It’s OK To Love Money: Money Is Not Evil

I love money said the bunny rabbit
“I love money,” admitted the bunny

Do you love money or wonder why some people do? Loving money is not a bad thing. It can actually help set you free, which I'll discuss below. Despite my failed attempt to ascertain whether some people are just born with a frugal gene and thereby able to amass much greater wealth than the average person, that's OK! 

I've found some great takeaways from the post, “The Unfair Competitive Advantage Of The Wealthy: The Frugal Gene,” such as:

  • The more people feel guilty about spending money on services they know they can easily do themselves, the more pissed off they will be if you say something. It's therefore unwise to speak out against how people should spend their money. We all have our own desires, skills, and values. But as a personal finance writer, these are exactly the topics that make for robust discussion.
  • DIY can be seen as a side-hustle to make more money. Now there are zero excuse for folks who are unwilling to moonlight, start a side business, or create a product to generate passive income. You can simply increase the amount of DIY projects, like cleaning, to earn more money by saving money.
  • In any business transaction, question everything. Be thorough. Stand your ground, while listening to the other side's point of view. Folks who let their emotions get the best of them in business usually lose. Get things in writing, make things clear, explain your situation, and go from there.
  • If you love money, you will probably be better at accumulating more money. You'll do a lot more research on how wealthy people got rich, what to invest in the stock market, how to get a raise, and all sorts of money attracting stuff. You might even subscribe to a personal finance blog.

The love of money is something I'd like to discuss in this post because I finally read a comment from a reader who admits that he loves money!

We Know Everybody Wants More Money

The most absurd question people in the investment banking industry like to ask prospective undergrad and MBA hires is, “Why do you want to work in investment banking?

The obvious answer is, “I want to make lots of money!” But, no candidate ever has the guts to admit it.

Instead, candidates respond with contrived answers such as, “I'd like to work on landmark deals that can create new synergies in the marketplace.” Or, “The markets are inefficient, and I believe I can help provide transparency to our clients.

HUH?! Just say you LOVE MONEY! You want to bathe in it. Shower in it. Throw $100 paper planes off your balcony just because you can. Be honest! Those who provide the most honest answers usually get past the first gauntlet of interviews.

We already know that it is impossible to escape the allure of money. The idealistic summer MBA intern who wanted to change the world at a startup went to work at a private equity shop because they offered her hundreds of thousands more a year to start.

So for all you money hungry folks out there, just know that it's OK to love money! And for all of you who are hating on folks who love money, stop it already. You know that if you had the opportunity to make more, you'd take it in a heartbeat.

Those Who Become Wealthy Love Money

For example, here's a quote from reader Jon that I've paraphrased for clarity purposes:

Now I know wealthy and poor frugal folks. But the wealthy seem to share a common trait – they love money. Me for instance. I consistently for the last 5 years saved 80-95% of my income depending on the year. That makes me conscious about my frugality. It takes great discipline to accomplish such a high savings rate.

But lets take a step back, why do I do this? Is it because I think things offer no value so I don’t purchase the object/service? No, it’s because I just love the money so much. If I spend $1, I’m really spending $1^Y. In other words, each dollar spent now is future money I won't have. Therefore, it’s hard for me to justify spending something I love so much and and not watching it grow.

No sane person would save 80-95% of his income if he didn't love money wouldn't you agree? It's clear to me that Jon has a frugal gene and will accumulate much more wealth than the average American who saves just 4% or less of their income.

Why Be Ashamed Of Loving Money?

If you really love someone, you'll do everything possible to get him/her. Maybe you'll get a haircut, do three pushups, eat less double cheeseburgers, skip the sweatpants, and actually floss your filthy teeth the next time you meet. You can always let yourself go after you get together. Attractive women with hideous men tell me all the time that it was their persistence that won them over.

If you love money, own it. The more money you have, the more you can give away. Money also buys resources, such as more time to help more people. If you've got to slave away at a minimum wage job for the rest of your life to make ends meet, how much can you really help others when you can barely help yourself?

If I didn't love money, then this site wouldn't exist because only a crazy person would spend hundreds of hours over the years writing articles and interacting with all of you. Oh crap, maybe I am crazy!

It's too bad rich politicians (a redundancy) and society make people feel bad about wanting more money. There's really no changing this perception that the desire for money, or those who have money, are bad. Hence, the importance of Stealth Wealth.

In this post, I'm telling you it's OK to love money. Because gosh darn it, you're good enough, smart enough, and people like you.

