For the Love of Money

Most people think it is a bad idea to love money. They are not sure it is even OK to like money. They think it is fine to want money as long as you do not want more than you really need, but everyone has a different idea of how much that is. Let's think about this a little.

Do People Even Want Money?

Before scoffing at the statement I am about to make too much, try reading just a little further and see my point in saying something that sounds so preposterous. It is a vitally important idea:

There is a specific reason most people don’t have any money—They don’t really want it!

Sure, I know everyone says they want more money. Just listen to all the talk whenever the lottery jackpot gets high. Everyone likes to speculate about what they would do if they ever got so lucky.

But the fact is that while most people have a significant income (at least in America) they still do not have any money. Why? Because they choose regularly to put something else ahead of money. They do this to the extent that it actually prevents them from having any real money at all.

What is it? Simply this: having things! That’s right. Most people like to spend money so much they simply never have anything left to save. So they do not love money, they do not like money very much, they do not even want money more than they want a lot of stuff to set around the house or garage and gather dust.

How Much Should You Love Money?

If you have ever watched or listened to Suze Orman you probably remember this motto of hers. She always asks people to remember above all else, “People first, then money, then things.” She makes a terrific point.

Clearly it is when we do not love people more than money or things that we have problems. But focus on the last part of that statement for a moment. Notice the clear emphasis: money is more important than things.

If we do not love money enough to keep any of our income now in savings for emergencies, retirement, and other purposes it is because we do not respect and value having money as we should.

Do You Love Money or Things?

This is a learned attitude going back to childhood. Most kids can hardly wait to get to the store whenever they get some money so they can spend it. A few like to save, at least a portion. Guess who grows up to be successful with their money.

So here is the truth. Most people don’t really want money at all. They just want to spend money. And until people learn to really value having money in the bank as much as having some trinket on the mantle, they will never prosper financially.

Fortunately, the trying times in which we lived have scared some people into a bit of reality. When the recession set in people realized that they needed some money in the bank when things take a downward turn. People need to love money, like money or sufficiently want money to have enough for an emergency fund, of course, but they need more.

Why People Should Value Money

There’s a paradox here. The person who values having money in the bank more than having things has money to buy when prices are cheaper and never pays interest. As a result the person who values money over things usually has more things than the person who values things over money. Wow!

When you have even a little money you can buy more things when they are on sale, be ready to meet surprise expenses without having to charge them and be out interest payments, take advantage of good investment opportunities, and on and on and on.


A few years ago I was in the market for a car. Somehow I ran onto a man whose employer bought a new car for him to use in his work every three years. He was given the option of taking the car and did so for his sister who then decided she did not want it, so he decided to sell it.

Parked in his drive beside the new one the two were indistinguishable. It was in perfect condition and had complete records of every recommended service as required by his employer.

Because I had my finances in order, meaning I had set aside the money in advance, I was able to buy the car on the spot at a great savings over what I would have had to pay at a dealer. All I had to do was write a check. It was not a matter of my being a fat cat. I was not and I am not now. But I was adequately self-disciplined to save enough of my money to be able to take advantage of the opportunity.

Furthermore, while the biblical statement (valued by many) that “the love of money is the root of all evil” can be properly applied to the corruption of the mind that puts money above people, for example, a proper respect for the stewardship of our productivity is absolutely appropriate.It is far easier to love and care for others when we have some money in the bank than when we do not!

How To Love, Like and Want Money

One of the best tools for shaping our attitudes is an affirmation. Try writing an affirmation to help you with this attitude toward money.

Here is an example designed to help us develop a healthy attitude about money, one that appropriately values having money. Try saying this (or one you write) several times a day for a month and occasionally thereafter:

Having money is better than having things.

Whatever you do, take steps to assure that you learn to love money, like money, or at least want money enough to meet all your financial responsibilities.