It's Not About the Money

I have always had an interesting — if not unique — mentality when it comes to money. Rather than a thing to be desired, I have always considered money merely a means to an end. The physical thing is only worth possessing inasmuch as it allows me to do fun and enjoyable things with people I like. When I take my girlfriend out for dinner, I don’t see the twenty dollars I spend on a meal as the loss of that money; I see that twenty dollars as paying for a delightful evening spent with a girl I enjoy being with and really like. Or consider the days I take my siblings to the frozen yogurt shop down the street from my house. One of the last times I took them, my sister tried to pay. It was a nice gesture and good that she did, but it is not her responsibility, at twelve, to pay for her own food; I was there and fully capable of buying our yogurt, which I did. I exchanged somewhere in the ballpark of ten dollars for a delicious bowl of frozen yogurt with my sister. I did not lose that money; to me, it was an acceptable trade in which I certainly got the better part of the deal.

Now, I realize that this is a fanciful and impractical way to consider money, and this mantra is not, by any means, applicable in every circumstance. I could not justify an expensive trip with this mentality, for example, by saying that the experiences I will have while on it are worth the money if doing so would cause me to shirk my duties in some other area of my life; no, for major commitments, large expenditures, this is not necessarily the best mentality to have. That does not mean it is inapplicable though, at least in part, in more places than you might at first think.