Money is Everything: The Harsh Truth About How Wealth Controls Our Lives

Everything is about money. 

Money is everything. 

The food you eat, the clothes you wear, the house you live in, everything in your life – revolves around money. 

While money controls every aspect of our lives, we tell ourselves comforting lies about how money doesn’t buy happiness and money isn’t everything. 

Those are fairy tales. 

The harsh truth is everything is about money.

Everything is About Money

Everything, from self-care to hobbies, parenting to food, wellness to productivity, entertainment to politics, is about money. 

It informs every single one of our choices, both on an individualistic and national scale.

An individual uses their financial situation to make everyday decisions, such as what to have for breakfast, and long-term decisions, such as putting money away for retirement.

Nations must decide which social programs to implement based on tax revenue and expenditures. 

Every decision we make relates to money in one way or another. 

Money is Everything for Individuals

As much as we like to say money isn’t everything, the harsh truth is it is. 

Money allows us to achieve anything. It gives us freedom, opportunity, and options.

But it also allows us to meet our basic needs for survival. 

Life is Expensive

In today’s society, it costs money to simply exist. The cost of living is constantly rising, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for families to keep up. 

We need food and water, a place to live, and utilities to keep us warm, cool, or connected. These things aren’t free. 

We also need to pursue our interests, which is an opportunity that money provides. Doing what you love is nearly impossible when you constantly worry about making enough money to survive.

At its core, money is one of the most essential things in our lives.

Money Lets You Thrive

We must earn money to survive, and it takes even more money to thrive. 

Although some think of luxury cruises, fine dining, and a life of riches when they imagine the life money can buy, the truth is money buys every life. 

Money allows us to have homes, to enjoy a night out every once in a while, to eat healthy foods, and to read books. It gives us access to world-class education and the opportunity to experience different foods and cultures through travel. 

Even simple pleasures cost money, like playing video games, gardening, or enjoying a hobby. 

Those with money can buy the things they need for a well-rounded life, while those without it struggle to survive. 

Money helps us with nearly every facet of our lives, including:

  • Self Care
  • Personal Development
  • Wellness
  • Creativity

Self Care

Self-care allows us to relax and recharge, but we’re often so busy working to make money we don’t have time for it.

Even when we do find time, we sometimes learn it’s too expensive. Spa treatments, bath bombs, special treats, comfy robes, and many other rituals we associate with self-care cost money.  

Personal Development

Money allows us to buy books and take classes designed to help us learn and grow. It pays for our hobby supplies and lets us dabble in life’s broad range of experiences. 

Those without money often can’t afford to pay for self-development. The budget has no room for books, online courses, or college degrees. 

Having money is a gateway to self-actualization, one that far too many of us can’t even afford to open. 

Wellness

Money lets us take better care of our bodies and our minds.

People without financial resources buy junk food because it’s quick, easy, and affordable. It may fill their bellies, but it lacks nutritional value and leads to health problems. 

When you have money, you can afford a balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables. You can also afford gym memberships, wellness retreats, doctor’s visits, and all the other necessities for a healthy life. 

Creativity

Creating art costs money. 

Geniuses are walking among us who don’t have time to write, paint, draw, or perform. 

Art supplies cost money, and art doesn’t always pay. These would-be masters must spend time making money rather than refining their skills. 

How many great novels, impressive paintings, or inspirational movies don’t exist because the artists who would have created them spend their days toiling away to afford life?

Time is Money

The activities listed above that are essential to a happy life take more than money – they also take time. 

But time is money

After laboring all day, there’s often no time left to pursue self-development. 

Even if they had the money for an online course, they wouldn’t have the free time to take one. They also have no time for spa days, painting, writing a book, or cooking a healthy meal from scratch. 

People must sell their time to make the money they need to survive. They have no time left to engage in activities that help them thrive. 

Money Lets us Live Our Dream Lives

Millions of people are stuck in a life they wouldn’t have chosen because they can’t afford to do what they were meant to do. 

Far too many dream jobs don’t pay enough to survive. Some folks may want to entertain others by streaming video games. Others would travel the world in an RV or homestead and grow vegetables for a community. Millions would love to stay at home and raise their kids. 

These folks can’t follow their dreams because society doesn’t value their passions. They’d end up destitute if they tried to pursue those dreams. 

So, instead, they trade their limited time on this planet for the money they need to survive. 

