How I See Money Differently

Sam Dogen had another thought-provoking post over at Financial Samurai recently, this time looking at the very interesting difference between the way that Americans and Europeans in particular view money. I encourage you to read the entire thing: How Europeans See Money Differently From Americans. Most interesting out of this entire piece, though, and definitely the most impactful statement for me, was that of his conclusion: “Remember that money is only a means to an end. What is your end?"

I finished last semester’s final exam on a Monday, and Tuesday I began work full-time, 8-4, 40 hours a week. Since then, I have picked up two more part-time jobs, ensuring that I have little time for anything but work. And that has been great, don’t get me wrong: I have bills to pay, and a slippery road late one night last winter made sure one of those bills was quite large. However, it also means I have not had a great deal of time to do many of the things I wanted to do this summer, unfortunately. Much too late, I’m afraid, within the last week or two, I have started to really take my own words to heart in asking, “What is the point of having all this money if I don’t do anything with it and with the people I enjoy spending time with?" And so that’s part of the reason my girlfriend and I went on a helicopter ride last weekend: money is great to have, but it’s completely useless if you never use it. I want to use it to make memories, and to do things that will leave a lasting impression that no number of digits could ever hope to. Going forward, that’s my plan; that is my end.