Would you ever consider taking a pay cut in your day job if it meant more balance in your life, more time to do the things you enjoy, less stress, or more happiness in general? Would you ever consider leaving your day job altogether? Or would you always rather just keep grinding at your current day job, suck it up and save for the future? What if money didn’t matter? What route would you take? In this post, I want to explore the question, does money really matter?
Questioning the Default
In the book, Originals, the author Adam Grant advocates for individuals to question the default when going through life. Why is it that we peel bananas from the top? What if you peeled bananas from the bottom? Why are my habits the way they are? What if I changed some of my habits to live a better life?
As a personal finance blogger, I care a lot about money. I love seeing my savings rise every month, I love talking with other people about money and I’m always looking for new ways to build wealth. To question the default, what if money didn’t matter? What if I didn’t care about money at all? Would my daily habits change? Would I spend more, or would I save more?
If Money Didn’t Matter
If money didn’t matter, I would do a number of things differently. First, I’d explore taking more risk in terms of leverage and investment allocation. I’d start to treat making money more like a game, rather than a restriction on my lifestyle. Look at how many businesses are run these days: get into debt, try to extract as much profit out of as many units as possible, hope to not fail, rinse and repeat.
Could I amass $1,000,000 in the next 3 years by using leverage and taking extreme risk? Possibly. Could I lose everything by not being careful? That’s also possible. I try to map out all possibilities and scenarios, and even if money didn’t matter, my target would be somewhere in the middle, at the appropriate risk/return level.
If money didn’t matter, I’d spend more money on education and look to continue to gain more experiences. I’d spend more time with the people who matter to me, and help others with their goals. Being a mentor and seeing people make connections is something I love. I wouldn’t worry about needing to hit a promotion, get a bigger bonus at work, or even work those extra 2-3 hours a week.
My mindset toward finances wouldn’t change drastically, but instead of putting my money into the bank, I’d be putting it to work – to improve myself and my current situation. I’m looking to build a future of abundance for my future family members, and by using my knowledge and abilities, I’ll be able to do so.
As you can see, the importance of money can dictate a lot of choices in life as we know it. But I don’t want to let the importance of money be the reason why I don’t accomplish all those things listed above. So what’s the solution? Live like money doesn’t matter? Continue living the same was because money does actually matter? Where is the balance?
Would Treating Money as if it Didn’t Matter Be Reckless Behavior or the Right Behavior?
To anyone reading this post, the world is our oyster. There is so much opportunity in our world right now and we are just starting to see the effects of globalization. I have a virtual assistant in Africa that I’m paying $40 a week to help perform different graphic design tasks for my business. $40 a week puts him in the top 25% of earners in his country. Can you imagine the impact I’m making on him just by giving him work? $160 a month is scraps compared to what many people make in the U.S.A. and yet I get messages like, “Thank you Erik for payment. I’m very grateful and I appreciate.” I love doing things like this because I’m actually affecting other’s lives.
If money didn’t matter, why wouldn’t I go with friends to Vegas on a whim? Why not go travel the globe for a few years? What’s the risk in taking out a personal loan to increase my investments? I’m throwing around a lot of questions and thoughts in my head, and trying to be remarkable. I’m excited to see what the future holds.
Appointment at 9 am, meeting at 10:30 am, lunch plans with a friend at 12 pm, another meeting at 2 pm, hit the gym around 6 pm, and work for a few hours until bed. Life escapes the busy worker.
Mediation and visualization are two helpful ways to find peace with yourself and situation. I’m seeking peace and by writing and visualizing, I’ve become accepting of my situation and am excited for the next steps in my life.
Every day is a new day – a day to learn, a day to experience the wealth of the earth, a day to help other people. Saving at least 20% of your income a month will set you up for financial success. Become debt-free and build an emergency fund of 3-6 months of expenses and you’ll be on your way. At a certain point, money won’t matter. At the end of the day, our relationships, how we interact with others, and our experiences will be the only things that matter.
Does Money Really Matter?
After a certain point, money doesn’t really matter. If you have the income in place for your lifestyle, and have goals to increase your income and savings in other ways, money shouldn’t matter. Until you are debt free and have an emergency fund, money matters. Financial freedom is just that: freedom from finances – money doesn’t matter anymore, and now you can enjoy each day the way you want to enjoy it. I can’t wait to get there.
Readers: do you care too much about money? What would life look like if money didn’t matter? How much would you have to have in the bank for money not to matter?