Money, Money, Money – It’s What We Want?
Over 27 years of publishing, one of GreenMoney’s main goals has been to bring our readers more clarity about their relationship with money as it informs so much of how we approach our daily lives on a variety of levels.
It’s those “levels” that we want to examine here. Assessing our relationships with money requires honest self-examination on a variety of money-related topics.
Of course, many of us want lots more money, even while harboring negative attitudes about the people who have it. We tell ourselves that if blessed with a jackpot, we would doubtlessly do better things with it. Both saints and sinners among us feel entitled to money. We’re just waiting to prove it when our ship comes in.
Then there are the “P” words – Politics and Power – and the season of election we are in. “Give us your Money!!” our mailboxes scream – though personally I have a hard time donating money to candidates with more capital than I have. But still, I give, because my financial support for any candidate, or lack thereof, speaks volumes about who I am and what I believe.
Do you race against others for money? Do you hoard it, as if there were never enough – and by the way, what is your definition of enough?
Do you squirrel it away, save it, or invest it? Do you have a rainy-day fund or a budget? I often ask myself how much do I spend today and how much do I save for tomorrow? Oh financial security, — ever elusive!
Another question circles the money conversation – How much shall we give away, and to whom? How much can we give away? Do we “give freely to anyone who asks,” (Matthew 10:8) or only to those we deem worthy of sharing in our assets? Do we tithe, in or out of church, and does our giving nudge the world in positive directions?
Does money equal respect? We often assume that wealthy individuals are either lucky or smart or hardworking, but does respect necessarily follow? It’s hard to hold envy and respect in the same hand.
Our net worth and our personal worth get confused at times. It is value versus values. In Mark 8:36, Jesus asks a crowd “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”
What are your financial priorities? If you’ve made some money mistakes, your priority might be getting your financial house in order. (The teachings of Buddha suggest that an organized budget will alleviate suffering.) If you’re just scraping by, the term “living wage” may hold little meaning. What can your money portion buy you? House or apartment? Tesla, or bus ride? Happy Meals or Whole Foods? We may live in the same cities, and walk the same sidewalks, but our money experiences and money attitudes will vastly differ.
This September 2019 issue of GreenMoney continues the exploration into our complex relationships and history with money. Please send us your ideas and feedback to – firstname.lastname@example.org
And finally, this is the second in GreenMoney’s ongoing series on “Our Money Stories.” Check out the previous issue, where I wrote my own ‘Money Story’ about growing up in a beautiful home in sunny Malibu, to living down in a mobile home in rainy Washington state in less than ten years. Find this and other stories here.
Feel free to share your story in the comment section below.
I would like to thank Ted and Diane Ketcham for their insightful assistance with this article.
Article by Cliff Feigenbaum, founder and publisher of the GreenMoney Journal and GreenMoney.com now it’s 27th year of publishing award-winning content on Sustainable Investing and Business. Read more about Cliff and his 27-year journey covering the SRI industry.