The Value of Money – A Perspective on Freedom 2

Maybe because it’s “tax season” or maybe I’ve been thinking about the future but the topic of finance and financial freedom has been circling in my mind.

I wrote about the cost of money and how we use the money to gain freedom.

The freedom to chose what we want and not have them chosen randomly because we don’t know what we want from ourselves. It states by changing our mentality around money.

I think about the real value of money in our lives and how when used as a tool, money is freedom to pursue our goals.

The concept of money

The core concept of money is to have an agreed, shared method of trading. We trade our money for items we think we need or want and we trade our time and talent for money.

At its core, the value of money represents a conceptual value for ideas, services, and goods we can use to improve our lives. But that’s the difficult part, how do we know what will improve our lives?

Will a new smartphone improve my life? Will getting take out a few days a week do it? Going to stores and buying things because it feels good to buy stuff but never really use it?

It doesn’t and we know it doesn’t and we still do it anyway.

A tool for investing in yourself

This is something I wish I knew when I was younger: treat yourself as the CEO of “your name” INC. Be the CEO of your life and use money as a tool to invest in yourself.

This sounds simple enough but after a life of treating money as a goal, we should re-learn how we treat money. I think money isn’t the goal but a tool for us to achieve our goals.

To have goals we need to have a personal vision as a roadmap or guide. This ends up being a series of experiments for us to see what we want out of our lives. Yet, when thinking about money and investing in ourselves we should ask:

  • How are we spending our time and money?
  • Does this spending help me?

We know things have to change if we find that spending money on fast food or expensive cars isn’t helping us have the life we want.

If we really think about how we treat money and spend it, we would be shocked to see how little we often gain by losing something we work hard to collect.

Redefine success

I didn’t grow up with money. This shaped my perspective of money as a form of success. I grew up thinking that if I had money things would be better, easier, and I would be happy.

In that perspective, collecting money was the goal not what I could do with it.

It took a long time and a lot of trial and error for me to figure out that success wasn’t collecting material possessions.

Success for me is a personal satisfaction with having my life be as I want it to be, on as many terms as I can.  Not based on what others do or do not have.

So the value of money is not in collecting it but using it. Money and time should be treated as valuable resources. We can use them to shape our lives and using it as a tool for a known purpose will give them more meaning than empty spending.

Explore and find what works for you

When we have the opportunities, we should start Investing in ourselves.

This means exploring what we want our lives to be about and how we want our lives to look. This is a very hard task.

It requires an honest assessment of ourselves and sometimes we find things we don’t like. This is an opportunity to find what we’re about. If we don’t, then we’ll be stuck in this loop of buying $1000 phones every 2 years.

We will work hard jobs with long hours and waste our time and money on things we don’t want or need or know why we are really buying them.

We will no longer be the consumer, buying things with a purpose but the product for companies to use. It might be a little dramatic but if we don’t look out for ourselves, who else will?

We get concerned when we find what’s right for us may not be the same as what everyone else does. I used to compare myself to others to see my value but it never made me happy.

The result would be spending money on things I didn’t really need and wasn’t investing in myself. It’s a hard trait to change but it is possible.

It is also a step on the path to financial freedom when we look at the real value of the things we think we want and need to be compared to how much money we have and the amount of time it took to get that money.

I think we probably would spend less on unnecessary things when we start thinking about the real value of that object compared to the value of money.

Final thoughts

The value of money comes not from what it is but what it can do for us when we have a clear understanding of what we want from our lives. This is hard to do and takes time. Yet, getting a general direction for what we want from our lives gives us a valuable roadmap on how to invest in ourselves.

When used as a tool, money is freedom to chase our goals and invest in ourselves, to make our lives and the lives of those around us better. So please take a moment to think about how you value money and what you’re doing with it to invest in yourself.

P.S.

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