I Don't Want A Million Dollars!


DISCLAIMER: No part of this website should be taken as financial advice. This is just what I've learned on my journey to financial freedom. If you need more help, consider consulting a certified financial planner or a certified accountant or any other certified professionals - not some random dude on the internet.

Being Rich Is Overrated!

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Private jets. Exotic cars. Mega mansions. What will you do with a billion dollars? Many people dream about having a billion dollars and the status items it can afford them. If they can fly private jets or drive exotic cars while wearing expensive clothes, then society will think of them as important people. They will have finally "made it."

But that's a billion dollars. Most people aren't even millionaires yet. Maybe hitting a million dollars is a more attainable goal. What does having a million dollar mean? No more struggling to pay bills? No more debt? Everything in life will finally be on easy mode? Perhaps that is what it means to some people. But what about the people who do get a windfall of money and end up in more financial trouble?

No, I'm not going to misquote the "70% of lottery winners go broke" thing because the source doesn't back these claims - and many online organizations and news outlets seem to go with the misinformation regardless of what the actual source says. And all lottery winners don't go broke. In fact, some go quiet and live relatively successful lives after winning the lottery. The lottery isn't evil and I won't play into the negative narrative that it is. But I also won't claim that it can help you get wealthy because, well, you probably won't get wealthy from it according to the odds.

But I will say that managing money gives you a better chance at keeping money. Even if you get a lot of money, what are you going to do with it? You're going to spend it to make you feel better because being broke and unable to spend money makes you miserable. Therefore, spending money without having to think about price tags makes you feel so much better. And society treats you so much better when you're rich, doesn't it? Nobody gives a crap about poor people. We read about rich people, not poor people.

Of course, you want people to give a crap about you. Of course, you want to feel better about yourself. Who doesn't? That's why when you get money, you're going to spend it - not think rationally about how to spend it. And you probably shouldn't cut your emotions off and try to be a logical machine. Irrational emotions are a part of who we are.

But our capricious nature - thanks in part to our irrational emotions - shouldn't control our lives completely. There has to be a balance between the chaotic, fleeting and unpredictable nature of our emotions and the stable, predictable, and strategic logical side of us. The major reason I believe having a lot of money means nothing is because there typically is no balance between the logical side of us and the emotional side. We react but don't give our reactions a purpose. We let emotions dictate what we do - including how we spend money.

And because we just ride the waves of our emotions, reacting without purpose or reason, being a millionaire means little to me. I can't grasp the meaning of money if I just give into the whims of my emotions. It's like trying to control a small boat against a massive, unsettled ocean during a storm. Sure, I could make it through the storm, but I probably won't. My boat will capsize (I will spend all my money or go bankrupt) and end up in worse shape than I was before I had the money.

But emotions can be tamed with strategic planning. Having a budget with a clear, realistic and meaningful goal motivating it helps. Keeping that budget simple and going over my finances weekly, monthly or quarterly helps to make sure I'm on the right track. So emotions can be tamed by balancing them with logic, as I said before. And that logic comes in the form of purposeful, meaningful budgeting and keeping an eye on your spending.

So is that it, then? If controlling your emotions with a budget is enough to manage money, it should be enough to manage a million dollars, right? So having a million dollars shouldn't be a problem for me. I should want to be a millionaire, right? Not really.

Money Is A Tool, Not Therapy

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Money is a tool. It's not therapy - though it could help you afford therapy. When people say they want a million dollars, they tend to think of it as a tool to clear away all of their mental pains. Sure, it will help you stop worrying about money - but will it cure the mental scars that may have been brought on by your poverty? Being in poverty leaves you vulnerable. Being vulnerable leaves you to being taken advantage of, whether it be scams or in other ways we won't go into here.

How can money by itself cure your mental pains? Money isn't a bandage. It is a tool, but not one to help you heal your mental wounds. If you use shopping or expensive items as therapy, then you may harm yourself farther. At the end of your shopping spree, you end up in mountains of debt. What will that do to your psyche? You end up in the same - maybe even worse - vulnerable position you fought so hard to get out of! And what's worse, you have no one to blame but yourself. And at that point, you've opened up old wounds and poured salt in them! Money is a tool that can help you find mental clarity but shopping is not therapy.

Yes, you can buy yourself nice things every once in a while. And you can reward yourself with something nice after making a huge accomplishment. Positive reinforcement is a big key in establishing healthy habits sometimes. But to use spending to mask mental scars and wounds caused by poverty? To buy that car or house or luxury items to try and close the insecurity and lack placed on you by poverty? It often doesn't work.

If you want a million dollars because you want to overcome those insecurities placed on you by poverty, then you may not only be disappointed, but you might also put yourself in a worse mental position than before.

So isn't it better to build confidence while you're broke? Isn't it better to start healthy saving habits with the little money you get? And if you barely make enough money to just get by in life, doesn't it still feel better to come up with a plan to earn more money? It did for me. When I was barely scraping by - or not even making enough money to cover basic expenses - I spent my time coming up with ways to make more money.

That's how I began making plans to start a blog, start selling things on Amazon KDP and Amazon Merch on Demand, and finding side jobs I could do from home working with A.I. And with the extra money I got, I began paying back debts and saving and investing. It wasn't easy. It still isn't easy. And things aren't so linear. It's a process and things go up and down. Sometimes, it feels like I'm taking one step forward, two steps back and then four steps forward again. It can be infuriating at times, but that's the way things go.

Making a plan for my finances helped me to control my emotions about money. It also helped me build confidence in myself and how I manage money. That's why having a million dollars or a billion dollars doesn't make me feel accomplished. What makes me feel accomplished is knowing that I have control over my money - it doesn't control me.

Trying To Impress People?!

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I get it. We want other people's attention. It's in our nature as the social creatures we've grown to become. And maybe I'm more introverted than other people and don't really want as much attention as others would. But that doesn't mean I don't understand the importance of connecting with people. I just enjoy deep connections with fewer people than most extroverted people.

However, buying connections with people probably isn't best. For one, social currency isn't similar to monetary currency. Social currency is won through trust and respect built through connecting with a person. How many times have you come through for a person when they needed you? How often are you expressing your genuine care for a person? Different things have more value than money can purchase when you're building social connections.

Sure, you can spend money to have great experiences. However, social connections require more than just money. Furthermore, money isn't always necessary to build a relationship with another person. So why bother getting on social media and striving to get the attention of all kinds of strangers? Of course, it isn't really about the people and forming connections with them, is it? It's about watching your numbers go up. You want to see your follower numbers and your likes number go up. Those vain metrics give you validation of some sort.

But what do those metrics really mean? And why are you spending so much effort to grow those metrics? How valid do those numbers really make you? Even if you get the numbers you want and the sponsorships and money you crave, so what? Do you have real friends? Do you have real people who care about you? Or do they care about some online persona you made up? And what about you? Do you recognize who you are now? Are you one with your online persona now and there's no separating you from the online persona you created to gain followers and likes?

In the pursuit of money and social status, what do you lose? And is what you gained worth what you lost? That's only something you can answer for yourself.

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Money Is Just Money

At the end of the day, money is just money. It won't change your life if you don't have the skills to use the tool properly. Much like a hammer or a screwdriver, a tool is only as valuable as the skills in the hands that wield it. Money can help you be happy - but can it mend emotional and mental wounds brought on by poverty? Probably not. But it can get you the therapy and resources you need to mend those emotional and mental wounds.

Educate yourself. Learn to use the tool called money well. The more skilled you are with money, the better life you can craft for yourself. But you have to understand what money is and how to utilize it, much like you would have to learn any skill.