What is money?
Money. Something most people will spend their entire lives working for and still not have enough of. In a generation of extortionate inflation, prices for simple commodities such as gas, electric and fuel have reached record highs while wages continue to stagnate.
Growing up how many times did you hear someone say to you:
“Money doesn’t grow on trees.”
“I’m not made of money.”
“Money doesn’t buy happiness.”
“Money makes the world go round.”
You’ve probably lost count right? Yeah me too.
But why is that? In order to find out why we have to look at the basic facts of money. To put it simply money is the most important commodity in our economic system because money is the most common point of exchange. We sell products and services for money, and then use the money we earn to buy the products and services of others for our own personal use. For those who don’t have anything to sell, they find a job and exchange their time to obtain money working for somebody else instead.
The harsh reality of poor wealth distribution
Unfortunately, money isn’t as simple as day and night. In reality it’s one of the most complicated subject matters in the world. One of the biggest issues with money is how poorly wealth is distributed, in the UK alone there are a reported 3,000 millionaires and 104 billionaires while 14.2 million people live in poverty and struggle to put food on the table.
It's a harsh reality that most people live pay-check to pay-check. Working 40 hour weeks and 160 hour months just to be able to heat up their house and have running water when they go home at night. The sad thing is these people are still considered the lucky ones because they have somewhere to sleep at night!
Another saying your hear a lot these days is:
“The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”
Another harsh yet true reality young people and adults living in the 21st century have to face. People used to work to save money to buy a car, or a house, or even pay for a dream holiday but in 2022 people now work just to survive and pay bills. The lucky ones might just have enough money to eat that month too.
The value of money
In reality money is just an object or a piece of paper that us humans have given value. If you gave money to a different species it would be worth nothing as it’s only valuable to those who give it value. Another good example of this is when you check your bank balance after you’ve been paid, all that’s happened is the number on the screen has gone up. Yet this makes us feel happy because we believe in the value of money.
A quote by Yuval Noah Harari summarises this well.
”Money is not coins and banknotes. Money is anything that people are willing to use in order to represent systematically the value of other things for the purpose of exchanging goods and services…Money was created many times in many places. Its development required no technological breakthroughs – it was a purely mental revolution. It involved the creation of a new inter-subjective reality that exists solely in people’s shared imagination.”
So, what does make the world go round?
Objectively, you can’t deny the role of money in today’s society. You need it to pay your bills, buy your food and put petrol in your car. Without money our lives would be incredibly difficult.
That being said, don’t forget the above statements about how money is only given meaning by us, it’s important to remember that there’s more to life than just wealth and money.
If the world ran out of food and people were starving to death would money still be the fix then? No, because if there’s no food to buy then the money we have becomes irrelevant regardless of how much we have.
So, to conclude if you spend your entire life chasing money and financial gain you’ll miss out on the other important aspects of life that make somebody truly rich…Love, health and our valuable time on this earth!
Money might make the world go round but without, love, health and happiness the world won’t go round for very long!
One last quote to leave you with:
“Money can buy you medicine but it can't buy you good health. Money can buy you a house but it can't buy you a happy home. Money can buy you a date for the night but it can't buy you true love.”