Money and the Part it Plays in Our Lives

by Emily on November 16, 2011

We all think about money all the time. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think about money. There is that old saying,” Money can’t buy you happiness”. While I partially agree with this statement on its face, I live by a different phrase,” Money can’t buy you happiness, but you can be unhappy in a lot of nice places.” Having your finances in order can bring so much into your life, and those things are what really create the happiness we all seek from our lives.

Money brings security to the relationships in your life. Being financially secure will ease your relationships with friends, parents, siblings and in your romantic relationships. If you are relying on your parents or other family members to help out with your finances, you may feel that you are a burden on them. This situation can lead to stress and tension regarding borrowing money. You may constantly worry that you are asking for too much, more than they have or when and how you are going to pay your family members back. Personally, I know that I worry the money I have borrowed from my parents. They have worked so hard, and deserve to enjoy the money they have worked for. I am striving to gain personal financial independence, create a plan to pay them back and to one day be able to treat them to all the things they deserve because they have done so much for me. Your financial independence will remove strain from your relationships with your family members. We have all heard the saying, “Money can’t buy you love”. Again, while on the face I do agree with the statement, I also believe in the statement, “Love is not enough”. What I mean by that is that love alone in your relationship is not enough to make it work. Financial stability will help your love life because you and your significant other will not be constantly arguing about money. Love alone will not put a roof over your head, pay for your wedding, or put food on the table. It is important to discuss finances with your significant other, especially if you are married or co habitating, because then you will both be aware of how you spend money and where you can either save money or allocate your spending to a different portion of your lives. You don’t want to find yourself in a Real Housewives of New Jersey situation, where you are unaware that you are about to be bankrupt or lose your home. Honestly with your finances in the relationship, will help the communication in your relationship and overall improve the quality of the partnership. Being fiscally smart will allow you and your significant other to enjoy each other and can focus your time and energy on positive things instead of worrying about money.

Money brings luxuries into our lives. The luxuries I am referring to are dining, travel, and leisure activities. Money allows us to get out of our homes and escape to a fantastic new restaurant, or to an exotic location we have been dreaming of, or go scuba diving. Money can bring so many new things and places into your life that you never knew you liked or wanted to travel to. Having your finances in order will allow you to budget, save and plan for the things in life that you love. You work hard and should treat yourself to your favorite things. Money can allow you to take that fantastic trip to Italy or that wine tour in Nappa you have been dreaming of. Even something as simple as going on a visit to see a family member, old college buddy who lives far from you, will now be something you can finally do. Those green dollars will send you to a restaurant you have been dying to enjoy, and then you discover a new love for risotto or lamb. Money will expand your culinary palate when you dine out as well as when you cook in your home. If you discover a fantastic new dish or even an ingredient you can include these into your home cooked meals. You may discover truffle oil or saffron or foie gras and then become a culinary master in your own kitchen. Money will allow you to buy your favorite wine or splurge on an expensive champagne bottle just because. Money can and will introduce you to new leisure activities. You can attend that play, opera, concert or ballet performance that you have been thinking about. You can learn new hobbies such as skiing, tennis, scuba diving, windsurfing, golf, or sailing. Activities that have been closed off to you due to expense will now be within your reach to try and pursue.

Money can educate you. It can help send you or a loved one to the college of your dreams. It can allow you to go back to school and pursue that advanced degree you have been thinking about. It can help you that advanced degree and allow you to concentrate on your program instead of worrying about how to pay for the next semester or your mortgage or rent. Money can even allow you to explore hobbies and passions of yours. You can learn a new language through Rosetta Stone or take classes at your local college or university. You can go to culinary school, pastry school or take some classes to enhance your culinary skills. You could pursue your passion for makeup, hair, massage therapy, yoga, spin and maybe even make a career change that will fulfill your life. Maybe even something as wild as becoming a skydiving instructor will now be an attainable goal and not just a daydream.

Money will let you not only enjoy expensive leisure hobbies, but also the less expensive ones. You can fill your nights at the movies and your days at museums. You can afford books you love, maybe even purchase an E-reader. You can expand your musical tastes and your artistic taste. Money can even bring you a new member of your family- a pet. Let’s face it, pets are expensive, we all love our pets, but what we don’t love are all the costs that come with them. Between vet bills, food, shelter and toys for your pet you incur expenses each month. As an animal lover, I love pets and believe that pets bring happiness into our lives. I dream of the day where I can afford to have 4 dogs and a pig roaming around in my home. Along the lines of the theme of this article, the money doesn’t necessarily bring you the happiness, it’s the things you can do with the money. Bringing a pet into your home, something that unconditionally loves you will undoubtedly bring you happiness.

Money puts a roof over your head, a constant source of shelter. Your financial security will allow you to work towards affording your dream home or apartment. Maybe even allow you to purchase a second property as a vacation home or as an investment. Not worrying about how you are going to pay your mortgage or rent will distress your mind and allow you to focus on other aspects of your life. Financial stability will enable you to allow your current home to grow. You can add that addition, put in your dream kitchen, finish your basement. All of these things will only increase the value of your home and your overall net worth. You will also be able to redecorate your home by purchasing additional furniture or painting the walls. Money will also allow you to purchase homeowners insurance, flood insurance and the like so you can ease your mind about possible disasters.

Money will help improve your health. When you are financially secure, you will be able to afford health insurance that more than adequately covers your health needs. The case may be that your employer provides you with health insurance but no dental or vision, now you can get those new glasses or teeth cleaning you have needed for a while. Along with maintaining your health through prescriptions and regular checkups, is your insurance can help you avoid medical debts. Healthcare is so expensive and you never truly think of the costs until you are in a bind. My mother tore her Achilles tendon several years ago and although she has health insurance if she did not the cost would have been over $50,000.00 for the surgery. This cost does not even include the physically therapy involved with this type of injury and many other injuries. Your insurance may always cover all your costs, but at least it reduces your costs and can help to avoid financial ruin with medical debt that was created in a single accident. You can also improve your mental health with money by attending therapy sessions or maybe even acupuncture. Money also helps you work on improving your health so you do not have high medical bills in the future. You can get that gym membership, go to yoga classes, spin classes, go to cross fit or a workout boot camp. Participating in any of these activities could help you meet new friends, maybe even a love interest all of which brings joy into your life. If the gym isn’t your thing, you could even purchase your own exercise equipment for your home gym or work out DVDs. As Elle Woods in Legally Blonde said, ”Exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy and happy people just don’t kill their husbands.” All joking and movie quotes aside, feeling healthy and looking good will only lead to you being a happier person.

While you may be in a financial rut or mess now, by striving to improve your finances, you will improve yourself. Following our tips at can help you learn to budget, save and overall turn your finances into a less stressful aspect of your life. Your financial freedom, stability and independence will bring additional happiness into your life. We all want to be happy, and having a little more of that green stuff in our lives will allow us to do so. When you look towards your financial future, look at all the freedoms and things it will allow you to do and have and work to attain those goals. We aren’t just talking about material items but also happiness that comes from a less stressful life and peace of mind when it comes to your personal finances. By working on your personal financial goals, you are truly working on balancing and bringing joy to your entire life.

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