While topics of “how to gain more money,” “how to attract money,” and other technical aspects of how money works are relevant to our progress, understanding the philosophical nature of money is vital for wise use of this tool.
In this article, we break down the reasons we should view money as a tool rather than an end goal by itself. We explore positive and negative money mindsets, seeking to build a healthy relationship with money.
Let’s dive in!
1. Money Has No Value on Its Own
It’s true, money is valuable. But it has no value in itself.
If no one is selling or buying anything, money is useless. If you can’t understand where you want to take the money you’re seeking no matter its value in numbers, it would be valueless in terms of the importance it brings to your life.
Money has no value until we use it as a tool to buy knowledge in books, it is valueless until we purchase food at the grocery store, it profits nothing until we pay for someone’s medical expense.
On its own, it serves nothing. You need to understand this first to start viewing it as a tool for things you value. You must assign value to the 100 dollars you receive as a tip otherwise piling it up in your bedroom with no intention of spending money on something eventually is useless.
Money is a tool since it can only be used as a means to get things done.
2. Money Serves as a Medium of Exchange
Well, this is basic. But important nonetheless.
Without money, affording basic needs like food, shelter, and clothing would be impossible. Therefore, we use money as a tool to be able to sustain our lives at the very least.
Of course, you could resort to the good old barter trade, giving out your labor and certain assets you have in exchange for the most important things you need. But the truth is, few people accept barter trade and so it’ll be an inefficient way to sustain life. However, everyone recognizes money as having value to help them acquire their necessities so they’ll be ready to take it from you to give you what you need.
All over the world, money is a medium of exchange for our needs. So the money gets its value in what it can purchase that we need. Money itself won’t be able to feed us, shelter us, or clothe us but based on its value, we can get these things from whoever is providing them.
3. Money Helps Express Love Loved Ones
One way to show loved ones love is through the providence of their needs and wants. We see this primarily through parents as they provide for the needs and wants of their kids.
Money itself can’t show love but anyone can use money as a tool to express love. Usually, when you love someone, you can do anything for them — including spending your hard-earned money to spoil them.
So when you pay the hospital bills of your friend, it’s a gift funding their needs. You want to show your boyfriend that he’s special, you buy them something they might like. Sometimes we plan to pay for a holiday with a friend because we want to show them how we love them.
Used as a tool, money supports acts of love.
4. Money Helps Support Causes
It may be tough to support causes with your time while participating in activities in your own life like working, spending time with family, and recreating among other things. So instead of your physical availability, you can help out through finances.
For instance, if you can’t be physically available to participate in a cause for educating kids in Peru, you can send your donation through an organization you trust.
But supporting causes using cash doesn’t have to be solely when you can’t avail yourself in other ways, no. You can also help others with your time as well as money. It’s a way to show you give yourself out for others in every way you can in the name of love.
5. Money Provides Options
You can use money as a tool to access a wide range of quality options solving a particular problem.
For instance, if you live in a tropical village with sufficient rain it’s possible to survive and even thrive without money. You have oxygen and water for free, can cultivate the soils and propagate available food plants for free, and create housing out of naturally available materials.
However, if you’d like to get a formal education, you or someone else have to pay for it. If you’re in the Caribbean and want to travel to the US, you’d have flight options only with money. Few things can be exchanged to get other commodities but money provides more options.
6. Money Buys Time
“Time is money” is a term people use to defend their time. In some ways, this is true. When we reverse this statement, we can say that money avails us time.
Think about it — if you’d like to visit your family during the weekend but also want to fix your leaking tap, you may have to postpone the visit that you may fix the tap. But if you have money to hire a plumber, you can hire them and spend that time visiting your family.
We’d rather delegate many things to a professional than spend time dealing with them ourselves. This is a luxury money can afford. So in this case, we can see money as a tool for buying us time to work on more fulfilling priorities.
7. Money Buys Freedom
When you have more than enough money that you can stop working to earn and still live comfortably, then you can buy freedom. Freedom in this case is anything you’d choose to do when you don’t have to work to sustain yourself. This is how money makes life easier.
With financial freedom, you can explore your hobbies, spend more time with family, affording bucket list trips, and many more life adventures. This is a life many lifestyle entrepreneurs pursue.
The money isn’t the goal but they’re making money to use it as a tool for creating freedom.
Freedom is the goal. Not the money. And again, not everyone would get their freedom when they save money worth 10,000 dollars. Some need more, others much less.
Pursue to be free. Not to be rich. You can check out the Success Traits Of A Lifestyle Entrepreneur to find out if this way of life suits you.
8. Money Helps Solve Problems on a Grander Scale
The truth about this imperfect world is that there are people who try to fix it but also those who create problems whether intentionally or unintentionally.
- While one person may be wise enough to plant trees, another cuts trees without planting more.
- While one may strive to curb drug abuse, another may be promoting it by expanding their drug trafficking business.
- While one person creates job opportunities for the well-being of others, another looks to scale his income even at the expense of people lacking jobs to fend themselves.
I may go on and on about this but one thing is certain: we live in a world of virtue and vice. Of fixes and ruins.
When you look closely, you’ll find out that if you want to play a big role in fixing the woes of this world, you need money.
- At first, you might plant a tree or two in your neighborhood but if you want to fix environmental issues significantly, you need money to hire people to propagate and maintain the trees.
