What is wealth to you? Have you given serious thought to what it means to be wealthy? Is it a dollar figure in your head that seems so far away? Is it some dream for the future that seems out of grasp? Or is it something else? I teach financial literacy and responsibility and I do believe that money is a part of wealth but certainly money, in and of itself, even great quantities of money, is not wealth.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, health is certainly one of the most important forms of wealth. Wealth also comes in many other forms that are not money, such as friendship, family, freedom, acts of service, joy, being in nature, learning, tranquility, and practicing gratitude.
Yet in society, wealth is usually, at least initially, associated with money. One of the definitions of wealth in Dictionary.com is: the state of being rich; prosperity, affluence. So let’s talk about money as wealth. For me, being financially responsible and financially free is certainly a form of wealth. I don’t have a specific dollar figure in my mind that equals monetary wealth to me, but I do want to continue to earn, save, and grow my money. Yet the reason is not so I am “wealthy” on paper, the reason is because having a financial security net and financial freedom allows me to live the life I choose and have peace of mind.
Not being financially responsible or living in financial chaos, takes a lot of time and energy and often causes stress, worry, problems in relationships, health issues, and puts constraints on your life- certainly not examples of wealth. So for me, being financially responsible just makes sense. It makes my life simpler, much less stressful, and creates space and time to live my life as I choose.
I did not grow up with money, but I learned at an early age that just getting by financially was not going to work for me. So yes, I started working, saving, and learning about how money worked at a young age, but it is never too late to become financially organized and responsible. It is one of the reasons I created MoneyMaestra- because I know that being financially responsible, and living in your means or at times below your means, ultimately creates financial freedom. I want to share my knowledge and help others to learn the beautiful equation of Financial Responsibility = Financial Freedom. So although I don’t believe money in and of itself is wealth- I do believe that being responsible with your money is an important building block in creating wealth- whatever that may look like to you.