November 21, 2012, 5:16 am

Is Making Money Important? YOUBET!

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Personal Finance
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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…


Life is Too Short To Wait for Retirement


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!


Money Can Bring Health


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.



You Can’t Do What You Want Without Money


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.


Best Memories and Feelings Are Often Bought


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.


What’s Life Without Money?


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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The beginning of the article sounded like you were going to finally announce retiring from a day job! But then it developed into support that you plan on working forever!

Which is it Mike? I can feel your confliction.

What about making over $125,000 in operating profits online for yourself and be done with it? It’s fun!

I agree with the general tone of your post, making money is important to affording a nice life. I disagree however with your inferences about the frugal folks. Frugal folks can and do go on nice vacations, have fancy dinners, experience thrilling adventures. We relish the thrill of obtaining at a bargain, the same experiences of which you’re willing to pay full price. So while you’re soaking up the sum on one side of the hotel pool thinking life is good, we’re on the other side of the same pool for next to nothing. Also, planning these frugal experiences takes about the same time as your planning so I dont think frugal gratification is any more delayed than yours.

Hey Sam,

I can’t even give you a clear answer! With all Google’s change recently, it has definitely hit our business model and we had to spend the whole year to create more sources of income in order to compensate the hits. In the end, instead of seeing a growth of 30% or so (the average growth we used to see in the past 3 years), I’ll be getting roughly the same revenues than last year.

I’m far from making 250K in operating profit (I have a partner, don’t forget 😉 ). I have the feeling that I’ll be working a few years (or more) as long as I can do my 125k/year with 4 days a week…. it’s a rat race deluxe problem!

Money can’t buy happiness or health, but if you are happy and healthy money does go a long way to make sure both are always at the forefront.

I could easily adjust our portfolio, downsize our house and deflate our lifestyle to retire tomorrow, however that would wind up being a frugal less fun life, I am fine working a little bit longer to make sure that it is lifestyle inflation we experience instead.

I hear ya about Google man. I wrote a post on talking about surviving Google updates recently. Gotta pray to the Google Gods! lol

You’re still young w/ energy man. I would set a goal to get out by 40 like I did. I could have worked another 5 years, but I didn’t realize how fun all this online stuff is! I’m learning a lot, and I always enjoy reading your online money making posts. Good motivation.

One thing I will tell you is that you don’t need 125K to feel free or less stressed. We humans have an incredible ability to adapt to whatever income we make. Truly!


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by: CFP-wannabe | November 24th, 2012 (2:04 pm)

Hello TFB,
I stumbled upon your blog and have been reading and reading your articles. I’m working towards my CFP and am looking to move to Montreal in the next few years because I fell in love with the city! It’s just not as exciting out here in the west. Your blog gives me a really a good idea of what it’s like to working there so please keep posting – I’m already a fan!

I’m not sure the best moments are bought nor do I think you have to have a LOT of money to have really great experiences. Sure, you need $$ to go skydiving, but a lot of things are on a sliding scale — you do not need a boatload of money to go out to dinner. You need some money, just not $250K.

Having enough money not to think about money… by thinking long enough about money and making lots of money for a few years, to forget about money… I thought I needed millions to leave the rat rate and chose instead to relocate somewhere with a low cost of living, to enjoy life earlier. I still need money but much less than before. I like diving, fine wine and good eats but they remain a treat so not busting the budget very often. I would say I spend less money on those treats than regular going out before.

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