There’s no nobility in poverty.
No romance in being broke.
No joy in struggle.
I really really really like being able to afford to:
- Heat my home
- Visit the dentist
- Eat dinner out
- Wear real leather
- Buy 3-ply TP
- Donate to charity
Call me mercenary, but in my life, money has directly correlated to quality of life and happiness without exception.
Literally every area of my life has improved thanks to money. Not saying I’m on a never-ending chase for more above everything else (especially since I hit the so-called ideal salary for happiness) but earning more is certainly a goal. As long as I can grow my income while maintaining enjoyment in what I do, why wouldn’t I?
Fewer dollars = fewer options. Life has only gotten easier as my income increased.
I eat better. I am healthier (because I live in a house that isn’t damp and cold). I have a reliable vehicle. Pets. I’m a hell of a lot less stressed and feel less vulnerable to the bottom falling out of my life.
When you’re going through a period of life that’s defined by scarcity, it’s incredibly stressful. You’re panicked and constantly worried, living on the edge. You make poorer decisions because you’re just not in the best frame of mind and/or have fewer choices available to you. You simply don’t think about the long term future because you have to focus on getting through today, tomorrow and maybe next week. How can you possibly think about retirement when you lack decent housing today?
Whatever the reasons for money being tight (and they can be oh-so-complex – acute, chronic, unfortunate, deliberate) the outcome is the same. And in the moment, that’s all that matters.
Money stress has a way of keeping you up at night, not to mention tainting your waking hours with its sneaky way of spilling into every moment.
The first day in 2016 that I felt truly free from financial stress – for the first time in, oh, just about a full year – was amazing. There are no words for the lightness that brings.
I’ve spent far too much time in misery for lack of money. On the other hand, I’ve never been miserable with money.
I cannot relate to the ‘broke but happy’ brigade. YMMV.
I’ve lived through times where I’ve had enough, and times without enough – and I’d take the money every single time.
Yuuuuuup. Whenever I meet a “broke but happy” person who touts how little money matters to them I wonder if they’ve ever been really poor.
Those people (the ones I’ve encountered) are without exception: 1) Financially secure and thus come off incredibly patronising (as you say above… you have to wonder). Or 2) Have no money and know they never will and are generally trying to convince themselves / make themselves feel better.
Yes – this for sure. I was thinking the same thing or always wonder what they aren’t sharing in their “broke but happy” story.
Yes, yes, and yes. It’s always really strange to me when people promote deprivation for deprivation’s sake. I always wonder at the context behind and the impetus for statements like that. Recently, there’s been a “poverty” exhibit that travels around and lets people experience what it’s like to live for less. What the what. I have a blog post half-written on the subject, but I can’t quite turn the corner from blood-boiling to coherent.
That is all.
Being worried about money has a huge effect on one’s psyche. It really impacts everything in one’s life, and in my experience, the long-term effects of that are pretty strong … even when I’ve been earning quite decently, I’ve never quite rid myself of the scarcity/stress mindset of leaner times.
In other words, I agree with you 100%!
Congrats on getting to that point of financial lightness (FL – maybe that can be a new thing). I agree with you, there is no benefit to being broke – in every sense it’s better to have money. As money is an exchange for other ‘things’, there are things that aren’t over the top. Just some simple luxuries that you enjoy – isn’t that the point of being frugal in other areas?
Money, money, money – it makes the world go round. You’re entirely correct.
Yes, yes, yessss. There is no romance in being broke. I was poor growing up and it’s only been in recent years where I’ve felt financially stable, though I’m still not exactly in the place I wish I was. I still worry and fret about money and it really, really sucks.
GREAT post! Very well put. Great to hear the weight of your stress has been lifted!
I loved this. It’s still taboo to say that money is important but it’s clearly true. I’m so happy that you’ve got a warm dry home now after years of living in terrible rentals.
I am 100% comfortable saying that I want to have as much money as possible. I want to help myself and other people. I can’t do that broke.