Today, I discuss how to avoid obsessing over money.
Table of Contents
- What Is Money?
- How to Stop Obsessing Over Money
- Money Is Only A Tool and Nothing More
- Reading List
What Is Money?
“Money is the tool of men who have reached a high level of productivity and a long-range control over their lives. Money is not merely a tool of exchange: much more importantly, it is a tool of saving, which permits delayed consumption and buys time for future production. To fulfill this requirement, money has to be some material commodity which is imperishable, rare, homogeneous, easily stored, not subject to wide fluctuations of value, and always in demand among those you trade with.” – Ayn Rand
Money is a tool. Money helps us denote value and put a firm, numerical price on the goods and services humans trade. This pricing makes business much easier and simpler.
How to Stop Obsessing Over Money
Obsessing over cash means you pursue it at the expense of everything else. Instead of spending time with your family, you’re too busy “hustling.” Instead of going to the gym, you’re doing more overtime. Instead of investing in those who need help, you hoard your money.
When you stop obsessing over money, you free yourself to pursue value. Once you follow virtue, build a better community, and obtain a stronger body, suddenly, money becomes another tool in achieving your goals instead of the focal point of your life.
1) Remember what fiat currency is
“Anything you can settle with money is cheap.” – Erich Maria Remarque
In our materialistic, consumerist society, we worship cash. The best way to interrupt this worship is to reveal cash for what it is: fiat currency.
Fiat currency “is a government-issued currency that is not backed by a commodity such as gold.” In layman’s terms, the government can print as much money as it likes, significantly devaluing spending power. This overprinting is why bread used to cost a nickel a few decades ago but costs two or more dollars today.
So why would you want to invest much time and energy into something whose value drops every day? Instead of spending every waking moment accumulating more wealth, find your comfort threshold, reach it, then expand your horizon to abstract values such as virtue, community, and spirituality.
2) Use your money to buy sustainable things
For example, instead of buying another overpriced game system, why not take that cash and buy a course on creating a game? Now your cash points you towards involving yourself in an industry and learning a skill simultaneously. Now you’re no longer obsessed with consumerist garbage. Instead, you’re investing in yourself in a meaningful and sustainable way.
Another example is to spend more funds to buy better food. Higher quality food is more expensive but will improve your health and wellbeing. You’re investing in yourself, and such investment pays off with better health, longer sleep, and a sharper mind.
3) Focus on things money can’t buy
At the end of the day, not all things can or should have a price tag. Love, sex, life, and so on are not suited for money. Therefore, you should spend time developing the traits and things cash can’t buy.
Our culture is a consumerist one, which is why it is depressed, lost, and will be forgotten. We believe in earning a check at corporations we despise doing jobs we hate buying consumerist goods we know are a waste on ourselves and the environment.
If you want to reduce your obsession with money and the shame of it, you need to focus on what fiat currency cannot and should not buy. Focus on developing loving relationships or improving your mental wellbeing. Invest in yourself. Learn a new skill and help others. Do these things, and you’re less likely to obsess over fiat currency.
4) Set a clear budget
If you control your finances, then cash loses its bitterness. Creating a budget is the most crucial step to reducing your obsession with money. Once the allure is removed from fiat currency, all you are left with are the numbers you are responsible for managing.
For example, eating out is easy when you don’t have a clearly defined budget telling you “no.” However, once a budget is established, you can better plan the days you eat out, and these days come as a treat instead of another sign of laziness and convenience. For the other days you don’t eat out, you can cook meals with family.
To stop obsessing over cash, you have to measure your expectations of what finances can do for you. A budget is the best way to do this.
Money Is Only A Tool and Nothing More
I want to reiterate that money is a necessity. We cannot live in a society without money. Cash makes determining the value of various goods and services straightforward and quick. Additionally, cash gives power to individuals to decide what costs they are and are not willing to pay for certain things.
If you don’t obsess over fiat currency, you won’t have the same weaknesses as other men have. Seek to see money as a tool to make your life and others’ lives better. It is a tool and an extension of your virtuous self. Do not allow the love of finances to corrupt the great person you want to be.
- How to Create a Budget by Art of Manliness
- Learn to Budget Like Dave Ramsey
- Quotes and reflections on Money by Ayn Rand
- Create a budget. Firstly, look at your bank account and note where you have spent your finances in the last month. Tally what you bring in and what goes out. From there, make a list of what you cull over time. Can you unsubscribe from your eighth streaming service by the end of next month? Or, stop eating out by the end of the year? You should have a budget set within a week and should be executing cutbacks within a month.
- What do you think about money? Why? Who taught you the thoughts and opinions that you have?
- Do you hate the rich? Why? If you don’t like them, then reduce your consumption of their services. Stop buying the latest phone model, ordering everything online, and spending your time on social media. Focus locally and invest your money in businesses that serve your needs.
Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.
*Image credit to Unsplash.