me as a writer, though, to try to avoid hyperbole. 🙂

  3. Nathan G.

    “For the LOVE of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” 1 Timothy 6:10

    I just thought it best to throw that out there before people start misquoting it.

    Katie and Kathy, when throwing out a statement like, “Every study shows…” it would help if you could actually point us to one. Visit the link below and scroll down to “Charitable Giving as a % of annual gross income (AGI) and you’ll see that the wealthiest are actually the most charitable. This is based on IRS tax filings from 2011. Not only do the wealthiest give the largest percentage, their donations far outweigh everyone else in terms of sheer dollars donated.

    http://nccs.urban.org/nccs/statistics/charitable-giving-in-america-some-facts-and-figures.cfm

    Why has society suddenly decided it’s wrong to be wealthy? The vast majority of them work hard to earn their way to the top of the pile. They create millions of jobs. The top 1% pay over 50% of our nation’s taxes which funds welfare programs. They donate to medical research, create products that improve our lives, and are generally no better or worse than you or I.

    Many people are not blessed financially but they give far more through time and service. I know a family living in the Congo that is full of talented, intelligent people but they live as missionaries, serving others in poor communities. It’s a very noble thing to do, but that doesn’t mean everyone that chooses a different path is suddenly evil. I’ve never been on a mission trip to build a school or dig a well. But I am pretty handy at my job and earn a good living, so I use my financial gifting to support those that do the work.

    Money is nothing more than a tool and how it is used depends on who holds it. I appreciate the article, Brad, and hope others can see it for what it is. Thanks for sharing!

    • Katie Rogers

      It is not wrong to be wealthy. It is wrong to measure the value of a human being based on money. Giving of time is also valuable. We need to stop using dollars to keep score.

      A sampling of generosity studies:

      http://www.greedandgood.org/BookPDFs/ggcharity.pdf

      http://www.alternet.org/economy/guess-who-gives-more-their-money-charity-people-who-make-more-or-less-200k-year

      https://portside.org/print/2014-10-06/wealthy-give-smaller-share-income-charity-middle-class-digs-deeper

      “The wealthiest Americans—those who earned $200,000 or more—reduced the share of income they gave to charity by 4.6 percent from 2006 to 2012. Meanwhile, Americans who earned less than $100,000 chipped in 4.5 percent more of their income during the same time period. Middle- and lower-income Americans increased the share of income they donated to charity, even as they earned less, on average, than they did six years earlier.”

      http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2013/04/24/poor-middle-class-and-rich-who-gives-and-who-doesnt.html

      “Americans with earnings in the top 20% of income levels contributed, on average, 1.3% of their income to charity. Those at the bottom 20% donated 3.2% of their cash to charity—more than double of what their more-wealthy counterparts donated.”

      https://www.philanthropy.com/article/America-s-Generosity-Divide/156175

      IRS data cannot count the charitable contributions of those who do not itemize. Tithers (generally church-goers), for example, give a regular 10% of their income, but if they do not make enough top be worth itemizing, it won’t be counted. Non churchgoers who give significantly to non-church entities will also not be counted if they cannot itemize.

      Maybe not in absolute dollar amounts, but in terms of number of people who give, I would estimate that the non-itemizers outnumber the itemizers, so the IRS cannot give you the data you seek.

      At least in the UK, Muslims are the most generous of religious adherents: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/other/muslims-give-more-charity-others-uk-poll-says-f6C10703224

    • Brad Lohnes

      Hi, Nathan. Thanks for reading and for adding your thoughts to the discussion. When I wrote the article, I didn’t foresee which areas were going to be controversial. 🙂

      I completely agree with your statement that money is a tool. This is what I was trying to get across in the article. Money is a tool that is used to convert the value that a person brings to the marketplace into the things that we both need and want. It doesn’t compensate for all of the value that is brought to the world – only to the marketplace. And it doesn’t buy everything that you want or need in life, just some of those things. But there are many things that money CAN buy that are absolutely good for your life.

