There’s a notion in our society that rich people are greedy, selfish, and money-hungry individuals who want nothing more than to keep other people below their level in the pyramid of life.
Contrary to popular belief, however, money isn’t actually the root of all evil. Just because you have money doesn’t mean you’ve instantly turned into a Scrooge. If you know how to use your money properly, you can actually use it not just to level up your own life, but to level up the lives of the people around you, as well.
As Kane Georgiou, owner of the well-known finance blog themoneypig.com states, “Money represents options, opportunities, and freedom. Instead of seeing money as an exchange for materialism, people should focus on who’s lives around them could be helped from their financial assistance”
Not yet convinced? Here are 5 reasons why making more money is not selfish.
1. You can provide for your family
Ask anyone you know why they want to make more money than they’re already making right now and more often than not, you’ll find out that the reason is not even about them at all. “I want to help my parents,” “I want to send my kids to a good school,” “I want to move my family out of the bad side of town”. These reasons are not at all uncommon, and they are just some of the things that you’re going to hear when you ask people that question.
Most of the time, people find more satisfaction in knowing that their family is well-fed than knowing that they have six digits in the bank. Research says that people become happier by being altruistic rather than being rich. One study by Inc.com says that humans are actually wired to help others, and the pleasure derived from that makes us much happier than any other material item. Helping your family and friends and seeing them become happy because of that can give you a kind of joy that nothing else in the world can.
2. You don’t need to burden others
Let’s face it: not having money makes us feel like a huge burden, not just to ourselves, but also to other people. If you don’t make enough money to sustain yourself, you might have no choice but to live in your parents’ house until who knows when. You might not even make enough to pay for your own groceries and bills, which means you’ll have to completely depend on your parents. It’s certainly not selfish to want to make more money so that you won’t need to burden others.
While there’s nothing wrong with staying in our parents’ care, we shouldn’t do it just because we’re left with no other choice. Worse, the most common reason for these kinds of scenarios is financial troubles. It’s one thing to choose to stay with your parents, your aunt, your brother, or your cousin, but it’s another thing to be forced into it just because you don’t have enough money to move out. What if you suddenly needed a new pair of jeans? Boxers? Toothpaste? Will you ask your parents to buy you those, too?
3. You can help more people
As mentioned above, money isn’t the root of all evil – greed is. It doesn’t matter how much money you have in your pocket or how much money you’re making each month. If you’re a greedy person, you’re not going to share your possessions with anyone, regardless of how much you own.
If you’re not a greedy person, however, making more money just means that you can help even more people, and not just monetarily. Helping others is hard if you don’t have enough money because you’ll have to consider your own needs first. But if you have money, you don’t have to worry about yourself all the time. You can provide funds to your favorite charity or you can donate your extra time by volunteering at a local shelter. Since when has helping been a bad thing? Just imagine how much you can donate to people in need if you’re making twice the amount you were making before.
4. You can improve your relationships
Lack of sufficient money is one of the biggest reasons why couples fight. In fact, according to a survey conducted in 2018 by British legal firm Slater and Gordon, financial problems are often the top reason why marriages end in divorce. Roughly 33% of the surveyed 2,000 adults said that “financial pressures” are the biggest issue in their marriage. 20% said that most of their arguments with their partners were about money while another 20% actually blamed their partner for their financial troubles.
It’s not selfish to want to make more money in order to improve your relationships. After all, if you have enough money, it lessens the chance of you fighting with your partner or spouse about financial woes. Not having to work three jobs just to make ends meet also allows you to focus on more important things, such as spending time with your family and enjoying your life in the present.
5. You need money to survive
The biggest reason why making more money is not selfish? Simply put, you need money to survive. It’s literally impossible to live in this world without having any money in your pocket. You need money to buy your groceries, to pay your electricity and water, to pay for the home that you sleep in every single night.
So despite what many idealists may say, it is true that money makes the world go round. Money makes the difference between you starving tonight and eating your favorite food. Money may not be able to buy you happiness, but it can certainly buy you whatever it is that makes you happy, be it a new pair of shoes, a delicious dinner with your wife and kids, or a week-long vacation in the Bahamas. Wanting to have something as valuable and useful as money is not, and will never be, selfish.