If you love money, you might:

  • Study harder in school
  • Work harder at your job to get that raise and promotion
  • Take more risks by starting a company
  • Allocate resources better and not burn through a whole ton of cash
  • Be able to help more people in need by giving away money or time
  • Express yourself more freely without caring what people think
  • Be able to stop doing things for money and start do things out of love

Do you love money? (Nobody will ever find out, so you can be honest)

View Results

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63 thoughts on “It’s OK To Love Money: Money Is Not Evil”

  1. Unknowned_dude

    Dude.. whats there not to love about money.. its universal energy, like fuel for engines.
    It keeps the world running and growing. Take a look at Bill Gates, he used his money to give, fund and save the world – look at that as an example.

    Saying money is evil is like saying “I hate oil-fuel for cars because if you drink it, you will probably die or becomes severely ill”. You’re not supposed to drink it, you’re supposed to use it for your car to run. And when your car can run, it can take you to places you want to go, do, be and give…

    So if a person who uses the money to do bad or evil, that’s just him man… don’t blame the money, blame his GREEDY, EVIL, DARK, NEGATIVITY MINDSET A.K.A POVERTY-MINDSET THAT DESTROYED MILLIONS OF TALENTED, POTENTIAL, AMBITIOUS SOULS!

    So I believed that the focus here should be about mindsets (abundant or scarce…)

    and why not see money as a field of science to be studied about. Think of it as air~… the more air we have the more we can breathe, the less air we have the more we suffocate. (And yes air/oxygen is also a form of limited resources, like money. Cut down all the trees on earth and see what will happen to our planet – same sheeeiiitt)

    – Just opinion, no hate, ciao!
    May all be well and prosperous!

  2. People hate her en masse, but Ayn Rand wrote the single, greatest explanation of the meaning of money ever put to paper. Do yourself a favor and look up “Francisco’s money speech” and devote yourself to every word of it.

  3. F- yes!

    That said I’ve never accepted a job solely for the money. It’s usually been a factor but the whole package has to be right. A lot of people thought i took my new job for the $$ but it was only about half of the reason.

  4. Sylvia @ Miss PF

    Yes, I love it. But, not the actual paper. Just all the opportunities and experiences it can provide for me and my loved ones.

  5. Maybe I’m rationalizing here, but I don’t feel like I love money, per se. What I love, passionately, is the freedom having money gives me. Once I had enough money to preserve my freedom for the rest of my life, I quit chasing money. I still earn a little through a hodge podge of enterprises, but no more trading time for money for me! :)

  6. Nope. I can’t say I love money. If I did, I don’t think I would have walked away from a six figure in income 2.5 years ago. What I love is that we’ve been able to reign in our runaway lifestyle and put away enough “liquid courage” to live a more authentic life (aka FU money).

    There’s real power in being able to listen to your gut telling you that how you spend your time doesn’t feel right, as opposed to brain telling you that you have many bosses (employers and creditors) to serve, which seems to remove choice (aka self-determination) from the equation.

  7. I love freedom, but not money. I left a 6-figure job to live simply and freely by 40. However, it took making money and then saving and investing my money to get here. I could continue to make a bunch more, if I really wanted to. But, I don’t need to and I feel done with the corporate world. I will continue to work freelance and part time, but I’d rather pick and choose with more purpose in my second life, rather than just continue to chase a large salary for the sake of it.

  8. BeSmartRich

    A lot of people would lie to themselves if they say they don’t love money. Money is not everything but when desperate, money becomes absolutely necessary. I have learned that lesson ever since I was young which put me where I am. If I did not love money then I wouldn’t have saved up enough money to put me through education that I desperately needed in Canada, my second home country. Thanks for the article that make me think twice.

  9. Most people love money and the freedom, choices and material goods it can be used to exchange for. However, once someone’s net worth goes beyond a certain amount, my guess is probably around 100 million dollars, then it’s probably power and influence they love more than anything else.

  10. Period.

    Not because of the stuff I can buy, but the freedom and flexibility it brings. BTW – I have also found having money gives you leverage to make even more money (or in other cases, save money) as you are now in a stronger position.

    Example – I engineered my layoff 2 weeks ago. Out of the 28 people let go, I am the only one holding out for a better severance than offered (2 weeks per year served). Why – because I can as I have money. Want me to sign and give up the ability to sue (I’m 47), the ability to “disparage the company”, the ability to hire away good resources, the ability to work for a competitor, etc? Pay me. In the end they will, because I have leverage. My money enables me to make even more money.

    It took me years to get to this point:
    1 – Working hard to maximize my pay
    2 – Keeping my expenditures low to put away assets
    3 – Yes – assets. Starts as money but then you put it to work to make even more money

    For me, it paid off in my early 40s. Layoff? Fine. Join a risky PE deal or start up? Fine. (so far mine have paid off) Able to drop everything and travel somewhere cool at a cut-rate price? Yes!