      The key is that most people are already working and bringing value to the marketplace and getting compensated for it. Changing first your attitude toward that money and then your behavior in how you manage can make a dramatic change in a person’s life. And they never had to become a bad person, lie cheat or steal or ruin the environment!

    • tim boehm

      Right on Nathan
      Money is nothing but a tool. I have said that most of my life, you are the first person who I have ever heard that from. My wife and I started with little or no education, and we lived among the poor all our lives. Most people in America are poor for a reason, self indulgence.
      We are among the top one percent and spent our lives trying to help the poor gain finical independence, once a woman who had been living on welfare said to my wife “we couldn’t live like you” yes we lived poorer than welfare people.
      When ever I did not know the answer to a problem I sought out someone that did and I listened and did what they said, but poor people are too smart for that, it must be so because many times we showed them how to save and prepare for emergency’s and build wealth.

      My conclusion is since the poor did not listen they must be smarter than me!

  4. Ira Ashton

    Dave Ramsey’s book, “The Legacy Journey” discusses these topics (although through a Christian perspective). Most of the people I’ve heard say that money is evil/bad are Christians, & Dave counters this idea as being unChristian. The Bible is filled with stories of wealthy, generous people and is full of stories of people who are being chastened for being lazy and slothful. Like someone else mentioned, it is the LOVE of money that is condemned, which is greed. It’s the mindset that’s wrong, not the wealth. Money is like a brick (says Dave). It can be thrown through a window to cause damage, or it can be used to build a school. It’s simply a tool. It’s an interesting read. I completely agree with you on every point! I wish I had been taught about money before I went into the real world, & I wish more than anything that I would have had a healthy emergency fund when starting out my marriage.

    • Brad Lohnes

      Hi, Ira.

      Thanks for reading and thanks for leaving your comments. I also really enjoyed Dave Ramsey’s “The Legacy Journey”. Certainly, he is attempting to argue the negativity toward money from a Christian perspective. I’m by no means a religious theorist or expert. But in my experience, it’s by no means only Christians who think that money is bad. I think that the cultural bias that has lead to this possibly comes from the Christian viewpoint on wealth and poverty, though even that is debatable (as Dave points out in the book).

      I think it goes much wider and is more of a social issue. The main reason that I write is because my background is working-class with limited knowledge of money and the world view that there is “the man” and there are the rest of us. I’ve had to overcome that view to see how the world really works.

      Interestingly, the Old Testament views the accumulation of wealth (not greed, but wealth) as one of the signs of wisdom. (The article above originally quoted Proverbs 21:20 but it was lost along the way in editing.) ;-).

  5. Nathan Richmond

    Nathan, great name by the way. While I don’t disagree with your statements, I do have a concern with using the IRS to prove the point. I think this may be misleading as I feel the wealthiest are more informed in the ways they can use their donations for tax benefits and thus are more likely to take full advantage of these charitable contributions. Many in the middle class and lower are not aware of the added tax benefits of claiming their contributions and therefore it goes unnoticed by the IRS. But ultimately I still agree with the basis of your statements.

    • Katie Rogers

      You’re right to question the IRS as acceptable data for this point. Most of the median income and below people do not have enough deductions to itemize anyway, so their tax returns give not information as to their level of charitable giving.

  6. Ryan Cameron

    Great post. I wasn’t taught anything about money growing up. My wife wasn’t taught either. We both found out early in adulthood that we knew nothing about money. The difference between us was I made it my mission to learn more about it and how to apply it to my life everyday. She decided to ignore it and treat it the way our parents did (Never talk about it).
    I still cannot have a general conversation with her about money without it being awkward. And I am by no means picking on her, 85% of the people I’m close with view money the same as my wife.

