How Quarantine Changed my View on Money: Does it even really matter anymore?

Is it just me or money suddenly lost its appeal during quarantine? 

I don’t know, maybe its just me. And it will come off as an extremely hypocritical idea to think too when many people are helpless and starving due to loss of jobs and opportunities to go out and work.

But no, I’m not talking about the value of money. It is valuable, no doubt. What I meant is its appeal. Okay, allow me to expand it more. 

The cycle of wanting more

We are in a never-ending cycle of desiring a new thing after the next. We assign goals, we hit them, and then we find new ones to aim for. 

For some people, that’s what’s giving them purpose. To continually push on and hustle more. And most often than not it is all tied to money. 

Not every time, but most of the time. 

You want to buy a house, support your family, you want to get a new car, you want to buy art, upgrade your phone, and everything else that makes us believe we have become better people because we have achieved a certain status or material wealth. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I hate money or I hate growing it. I do. I’m all into investing, making money work for you, and acquiring real skills that are valuable to the marketplace. I also don’t have any debt, thank goodness. 

I admit though, I am in a better position than I was three years ago when I graduated college. But I’m also not an expert in all this, so of course, like everything else, take what I say with a grain of salt. You can even disagree with me and its alright. I disagree with me too. 

These ideas aren’t concrete but it’s definitely something I want to explore, because after all, what we do have during quarantine is time. Time to reflect, think, and imagine.

But back to money. During the flattening the curve season, most of us only spend money on the “essentials”. 

Then, of course, that leaves us to save the rest of our income. Isn’t it funny that with no luxury items to think of buying, no plane tickets to book, no vacation reservations, no online shopping, and no opportunities to spend more in fluff items that we just fancy, money seems meaningless. 

Money can’t buy security

There is a study that says that income growth versus happiness has a direct correlation but then plateaus at a certain point. The steepness of this correlation is to be verified. It may vary from person to person. But any higher than that threshold, adding more money in your bank account does not contribute to an additional sensation of satisfaction anymore. 

This might probably apply to people who have done that. Or maybe not in that position necessarily but has more money that can be spent than what is needed. Or maybe the conditions of quarantine just accelerated this sense of the weakened appeal of money within me.

We can buy all the “security” and insurances all we want but if there’s anything this pandemic just proves is that money cannot buy peace of mind. 

We are confronted with polarizing views every single day as to what should be done- solve the health crisis first or open up the economy and so much more. And I don’t know about you but participating in the debate seems pointless. Maybe I simply lack empathy but I don’t think its that. 

Its the fact that there is nothing you can do. We are asked to stay put. Even if you want to protest that your small business should open up, I observe that others seem to vilify those kinds of efforts. And if you are at the opposite of the spectrum, you are also conceived as a complying sheep. But I digress. 

Money can’t buy good relationships

It’s also funny how quickly humans adapt. Put them in isolation and at first, there is massive resistance. 

But give it a little time and the comfort of home settles in. Isn’t it better to stay this way? 

When stuck at home with your family, working in your pajamas, for some who haven’t experienced the remote life, no commute they might say life is great. 

Money does not have a role in that feeling of content and peace when you get to spend more time with people that you care for.

 And I think it covers those who have a tougher time at home too. Some experience trauma and abuse but when we put money in the equation, is there really an escape? 

I posit people stay in a toxic relationship, not because of money. Or probably the better model to see it as- add money on an unhealthy relationship and it stays the same. Or worse. 

Money only makes sense when you have the intent to spend it

Perhaps before all this, my mindset with money is too narrow. I might have subconsciously thought that money solves everything- which is obviously wrong but all this time. I feel like my goals have been too shallow. 

Did I 2x, 3x,10x my income this year? Which is quite petty and irrelevant when you are under quarantine and is just literally trying to stay alive.

Is it just me, or money loses meaning when it no longer serves its usual purpose? Knowingly or unknowingly, we love showing and projecting our social status. This isolation now provides a model by which people spend sparingly. People are protective of their bank accounts, people don’t have confidence in the markets. Also, who really wants to buy a new phone now when you can’t flex it to your peers? Again, I might have digressed there.

The art of spending and investing, that’s all there is to it. In one way or another, that’s just the way life is. You give and take and receive, and by giving and receiving… Nah, I’m just quoting Joey now. 

But yeah, what do you think? Did the quarantine period make you think of money less or more? If money doesn’t matter, what is? What is your new goal? How could we help those in need? If we give money, are we really helping them?

I am not one to ask for comments, but if you do have an opinion on this matter, feel free to drop them below. It’s about time we start a healthy discourse. #

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