Many people think that it’s virtuous to be poor. Holiness, in many religious traditions, is in part accomplished by turning away from material things. It is thought that to appreciate the spiritual, the material needs to be forsaken. Or get as close as possible. In pursuit of this goal, many have taken vows of poverty.
I don’t believe it’s that simple. Money is a tool and a way that we have of exchanging things. Money has no value on its own. It’s not good or bad. It’s what people do with money that is good or bad, so the problem is with the way money is used.
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Tim 6:10) is one of the most misquoted verses in the Bible. When we place our affection on money, we become vulnerable to troubles. It’s not bad to accumulate some wealth.
What does this have to do with achieving Financial Independence? Quite a bit.
First, to be financially independent, we have to be in control of our money instead of letting our money control us. Therefore, we need to be careful not to fall in love with money. If we do, we’ll let money have too much influence in our lives.
Also, if we believe that money is bad, we could be sabotaging our desire to build wealth. We’ll push it away from us and find it hard to do the things necessary to build a savings account or IRA. I’ve even heard people say that they have a way of repelling money or that they’re allergic to money. Our subconscious has a large impact on what we do and say, and sometimes it even ruins our own plans.
What do you think about money? Do you have a good relationship with it? Or is it time to reconsider what you believe?
Gary Foreman is the editor of The Dollar Stretcher.com a frugal living website devoted to helping people “live better…for less”. This post originally appeared in Financial Independence. FI is a daily email designed to help people take control of their financial lives. To find out more check out the Financial Independence page.