One thing you will hear if you adopt an extreme savings program is the popular refrain “It’s only money”, “There are more important things than money”, etc. I agree with the last statement, but it is NOT just money. It is what money represents that matters.

Money represents many things.

Money is time. It represents the time you have to work to get something you need. Unless you truly love your job, this is time you would have spent doing something else, time you will never get back. In other words, you can always get more money, but time is finite, we all die, so it would be better not spend too much of it working.

Money is more money. Once you have money, you can leverage it to make more money. You can invest in tools or education and make more money. If you have money, you are also likely to get better deals on credit and and mortgage. Finally and obviously, you can invest your money and get interest payments when can be invested again leading to compound interest and a ballooning net worth.

Money is power. Money talks. Money is the way to get what you want without begging for it or without forcing people. Money allows you to choose. If you are financially independent, you can choose not to work. Or you can choose to get another education or move somewhere else. If you do not have money, you do not have the same power and often you will not have a choice. Rather than being proactive, you will be reactive.

Power is security. While other systems of government might require lobbyists or other connections to powerful people, a capitalistic system protects property rights. Once you own it, nobody can take it away from you. If you own your house, you will always have a place to live no matter what. If you own interest paying savings, you will always have an income no matter what. Therefore money is security.

Originally posted 2007-12-06 00:47:00.