Money is the fuel, YOU are the engine
What if you could have all the money in the world? Would you be happier? Not necessarily, I agree with you. But what if you are not making a dime? Can you be happy? I don’t think so. This is why I’m saying that making money is important. It’s actually one of the most important things in life. Bear with me through this post and you’ll understand…
I see too many people working hard all their lives with their dreams hanging in front of them. It’s like they are running on a treadmill with a carrot dangling at the end of a stick: they will never get it. You can’t just spend all your life saving money for the day you will retire and to finally enjoy life the way it should be.
For most hobbies, most passions, money is the first requirement. How can you travel without money? How can watch a sport or play sports for that matter, without money? How can you start a collection of coins, stamps or Star Wars’ bobbleheads without money? If you have a passion or a hobby, you need money to live it.
You can’t simply hope that you will achieve your dreams at retirement. What if you die before then? What if you are not healthy? What if you run into bad luck financially, so you still don’t have enough money to achieve your dreams at retirement? Wouldn’t this be the worst story of all?
This is why it is so important to make money: because you can achieve your dreams while you can still appreciate them!
I’m sure you have heard someone tell you that he “is better poor and healthy than sick and wealthy”. The problem with this expression is that most poor people have a higher chance of being sick and most rich people have better chance of being healthy. Therefore, I’d rather be healthy and wealthy than poor and sick!
Think about it:
- You need money to eat fresh and healthy food (trust me, filling my cart at the supermarket full of chips and chocolate is much cheaper than buying fruits, vegetables and fish!)
- You need money to workout (home gym or membership, you still need money to workout)
- You need money to have time (if you take the bus to work 50 hours in a shop, you certainly don’t have much time to workout and cook healthy meals!)
- You need money to pay for the best healthcare (not to mention that rich people can afford to stop working while they recover)
It would be too simplistic to think that money will save you from illness. But it will certainly prevent a part of it and make your life much easier if you become ill.
The frugal band will sing that you don’t need a lot of money to do what you want in life and that you can do other stuff that will be just as good. I can tell you that these people never:
- Felt the adrenaline going skydiving.
- Felt the emotion in theBellCenterwhen Michael Cammallieri scored the winning goal againstWashingtonin game 6 of the playoffs.
- Saw their spouse completely astounded by your marriage proposal on the top of a tower inBruge,Belgium.
- Lived 40 days with a backpack travelling Europe with a train pass.
- Ate the best food, drank the best wine in the best restaurant of NYC with their best friends.
- Saw the sparkles in their children’s eyes at Disney.
- Spent incredible family moments on the beach during their summer vacation.
- Etc. Etc. Etc.
I’m only 31 and my life is full of exciting moments and my memory is full of magic pictures with my wife, children and friends. But when I think about it, most of these moments would not have been possible without money. Of course, money can’t buy the moments. It can’t buy your spouse, your kids, your friends. But it can help create the perfect setting. It’s like a movie. Money doesn’t buy a good script, it doesn’t buy a good character but it certainly helps if you can hire a top actor and shoot in amazing settings.
I have a fulfilled life already. I can tell that I would be happy if I had less money than I have right now. However, I would be terribly sad to tell my kids that they can’t do the activities they want to. I would be sad to tell my wife she has to go back to work because we need more money. I would also be sad to skip our summer vacation and spend it at the park instead of going to Virginia Beach. The sand in the park is just not making it in my mind! This is why money is so important.
In the same train of thought of doing what you want when you want, my best memories and biggest feelings were definitely boosted by money. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, money is the fuel but you are still the engine. If you are not working properly, read not happy, money won’t do much. But if you are running full out, read enjoying your life, money will boost your experience to another level.
Family vacations are cool. Going to the park, walking in the zoo and playing Yum with my children are all fun and cheap activities. But diving in huge waves, building a sand castle for a competition and walking on the boardwalk at night with your favourite ice cream create a little bit more magic in our hearts. It’s not the money itself, but what you can do with it. We live 5 minutes away from a small lake. We go there all the time to play with our children. It’s fun, it’s free, but it’s definitely not the beach on theAtlantic Ocean!
I truly enjoy a good meal with a good glass of wine. Each Friday, my wife and I sit down and talk for hours around a good meal and a good bottle. This is one of my favourite moments of the week. But if I wasn’t making money, I couldn’t afford my “weekend feast”. I would have to plan it, wait for it and eat pasta with a glass of water in the meantime.
In short, I think it’s pretty boring. Months of deprivation, budgeting and calculating to make sure to meet your financial responsibilities doesn’t seem like the definition of the life I want to live. Without being extravagant, I think that having enough money to have fun and enjoy life at a certain level is necessary.
Since my wife doesn’t work, I’ve found that my magic number is slightly over the “average ideal income”. I figure that with around $125,000 per year for my family, we have enough to enjoy life as we want and not stress about money. Under that magic number, I would have to cut down in my expenses which would directly mean some frustration on my part. Over that magic number, I would do more with my money but not much. Not when compared to the additional hours of work required to reach that level. As long as I can work 4 days a week and make 125K, I’ll be happy!
Readers, what is your magic number? Do you think that making money is important? To which level?
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