After writing for at least 4 years on financial issues of all kinds, including mortgages, college loans, and bankruptcy, I figure people sometimes are tired of reading about how to “manage” your money, how to save money, or how to deal with mortgages or college loans. I also figure that people would be very tired of reading about bankruptcy topics. The idea is to keep people awake, and interested, not to put them to sleep!
Today’s topic is: Do you love or hate money? For most people, I think their gut reaction is that they love money! Of course, when you have money, you love it! We love the things we can do with money. We might think that if we only had more of it, we’d be totally happy! Money buys necessities like food, housing, clothes, safety and security. It can also buy luxuries, like travel, fancy food, larger houses, and fancy things. For many people, just buying the necessities can be difficult. Do they love money too? We also love money because of the image it projects to others. We’d love to drive down the street in a shiny new sports car, just because of the feeling you get. That’s when you feel like “a million bucks”! It makes us feel superior to our friends or neighbors to show off that fancy new car, doesn’t it? We love money because we feel happy when we can buy things. We’d love to go to the department store and not have to worry about the prices, and just get whatever we want.
So why then, do we hate money too? We hate money, because we will always feel we don’t’ have enough of it. We will never have as much as our neighbors. Even if you feel like you are secure, and able to pay your mortgage or rent, and groceries each month, there is always someone who will have more money. And, in today’s era of social media, you’ll be sure to see that plastered all over Facebook for the world to see. You’ll see their fancy trips, outings to expensive sporting events, or fancy things. And, of course, your friends and neighbors will always seem to be happier than you. That’s because they don’t post anything about the long drive or traffic hassles, or the kid that threw up in their lap! We also hate money because, if we are struggling just to “get by” and pay for the basics, money is a big source of stress. I’m not quoting any real study, but based on the sampling from the clients I see, money is also a huge factor in marriage problems and divorces.
We definitely have a love/hate relationship with money. And, for good reason. But, it’s important to keep your money situation in perspective: If you are living in the United States of America now, and have a safe place to sleep every night, sheltered from the harsh elements, and have enough food to eat, you are better off than much of the rest of the world. It may not feel like we have so much all of the time, but we all should count our blessings for what we do have.
Daniel J. Winter
Offices in Chicago, Gurnee, Oak Lawn, and Skokie, Illinois