Why is money so important?

I frequently have conversations with people about money. It’s the defining function of my job. Some people have a lot of money that they want to live off of. Others have just a little and want to grow it into something big. I talk through different ways to save, spend, preserve, find, and make money.

Why?

Why is money so important? Have you ever really thought about this? What percentage of our weekly time is spent in the quest to earn money? How much anxiety is connected to money? Why do relationships get tense when money comes up?

Answering “why” is the single most important part of financial decision making. How you answer this will determine what you truly value.

Very rarely do we value money for the sake of money. It’s usually important because it represents one or more of these:

  • Flexibility
  • Control
  • Time
  • Comfort
  • Experiences
  • Freedom
  • Impact

Here are three benefits from asking yourself this question and reflecting on it for a while:

  1. Knowing “why” money is important to you provides a framework for decision making.
    The clearer you understand your own values, the clearer the sign-posts for decision making will be. You’ll see shortcuts that weren’t obvious before.
  2. Your “why” will give clarity to deeper questions.
    The answers above warrant further investigation that give insights into your unique identity. Why do you crave flexibility? It might be because you feel it’s important to be with your kids when they need you most. This expresses much about who you are at your core.
  3. Understanding your values will remind you to focus on what’s most important.
    Using the kids example above, you may not actually need more money to spend more time with your kids. In fact, the pursuit of more money to get more flexibility to spend more time with your kids may actually be taking away from time with your kids.

Answering big questions can be scary, but the reward at the end is worth it. So take some time, get alone, and think through the “why.” What you find may surprise you.

Pursuit of money

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