- In the case of curbing drug abuse, you might talk to some people to create awareness, but to reach a wide range of people, you must scale your campaign and that needs a lot of money
- You can help a homeless person with the food you produce in your garden but if you desire to help a large number of people, you need money. And lots of it.
In a nutshell, advancing civilization towards a large scale greater good, you need money. It serves as a great tool to get all the other tools needed for creating good things.
9. How Is Money Used as a Tool? How Useful Is Money?
Money is used as a tool when it:
- Gives access to basic needs like food, shelter, and clothing
- Serves as a medium of exchange for services we need like plumbing, education, and hospitality
- Facilitates causes for helping mankind like care for the homeless, environmental conservation, drug addiction recovery, and running of orphanages among others
- Helps us buy gifts for our loved ones to show how much we value them
- Buys us the freedom to do anything we desire in this world like practicing our hobbies, and pursuing our wildest dreams
We use money as a tool when we spend it on things we need to survive, thrive, and lead a fulfilling life. We use it to pay for basic needs like food, express our care and love for others through gifts, and acquire tools for taking care of humanity in various ways.
10. Why Is Money Just a Tool? Understanding Money as a Tool
Money is just a tool because, on its own, it can benefit nothing. However with its value, one can acquire something of value to their lives and that of others. It isn’t the goal, it’s the means of achieving goals. It isn’t the end, it’s a means to an end.
Think about it, when you have stacks of money piled in the house, what can they do? Nothing. Like a wrench sitting on a shelf, money can’t provide any value unless put to use. As a wrench becomes beneficial when fastening nuts and bolts, money becomes beneficial when directed where the value is.
It’s neither bad nor good. Money is neutral. But when you start using it, it gets its value.
So having a goal of having 10,000 dollars in the bank is okay. But why? The 10,000 dollars are just a pretty big tool that can facilitate many things. However, when the tool starts moving, that’s when it gains value.
So is money a resource or a tool?
When exploring the philosophy of money, people strive to get clarity about money so they go on to try to look at it from another perspective — as a resource.
To answer the question “Is money a resource or a tool,” based on the definition of a resource, it’s true money is a resource. It helps man fulfill a goal or achieve a particular function since it serves as the medium of exchange for goods and services.
11. Understanding Money as a Motivational Tool
We’ve seen money being used as a motivational tool in many areas.
Many ads promise more money to motivate buyers to buy. Employers use more money as incentives (medical insurance, house allowance, retirement benefits e.t.c) to motivate employees. And it works a lot — it works on employees whose psychological and security needs in their current financial circumstances haven’t been fulfilled.
This prevalence of the usage of money as a motivational tool in our culture has greatly damaged the way we view money. Many spend money to satisfy their ego since more money can give them more power and status. Some view money as a source of happiness as they see people flaunting their “happiness” in the things that cost more money than the middle class can afford.
But the replacement of self-worth with money never works. It’s a rat race. And if you’re honest with yourself, you can see it in people’s lives around you and maybe in your own.
And the truth is, the moment you strive to get more money so others can like you, money ceases to be a tool and you become its tool. Instead of it working for you, you start working for it. You get lost in money while you move along in life, ignoring your real psychological needs.
And if you think of it, when will “getting more money” as a goal really end? Would you be satisfied when you get the virtually unlimited supply of money circulating all over the world or would you have to stop when you die since getting all the money in the world is impossible?
It’s time to pause and figure out the things you really value if you’d care less what anyone thinks of you. See how you can attain that with the most minimum of resources and continue attaining wealth whenever you have an opportunity.
12. Learn to Use Money as a Tool
To use money as a tool:
- Know what you value in life
- Plan your money around what you value in life
- Find out how you can change your lifestyle to allow you to focus on your priorities more
- Cut unnecessary expenses
Money is just a tool to help you get what you want out of life. Whether you’ll build wealth by making more income, practicing a viable investment strategy, paying off debt, or spending less money, you spend money as a tool only when you let it be your way of getting what you want in life.
Have money working for you instead of you working for money
13. Having the Mindset of Money as a Tool
Before we learn the mindset of money as a tool, let’s just explore the scarcity mindset in which many are stuck. It goes like this:
- If only I have X dollars in my account, I’d be happy
- I don’t have enough money
- I am not good with money
- Money is evil
- All people who seek more money are greedy
- I’m not rich enough to do what I love
Now, this is the mindset to have when viewing it as a tool:
- I am grateful for the amount of money I have no matter how little or plenty
- I have enough money and there’s more to make
- I can make more money
- I can manage my personal finance well
- Money is a great tool for contributing to other people’s lives
- Having more money is simply having a greater tool to make a positive difference
- I am enough no matter how much money I have
- I am not my money
- Money isn’t evil
- With more money, I can reach more people with what I’m doing
You can’t build this mindset on the get-go so don’t fret over it. However, like other money management strategies, reminding yourself to see money as just a tool will help you have a healthier relationship with money over time. Also, it’ll make you attract money rather than resist it. You can read further on How to Attract Money Using Mind Power – Easy Steps.
Living With Money as a Tool
Money is the tool of all tools. But as we’ve discussed, it’s still just a tool to get what you want out of your life.
So to have a healthy relationship with money, you must ask yourself, “How do I want to use money as a tool?”
Share your thoughts with us in the comments! And don’t forget to share this article to help a friend.
Thank you for stopping by.