3 Things I Am Learning About Money

No money, no honey.

Or so they say. Your City Promdi knows, even without honey, there can be honey in the province, if you are able-bodied and bee-brave.

But you know everyone--promdis and city-people alike--need to know: Money might not be the end-all and be-all of life, and it certainly shouldn't come before God or your family or your health, but it certainly makes living a full life with loved ones and a serving God through others a lot easier.

Recognizing this, I'm recently resolved to learn more about money, how to accumulate it, and how to make it work for me. I'll share the three things I am learning about money.

We Need to Learn Money

Money is such a commonplace thing that we think once we learn how to count our bills and coins, how to transact with it, or how to earn it that we already know money. That's not true.

We need to learn money. And sadly, even as we learn the basic arithmetic of it in grade school, we almost also immediately stop learning money. Even sadder, many of us--the middle-class and the poor people--are never given any formal education on money.

This is dangerous. People fall into hard times, limit their life options, and become trapped into an insecure future. That's dangerous, because it can be fatal to a loved one who needs an obscenely expensive medical treatment  or to many, many dreams. 

But I learned that "learning money" is possible. My own education started with my mom's standard: save, save, save. Every time money comes to you, save some of it. Don't let money earned ever leave your wallet without leaving some of it behind. The next step came from a college graduation gift from a childhood friend: "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki. Five years later and I'm moving on now to his next book, "Cashflow Quadrant." 

I'm telling you, this learning process about money is changing my mindset. it's making me braver. It's opening facets of money that I couldn't have dreamt of had I allowed my financial education continue to languish. It's making me braver. And eager to learn more.

Money isn't Evil; Greed Is

You know what this should say, right?
When Your City Promdi go to Church or read the Bible, it sometimes seems like money is evil. Isn't it the reason why we have corrupt senators and congressmen? Isn't money why drug lords peddle their wares and even kill other people?

But I realized money isn't evil. Money is a tool. It's like a pen, or a chair. They're inanimate objects. What dirties the pen or chair or money is the intent that their user has in wielding them or in accumulating them.

If I use the pen to write an innocent poem, that's ok. But if I use it to stab someone, then my intentions are evil. If I use a chair to prop my sagging cabinet, that's ok. But if I use the chair to reach and steal an envelope of money hidden on top of the cabinet, then my intentions and deeds have utilized it in an evil manner. If I use the money to fund five scholarships for my kababayan, then that money has been used for good. But if I use that money to bribe someone to get me elected, then heck--I'm a senator (joke!) If I stabbed someone with my pen then grabbed his chair and used it to reach the money I want to steal from him, then my intentions and my actions are evil.

Money can be used for good. But we just need to make sure that we are driven by good intentions in acquiring and using that money. We need to guard against greed.


Money Should Work for MY DREAMS

While Your City Promdi enjoys working and earning from paycheck to paycheck, I know that this lifestyle of working for money is not sustainable and it might limit the way I can take of myself or my family. 

I never want to find myself in a position where I am forced to answer this: Do I stop my beloved's medication because there's no more money, no one wants to give me a loan anymore, and I do not know where to get the payment for old and new loans that I have anymore?

I do not want to choose: Should I pay for that medical treatment or should I save the money instead for my child's next semestral fees?

I know that in order for me to comfortably continue loving my work, my life, I need to know also how to make money work for me. I need to know how that money I worked hard for can continue working hard for MY DREAMS.

Seems fair, right?


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