    For some, money is about retirement. For me, it is able being able to live a fuller life. Maybe I’ll retire someday, but it will be when I am no longer able to command the price I want to work.

    FYI – I agree with the poster who mentioned letting up as you grow older. Once you have a certain level of assets (money), you can begin to enjoy more and still have your stash grow. I started traveling in my 40s – yet my stash continues to grow. My point – don’t let your focus only be on the pile of assets. At some point begin to use them to live the life you want to live.

    1. Good comment! You’ve encapsulated the essence of this post, and the essence of my book on how to engineer your layoff quite well! I’m working hard now finalizing the second edition of HTEYL. The book is going from 100 pages to 150+ pages and I’m psyched.

      Glad money is allowing you to do what you want!

  11. I think love is a bit of a misplaced word. Money is simply a tool. Having the right tool in your toolbox gives you the ability to get through any project and money is no different. It is a tool that allows freedom in choice and enjoyment. Want a last minute vacation? Check. Send your kids to a good school? Check. Have a comfortable, safe place to live? Yes. Not work in a terrible environment? Ok. Etc, etc.

    Don’t get me wrong either…I do really appreciate having the right tools for a job too!

  12. Thias @It Pays Dividends

    I think there is a different between healthy and unhealthy love of money. Some people will pursue money in ways that have a negative impact on society (committing crimes to obtain it). However, I feel I am in the same boat as you described it above. My motivation has come from my love of money (or really, monetary security). Money is not the ultimate goal in my life but damn it does make things a whole lot easier!

    1. I think you are right. At least from my experience blogging. Those who started a blog to make money have mostly disappeared or failed. Those who started a blog to connect and story tell tend to have thrived.

  13. To me its all the above plus this:

    My money represents the net financial effect of my career decisions, persistence with education, lifestyle choices, investment mistakes/successes. In other words its a feedback indicator of my choices in life. I was lucky enough to be born to great parents in a country with great opportunities, but everything I have – I earned. The evidence is in the money.

    1. Good point. Which is why those without money might bash the hell out of folks who have money, because their “feedback indicator for their life choices” might be abysmal. Hence, it’s always good to ADJUST the amount of money you are perceived to have downward, or towards whatever social group you so happen to be cavorting with.

  14. I love people and living things much more than money. Without them, money would have no meaning and no value. The wealth of the society is the sum of the people who interact to help each other and provide services for each other- they just happen to be incentivized by profits.

    So money is a tool ultimately. It doesn’t make sense to love a tool. But I love the mechanisms to create wealth, like earning a good salary and saving a majority of it and investing it intelligently. That way we love the craft of wielding the tools effectively, and that makes more sense than just loving money for the sake of money. Having optionality, teaching others, learning, and having meaningful relationships with other people, with myself, and with nature is what I love.


    1. What about using money to buy your entry into a Social Club (eating, drinking, entertainment)? Sounds snooty, but that provides you the people and living experience you want.

  15. I think my love of money is rooted entirely in the sense of security I feel in having it; I know that, if everything were to go wrong, I’d still have a decent stash of savings (net worth, not liquid) to ride things out for a year or two, and that’s comforting. That said, I’ve begun to learn to let go a bit; the money does me no good after I’m gone, and I might be saving for a health or lifestyle eventuality that may never come to pass. We should never be made to feel guilty for our love of money, but a lack of charity or no sense of altruism should be worthy of criticism. I’ve given to causes intermittently in the past, but this will be the first year I will actively devote part of my income to helping others.

  16. I absolutely love money. I love seeing my fu stash grow every month and I feel a wave of accomplishment when that happens.

    That being said, I love freedom more than money. Money for me, is just a means to an end, which is to live life and experience it wholly on my own terms.

  17. Bryan @ Just One More Year

    Yes – I love money!

    I love it for what it can do for giving us options
    I love it for covering all our basic needs
    I love it for how we can help others
    I love it since it pays for our travel
    I love it since it buys things I enjoy

    However, I don’t think I would love to bath in it! :(

  18. I love money as well and I love saving it. Like Jim said, I like the choice and freedom it brings. I also want to help those I care about as well.

  19. Appreciate it? Yes, for the freedom it gives me.

    Respect it? Yes, for the power it has.

    Desire it? Within limits, depending on my needs.

    Love it? No. I save my love for the living – my family and friends. Love opens yourself up to obsession, and obsessing about anything is a very dangerous path to tread.

