Money is for Spending

Rant based on comments from another PF blog –

Money is for spending by definition.  You can spend it now, or you can spend it later.  You can buy physical good, services, exchange it for a bond, or buy part of a company.  You might hope those things you buy appreciate or produce more money.  But in the end money is a means of exchange, if it wasn’t meant to be spent eventually, it would be worthless.  If it wasn’t for the ability to trade money for goods no one would want money.

Spending on charity, spending on TVs, putting it away to spend later, passing it on to your heirs to spend… it all boils down to spending.  The big 4 money categories where you are supposed to put your money are 1) direct spending on goods and services 2) savings for short – medium term deferred spending 3) investing so you have more money for long term deferred spending and 4) charity – spending money to try to make the world a better place in some way.  Spending!

I shouldn’t say it bothers me when someone says money’s not just for spending, because I get what they are trying to say, but it might be better to say money’s not just for spending now.  Your money in savings and investments might provide the comfort that you will be able to spend what you need to in the future.  I’m only afraid too many people only see abstraction in the delayed gratification of saving and investing.  For at least some of these people it would be helpful if the ideas were reframed around… SPENDING!!!  yay!  No shortage of evidence that people love spending, most of America is addicted to that good short hit of adrenaline.  Maybe convincing people that they’ll benefit by spacing out those hits would be a first step towards some financial sanity.

Anyhow, when I saw someone all up on their “money isn’t just for spending” high horse it made me think about how many people aren’t helped by these platitudes and actually are smart enough to see that at some base level money is only for spending, so why should I listen to someone who doesn’t get that.


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