This was written as an assignment for my grade 12 religion class, which I recently re-discovered. Interesting for me to read, to see how it aligns with that which I believe now, but likely boring as hell for others. Enjoy at your own risk.
Money is becoming increasingly more important in the world today. With new technology, millions of dollars can be exchanged in the blink of an eye. New commerce sectors have appeared with the advent of the Internet - people can make a living without ever lifting a finger. But does all this change money’s role in life, and in happiness? For me, no. At this point in my life, money is not the least important thing in my life, but it definitely isn’t the most important either.
Some believe that having money or possessions will bring them happiness. This I know not to be true. Although sometimes buying something new and expensive for yourself seems rewarding, the happiness it brings usually wears off very quickly. The time and the effort we put into earning money to be able to buy something are rarely earned back in the hours, maybe only minutes of enjoyment we get from something new. I know this because there have been many things that I have spent hard-earned money on in my life that I wish I had not. A prime example of this is when I bought a computer server from someone who lives down the street. Although it was a few years old, the price at which I was buying it was much less than it was actually worth. Nonetheless, it put me back a few hundred dollars, and now I wish it had not. The problem was not that I had bought something overpriced and useless, but that I had bought something that I didn’t need. The server now sits in my room, day after day, doing nothing. I had not fully thought out why I wanted to buy the server- if I had, I would have realized that I had no real need for it and would be a few hundred dollars richer today.
Mentioning that I would have saved money brings me to another philosophy some people have about money: earn it and never spend it. This is very strange to me. If you work hard to earn something, why not use it? Is all the time and effort you spent earning that money not going to waste when you do nothing with it? It is only a hypothesis, but I believe that people who follow this line of thinking believe that by saving their money, they are better prepared for some unforeseen disaster that may befall them. Perhaps they are right in planning ahead in this fashion, but it is reasonable? In my life, I do save some money, but this is for a specific purpose: university. After university, I will probably have something else to save for, like an apartment. However, any money that I believe I have in excess I will probably spend. Although this seems to go against my previous thoughts about spending money, they actually work very well together. For example, I have now been working for two years, and I have accumulated a decent amount of savings. I will not need all of this to pay for tuition, so I decided that I could spend some on buying a new computer. I spent many months thinking about this purchase before buying it to ensure that I was not wasting my money, and when I finally did, I felt that I had bought something that will serve me day after day for several years. In spending my money wisely, I prevented being frivolous, but I also managed to enjoy myself.