There’s a great quote by Zig Ziglar, “Money won’t make you happy, but everyone wants to find out for themselves.”
And, of course, the Beatles sang “Can’t Buy Me Love” (“Everybody tells me so…”)
I really like this quote from the article titled Can Money Buy Me Love? on Psychology Today, “Money might not be as important to love itself, but love is hardly disconnected from reality. It is grounded in an actual framework of life, and the flourishing of this framework can depend upon having more money.”
As I prepare two different presentations about money, I find a common theme in that we all want to have “enough” or “more” money, but unless and until we define “enough,” “more” will continue to be a Sisyphus-like process, an elusive goal that can never be achieved, leading to discouragement. This is no way to find money peace.
But WHY do we want MORE money? Our daughter and I were watching “The Andy Griffith Show,” the episode when a guy comes to town with (supposedly) a map of some buried treasure nearby. He needs investors to purchase the digging equipment, each investor will receive a share of the treasure. Andy’s relatives and friends want “in on the action” and start to fantasize about what they’ll do with the money. The barber, Floyd, wants to have a 5 chair shop; not to hire four other barbers, but to say that he owns a five chair shop. That’s what money can do to us: Make us want to show off. Needless to say the whole thing was a scam. I believe it ended with meatloaf and pie, though, so that’s good.
Few of us are exempt from this kind of temptation. My husband and I hosted a party a month ago. I became obsessed with getting food and drink and making the house and yard look nice. Now, I’d like to think my intentions were completely pure (I wanted my guests to enjoy themselves) but, to be honest, part of me wanted to display a measure of success. Why? I don’t know. My family and friends love me for who I am, not for what I have or don’t have. I heard a great quote on Facebook (I wish I knew who to give credit to) that went something like, “A true friend is someone you welcome to your house even when it’s a mess.” Truth. And I’ve been to friends’ messy houses and feel honored that they love and trust me with their mess. (I suppose it’s not unlike people trusting me with their financial messes.)
But we, as humans and social creatures, very much desire the admiration of others. A new article of clothing or car garners us attention – which feels a lot like admiration – but true respect and admiration comes from being loving, generous and respectful. I once heard an interview with Madonna when she said something that has always stuck with me, “Fame gives you the illusion of love.” I guess she’d know.
I came across this blog post Can Money Really Buy Happiness? which is a completely different take on wanting money and I have to say I really like it, especially this part, “I’ve seen people file fake insurance claims because they needed money. We’ve all read and seen stories unfold in the news tabloids of how people kill people for their insurance money. Is it really all that important? I think you’d have to ask the person who has none.”
If you’re curious as to why we spend money, here’s a good quick article on The Top 10 Reasons People Overspend, it’s not always to keep up with the Joneses, although, if that is your particular challenge, you might want to read Ditch The Jonses, Discover Your Family by Cathi Brese Doebler.
Money may be the husk of many things but not the kernel. It brings you food, but not appetite; medicine, but not health; acquaintance, but not friends; servants, but not loyalty; days of joy, but not peace or happiness. ~ Henrik Ibsen