    • Brad Lohnes

      Hi, Ryan. Thanks for reading and for your comment. I know what it’s like to grow up without any understanding of how money works. I’m fortunate that my wife has been coming along with me on this journey. And yes, most of these articles are a bit controversial for my circle too – most people I know still don’t want to talk about it or view talking about it as the equivalent of being greedy. I try to get across the message that looking after your money is not the same as being greedy. Cheers.

  7. Jerome Kaidor

    Here’s my take: Money is Life. There is an exact equivalence. People trade part of their life for an amount of money. When I buy something at the store, I am paying for part of the life of the storekeeper – the time he spent stocking and selling me the item. Also, the time of the people who created the item, and the time of the people who made the parts of the item, and the time of the people who gathered the raw materials for the parts of the item. Money = Time = Life.

    • Brad Lohnes

      Haha. Thanks for your input, Jerome. Personally, I’d like to think that there’s more to life than money! 🙂 There are certainly some parallels which you’ve pointed out. But what happens if you create a product that can be sold an infinite number of times. Doesn’t that break the time=money bond? 🙂

  8. James Bradshaw

    Understanding percentages is very important to understanding money. Finance education MUST be something every child should master at a young age(by age 15 atleast). Interest rates on loans and the impact of your credit scores on the interest rates are KEY to your LIFE. Principal vs interest etc. Figuring out financial plan basics. Set every 18 year old up with the MINT program on their laptop and cell phone to track their financial well being. More specifics and less money sucking generalities.

  9. Jerome Hanson

    Very important read which fits right in there with “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” mentality. It is very difficult to shake the dogma society impresses upon us which states – “too much money is bad”. We all have to strive to make that $. Unfortunately that is how the world has been shaped so there’s no use crying about it… we’ve all gotta just try to use it to our advantage and move on.

  10. Pam Krull

    Great article, Brad! I grew up without any understanding of how money works and overcoming a ‘money is evil’ mindset was incredibly challenging for me. I wish I’d read this article years ago! You’re spot on! To others I would say, be careful not to equate a desire to be financially secure (responsible) with being a bad person, or someone who’s priorities are misaligned. It’s quite possibly just the opposite.

  11. Calvin Waddy

    Just finished “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, and my whole financial mindset has been changed…I’ve never seen money or people who have it as bad I just knew that they knew how to use it to their advantage better than most. Eye opening stuff, indeed. Great article, seems like since my mindset has changed things like this keep popping up in front of me. It lets me know I’m on the right path.

    • Brad Lohnes

      Hi, Calvin. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. Rich Dad, Poor Dad is absolutely a paradigm shift for many of us. It achieves that goal very well. I like to try to get a little more specific – provide some examples of the kinds of things money is good for. It’s not about “getting rich” for me, but about what money allows such as those things I pointed out in the article.

      It’s funny how stuff just seems to “pop up” when your eyes are opened to a particular way of thinking. 🙂

  12. Eric Christians

    Great article & thanks for taking the time to write it. I also appreciate a comment you made in one of your replies “the world view that there is “the man” and there are the rest of us.” People also love the term “They” as in “they are going to build a new liquor store on that corner.”
    There is no magical group called “they” ……just a person with an idea and some motivation.

    • Brad Lohnes

      Hi, Eric. Thanks for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. I agree. It can be difficult to overcome the mindset that the people that make things happen in the world are a separate, special group. They’re just normal people that made something happen! 🙂

  13. Adina Edwards

    Thank you for sharing your perspective of money. I did get some education about money, but most of it was too specific of practical use in adulthood. Since starting my REI journey, I’ve been retraining myself on how to think about money, but I think this article is one of the most succinct and thorough resources I’ve come across.

    I love the line “consider whether greed lies only in the accumulation of wealth or [if it] may also hide in comfortable underachievement.” For me, thinking about the same concept from completely different perspectives, just as this line has done, can really open my mind to new ways of thinking and possibly behaving. I appreciate the new space in which my mind can play!

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