How do I really feel about money? Funny you should ask. I like money. Like the feel of it folding into my poor man’s money clip (picture a premium jumbo smooth paper clip from Office Depot). There’s a funny story that goes with that. One sunny Sunday, me and my then current wife were out shopping at our local street bazaar and we came across a vendor selling wallets and you guessed it, money clips. My immediate response was “Cool!” as I pictured myself pulling out my money clip to an admiring and envious crowd. But then reality slammed into me as I pulled out my wad of ones and a five or two and tried to fold it into the clip. I was about 50 bills short of filling the space. No clip for me.
Still, I do like my money to be organized. I hate it when it comes out of my pocket all scrunched together and out of order. I like it folded with the big bills on the outside and then in descending order towards the ones in the middle. That way when I open up the fold the ones are on top ready to remind me that I like having money more than I like spending it. I like my money organized in other ways too. I like my checking account linked to my saving account for over draft protection and my emergency fund in an ING savings account so it can earn money and still be available.
I like the sense of power that comes with having money. Personal power, that is. The money and the having of it representing in some way what I am capable of accomplishing. So guess what, I don’t like not having money. Which is quite different from just using less money in a frugal life style. Back in college, my first year away from Mom’s cooking and Dad’s car, I really learned something about the part money played in having a happy life. That car I bought from my summer job earnings ate up my slender college job salary faster than the hungry teenager I still was. I ended up trading it to the gas station owner who had let me run a tab to keep it running. These feet were made for walking I discovered. And money for food. Thank the gods I lived in an agricultural community. Oranges, apricots, avocadoes, tomatoes anything I could jump over the fence and pick became my fare. At least I didn’t get scurvy.
Nowadays though what I really like about money is how it piles up in my savings account and how it lets me invest in real estate and how it gives me the freedom to take a vacation any time I want. I like money because the lessons of those lean years were worth their weight in yep, money.