What is Money Really Worth?
Why is money so important? These little coins, pieces of paper, and abstract numbers in our bank accounts have played a critical role in civilization. But ultimately, they are just little objects and digits. Money is only important because we deem it to be. People have agreed on currency as a means for obtaining things that are more objectively important for humanity, such as food. Why have we settled upon such a system, and how do we measure money’s ultimate value?
Currency is our preferred form of compensation and what we most expect in return for any work we do. Unlike getting food or other specific items, we know we can transform those funds into rent, our next meal, new clothes, and much, much more. Yet the pursuit of money has also given rise to multi-billionaires with more cash than they could ever possibly spend, a work culture that has left many of us exhausted and feeling left behind, and the sacrifice of time spent with loved ones. At what point does the pursuit itself outweigh the value of the money received from it? If you find yourself asking that question, then you may have already reached that point.
What is the value of an hour? We can spend 60 minutes playing a game, catching up with friends, eating with loved ones, improving our health, and more. Yet society has also decided that for many people, an hour of labour is worth a minimum wage. For those making more than that, it can be difficult to gauge whether the monetary compensation is sufficient for the stress of the job. Outside of work, we often have to measure time and money in other ways. This can mean deciding whether to pay extra for quicker shipping for online orders, or whether to pay for delivery instead of going to a restaurant or store to grab food. We always hear that time is precious and invaluable, but we seem to have little issue in placing a price tag on it with Amazon’s same-day delivery fees.
What are you willing to compromise for more money? So many of us sacrifice some happiness to work more or stay at a job we hate. We miss out on time with loved ones for an extra shift. Many sacrifice their health with long work hours sitting in one spot. It is increasingly important to take some time to reflect on your own work situation. Many expenses are out of our control. But what aspects of consumerism can we step back from to put less strain on our budget? How can we take small steps to allow us to work fewer hours and still feel financially comfortable? These are important questions to consider as you reflect on your budget, decide whether to eat out, and whether to go shopping.
Ultimately, money is worth so much because we say so. It gives us status, security, and power. For some, it means being able to live in their apartment another month. For others, it means a powerful status and the ability to influence politicians. Collectively, we can shift the world in a way that money is not so unevenly distributed, or even move towards a civilization where cash is no longer so important. After all, family and friends have never come with a price tag. Ultimately, money itself is not the thing that what we want; it is only a means for getting us those things. Take time to reflect on what it is you want, and what it is you value. Only then can you measure how much money is worth to you.
Clear, James. “The Value of Time: How Much is Your Time Really Worth?” James Clear. https://jamesclear.com/value-of-time
Sonnenberg, Frank. “8 Reasons Why Money’s Not Worth What You Think.” Lead Change. https://leadchangegroup.com/8-reasons-why-moneys-not-worth-what-you-think/
Tepper, Taylor. “Why Does Money Have Value?” Money.com. https://money.com/why-does-money-have-value/