Relax, it’s just money

Being around people who tell me this every time I say I think of and worry about money made me believe that there is something wrong with me. That I worry too much when I shouldn’t, because, you know, it’s just money. Why do I even have to think about it?!

Thanks, but no thanks.

But after discovering an online community that openly and excitedly discuss money and personal finance, I realised that thinking and worrying about finances is completely normal. I realised that there is nothing wrong or extreme about accounting for every dollar I have and planning where every cent goes. I’m not obsessed with money nor do I see it as the most important thing in my life, but I value it and the effort I made to earn it, so I take extra care in choosing how and where it will be spent.

I cannot tell for sure why others are able to say “it’s just money” comfortably, but I thought of a few instances when I think I might be able to say those words myself:

  • If I didn’t want to talk about money. “I’m worried that I don’t have enough money saved for my future.” “Stahp, it’s just money! Others have more serious problems than you.” But no,  I find money talk very interesting.
  • If I were a happy go lucky person who has a don’t-worry-about-anything, everything-will-workout-in-the-end kind of thinking. I wish I have this kind of personality, but I don’t. I’m the first-born and have always been the responsible kid. There is almost nothing I don’t worry about. I think I’m highly organised and I have a great need of having a plan and going with it. (In saying that, I also get mini panic attacks when things go wrong. Heh!)
  • If I haven’t been through a major financial hurdle. But I have been. Some are lucky to be born with more than others, or if they weren’t, they are at least lucky enough to have solid financial guidance. I had everything I needed growing up but I never had any personal finance education that could have prepared me for a financial challenge I was strapped to for years. You really don’t appreciate what you have until you lose all or most of it. When you go through something like that and make your way out of it, it will be hard to convince yourself that “it’s just money.” Money is no longer just money, it means food and rent and bills and sometimes, family.
  • If I already had my personal finance game figured out. I feel that when this happens, I will feel more financially secured, stable and confident. It doesn’t mean that my journey stops when I reach my ultimate financial goal. It will only mean that I’m in a better position than when I started but I still recognise the fact that there will still be a possibility of a setback along the way. But when it happens, I can say “it’s okay, it’s just money” comfortably because I already have long prepared for it.

I guess we all have different views about money. For some people, money is money: you earn it, you spend it. But for some of us, for me in particular, it’s more personal than that. Money isn’t just money – it’s my airfare ticket, it’s my next degree, it’s my future house, it’s my emergency fund. One day, I can say it’s just that, with much confidence, but for now – no, it’s not just money.