Money, or lack thereof, affects every aspect of people’s lives. It opens up worlds of opportunities for the haves and restricts access to the have-nots. 

Society’s obsession with money hinders everyone’s ability to choose their own path in life. 

Money is Political

Money impacts far more than your personal life. Our values and attitudes about money also affect people at the societal level. 

Governments decide whether to spend their budgets on wellness for the populace or war-mongering to enrich the wealthy. They can give tax cuts to businesses or provide childcare and healthcare to families. 

For instance, the United States’ economic system supports poverty and middle-class traps. It promotes work above all else, not even allowing many low-wage workers the privilege of taking a sick day while making it prohibitively expensive to raise a family. 

Even policies that don’t seem to be about money at first glance (national security, immigration, the justice system) are about money if you dig deep enough. We only need to look at the Affluenza Teen to see how rich folks receive special treatment in the criminal justice system. 

When Financial Influencers Avoid Politics

Many finance writers shy away from political topics. They think money is money regardless of political values. The tools for making and saving money apply to everyone. Investments and taxes don’t care whether you identify as red or blue.

Unfortunately, that attitude only works on a micro-scale. And even then, it’s not entirely true. Tax policy, business expansion, capital gains, bank policy, job availability – all of these things are affected by politics. 

People who say personal finance isn’t political are sticking their heads in the sand. 

Denying the connection only perpetuates an unjust system. 

If Everything Is About Money, is Money the Answer to Everything?

Everything is about money, but money isn’t everything. It’s like how all squares are rectangles, but all rectangles aren’t squares.

Although everything is about money, money isn’t everything. 

Money cannot buy happiness, love, commitment, self-respect, self-esteem, or personality. 

But guess what? It sure helps!

“Whoever said money can’t buy happiness has never been poor.”

Could you be happy living in poverty, not knowing when you might be able to eat again? Would you feel good about yourself if you were homeless? Is it possible to be in a healthy, loving relationship when money struggles are constantly present, trying to drive a wedge between you? 

Perhaps you could, but money makes it all a lot easier. 

Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy you freedom, security, and the lifestyle of your dreams. When you have those things, you can create your own happiness.

It doesn’t buy commitment but can allow you to commit to something you’re passionate about. It can also give you time to nurture your relationships, which may lead to healthier attachments and greater commitment. 

Money can’t buy love, but it can purchase financial security and take away a significant stressor in most marriages. 

Access to money isn’t the key to a happy life, but lack of money limits opportunity. 

Money is Everything – So What Should We Do?

Money is crucial in today’s society, so you must take action to ensure financial security, not only for ourselves but for society as a whole. 

Action at the Individual Level

Individuals should do everything in their power to protect their financial interests. Cultivate good money habits, like spending less than you earn, saving for retirement, budgeting, and avoiding debt. Pay off debt and grow your nest egg

If you can’t afford life, find ways to increase your income through education, promotions, or side hustles. 

Understanding how money works and affects your daily life is crucial to living the life you deserve. 

Action in Society

Money controls every aspect of society, but it doesn’t have to. It works this way because people made it work this way, and people can change it. 

Engage in political action, voting for politicians, parties, and policies that align with your financial values. Join boards and volunteer to help campaigns you believe in. 

Vote with your wallet, boycotting companies that donate to political parties pushing the status quo. Refuse to do business with companies that promote money above all else, even if it means spending more to support a competitor with different values. 

Be the change you want to see. Speak out against practices that promote the worship of money and share ideas on better ways to do things. 

Society won’t change overnight, but if enough people decide they no longer want money to control every aspect of their lives, society will adapt. We can find ways to value people over profit if there’s enough will. 

Money is Everything, But It Doesn’t Have To Be

Our society runs on money, but it doesn’t have to. 

How will you work to change it?

3 thoughts on “Money is Everything: The Harsh Truth About How Wealth Controls Our Lives”

  1. It’s kind of funny, we’ve got more money than we’ll ever spend, we haven’t had to work for years. I watch our net worth drop by nearly half a million dollars and feel zero pain. I watch it go back up and feel no elation. We still buy store brands and drive old cars. Still live in our first and only house. Life is awesome, we only do what we choose to do and we have a lot of fun. But money stopped mattering after we realized we have more than enough.

    • It seems like everything is about money until you have enough money for it not to matter. But still, it’s about money because it only doesn’t matter because you have that cushion.

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