Do You Love Your Money?

by Paula Pant on · 9 comments

When I tell people that I write about money, some respond by crinkling their nose and saying, "Money? But that's not what matters in life!"

And then – more often than not – they'll repeat that famous phrase, "money is the root of all evil."

Well, that's not exactly how the saying goes. Although that phrase is ingrained in mainstream pop culture today, it takes its roots in a Biblical verse that reads: "The LOVE of money is the root of all evil."

Since this month's Jungle of Life theme is love, let's take a second to explore the love of money.

What Do You Love?

If I asked you to make a list of things you love, what would you write?

Family, friends and pets come to mind immediately, of course. Then people start listing objects and activities.

"I love ice cream," – an object.

"I love to swim," – an activity.

"I love that cozy sweatshirt I've had since high school," – an object.

"I love to paint," – an activity.

No one thinks its wrong to love an object or an activity – unless that object is "money" or that activity is "making money."

When people tell me that money is the root of all evil, I reply that money is simply an inanimate object, like a coffee mug or a garden hose. It has no innate good or evil. That quality comes from the meaning we assign to it.

According to the "root of all evil" expression, money itself is fine. Loving money is not. But why?

It's okay to love ice cream, cozy sweatshirts, warm socks, Van Gogh paintings and the orange tea kettle that your sister gave you six years ago. Why is money singled out as the one object that it's not okay to love?

I picked those examples for a reason. I'm betting no one objects to loving "ice cream and warm socks," but some people would object to loving sports cars, glitzy mansions and emerald necklaces. Why? Because those objects remind people of money.

This is usually the point where someone says, "Hold on. A mega-mansion uses tons of environmental resources."

True. But so does ice cream production, from the methane-emitting cows to the cost of maintaining a sub-zero freezer truck.

The tea kettle you use to drink Jasmine Green Tea required someone to build a factory, produce a kettle mold, inspect the kettle, package it, deliver it, market it, account for its revenue and loss, and legally protect it.

Everything uses resources and costs money. Why pretend that it doesn't?

I believe that "love of money is the root of all evil" is only half the story. I believe that phrase is talking about a blind, jealous, possessive love. The phrase "love of money" is referring to the type of co-dependent love that causes the two partners to become lesser, instead of more whole.

But I do think we owe it to ourselves to create a healthy love for money.

Here's a radical idea: Why not "love" money by being a good steward over it? Nurture and protect your money, in the same the way you might nurture and protect your garden.

Steer clear of possessive, co-dependent love, the kind that causes you to stagnate. Move towards a wholesome love in which both you and your money are able to grow freely.

Money, after all, is a tool that can buy acres of rainforest, send your nephew to college without student loans, and pay for the veterinary appointments that your puppy needs. It's okay to love money for the life it gives you.

by Paula Pant

Thanks to wise money managing, Paula Pant has traveled to 27 countries, purchased a 99-year-old Victorian home near central Atlanta’s most beautiful park, and has never — ever — had a penny in debt. Her blog, Afford Anything, is based on one radical idea: money should never hinder your dreams.
Paula Pant
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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Andru February 16, 2012 at 10:24 am

you did a good job explaining that a possesive love is a bad thing when it comes to money and I really enjoyed reading it.


Jannie Funstet February 16, 2012 at 10:42 am

Sadly, that orange tea kettle I’ve treasured all these 6 years just bit the biscuit. But… yardsales await.

Money – do good things with it to help yourself, and you’ll never go wrong. Share your ice cream. Share your wealth. But keep the old sweatshirt just for you! 🙂

xxoo to all.


Bruce Sallan (@BruceSallan) February 16, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Right on! I love money and feel NO SHAME in declaring so! Money busy me freedom to do good in the world, to take care of my boys, to send my older son to the EXPENSIVE college he just got into, to get my wife a new car last year and a ring she loves, to go heli-skiing next month, and to have bought my wonderful house last year also! Money busy freedom. I’m lucky. I made money when it was easier but I saved it knowing it may not last – it didn’t. THAT gave me choices few of my peers have/had! Now, I do what I want though it brings in little income. Will I get more income? Probably, but not at the cost of my integrity. THAT is what money brings me and that is why I love it!
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Audra Krell February 17, 2012 at 7:21 am

I love to see cultural myths destroyed! Thank you for sharing the truth.
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Jon Mertz February 17, 2012 at 8:53 am

Great points. Money is an enabler, put to good use – producing positive outcomes. You outlined a good way to think about money. Thanks! Jon
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Joy February 19, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Very refreshing article! I choose simplicity in life: minimal material possessions, and minimal activities that “require” money. For a long time I equated simplicity with “not needing money” and didn’t have a very healthy respect of/for money. Now I understand that money is energy/flow and abundance is something to embrace and share from, rather than deflect.
I love this affirmation: “It’s okay to love money for the life it gives you.”
Thank you:)


Andrew Walker February 24, 2012 at 3:15 am

Well, I can’t say I don’t love my money or something. It’s just that I don’t prioritize my money over anything else.
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Alex Aguilar March 1, 2012 at 3:14 pm

I can confidently say I don’t love money. I understand the importance of earning money to survive and appreciate its importance in our modern world, but I see it as a necessary evil. I sometimes dream of a crazy Star Trek future where replicators are commonplace and people are no longer preoccupied with “owning stuff” and “getting more stuff.”


Nicholas Brack June 5, 2012 at 10:10 am

You are spot on. Words only have the value we assign to them. It comes down to the actual meaning we place on a word that makes all the difference. As you suggest … choosing to “love” money in a way that is nurturing, caring, and stewarding puts a high value on the meaning of the word love … and the object it represents.

I recently wrote a piece on the economic crisis and argued that the word “crisis” is no longer relevant. it’s trite and commonplace when the American economy has $250 trillion in total debt and unfunded liabilities. But this is another story.

Crisis aside, the word “love” can be made just as trite.

People say — I “love” my spouse — then turn around and say I “love” pizza. Hopefully the meaning for each of these is different … I know my spouse expects it to be so!

Great thoughts and a great article Paula.


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