  20. Sam,

    I work for a Fintech company that you consulted for and love your content. I’ve worked in sales for 10 years at various companies so admitting that I love money has never been taboo among colleagues. However, I love money for all of the reasons you listed above. Over the last year I’ve been coaching/mentoring a high school baseball player from the Bayview. Because of money I have been able to provide a new set of catchers gear, a Crossfit membership, ACT prep classes, and a 2 month trip to LA for him to play travel baseball. I love being financially secure enough to provide opportunities that would never be possible for him otherwise. I feel that it’s perfectly fine to love money as long as it is for the right reasons and not simply to keep score.

  21. What a great poll! The result is telling. I like money, but I don’t think I love money. I could put a lot more effort into making and saving money if I really love it. I love enjoying life more than I money.

  22. Spot on, Sam!

    I love money,even if that gets you a bad rap. I think because so many people love money for the ability to flaunt it to those who have none, and many who love money pursued it at the expense at others, that the love of money is often associated with greed and excess.

    For me, money will simply mean freedom. Not excess, not power, not even influence. Just freedom. Freedom from a customer service job I don’t want getting yelled at by strangers I neither respect nor care about (I’m creating a post about a VERY nasty customer I had the other day, one whom I’d never have to deal with if I had the freedom that comes with money). Freedom from stress, just……freedom. I have no interest in money past that and have been doing everything in my power to earn more (getting life and health insurance licenses, earning passive income from my blog and dividend stocks, etc.).

    So I love money and don’t have an ounce of guilt. Oh, speaking of which, my lunch break is about to end and I have to go earn more money.

    ARB–Angry Retail Banker

    1. Glad you connected during your lunch break! It’s funny, but Twitter is on fire during work hours, and quiet during non work hours :)

      How about hoarding money b/c you love it, but never letting anybody know you have as much as you do? Is that OK?

      1. I don’t believe in the concept of “hoarding” money. “Hoarding” implies an obligation to give it away. The correct term is “saving” money. That said, philanthropists and altruists earn my respect. If I had Donald Trump’s or Bill Gates’ or Bruce Wayne’s money, you bet I’d be doing some sort of philanthropy.

        And no one is under any obligation to share what they have. If I had a billion inthe bank, I don’t feel like I’d be under any obligation to share that with anyone. Just as long as I don’t lie for the purpose of swindling others (faking being destitute in order get favors from family and friends and welfare from the government).

        But yeah, that’s all fine.

        ARB–Angry Retail Banker

  23. I could go on for hours about this, but seeing that Sam does not compensate his readers for writing their posts, suffice it to say that depending on my frame of mind I could choose any of the three options. So I chose option 2.

    1. Man, if only I could get compensated by you and all readers every time I publish a post. I’d be RICH!

      But alas, expecting everything for free and for a writer to keep on spending hours per post is the way forward.

      Any thoughts of starting your own site to see how easy or difficult it is? I’d come read!

      1. C’mon, Sam. I would have thought you’d catch the tongue-in-cheek tone I intended to convey there. I’ve written dozens if not hundreds of comments here and on other forums over the years, and if really cared about not getting any money out of it, I never would have written a line. Just a sign that my real attitude is that I like money, but I’m not obsessed with it or all-consumed by it. And though I’ve thought about starting a site of my own, I’m not likely to; my interests lie elsewhere.

  24. Hey Sam, on your comment about candidates answering the “Why Investment Banking” question, I’m sure you’ve read the classic book, Liars Poker. The author, if I remember correctly, stated that he was interested in acquiring wealth when asked that exact question in an investment banking interview but the interviewer lashed out at him for saying exactly what you suggested in the post. Saying that it’s all about the hard work and feeling fulfilled when you close a deal and learning more about corporate finance, etc. Investment bankers just don’t like talking about money, don’t you think?

      1. Does Mr Mortara eat as much as was alluded to in the book? You are like a modern day version of Forrest Gump, Sam.


  25. Mr. Retire by 35

    We love money! I think people are ashamed to talk about money because it is thought of as an impolite notion. I’ve noticed at my workplace, nobody talks about money. Nobody discusses how much they make, how much they save, how much the spend. Even though this is the wrong way to go about it, that’s how it is.

    The worst part is this works to the benefit of employers. They don’t have to fork out as much money to Employee B if they don’t know that Employee A is making $10,000 more for the same job. People need to start talking about how much they love money!

    1. Mr a Retire – I agree not talking about pay/comp benefits the employer and I see the benefit not in avoiding paying the second employee the same as the first. The perceived benefit is the relief that the manager feels in not having to explain to employee B why they earn less than the first one. It allows them to shirk the responsibility of having discussions around performance and results.

      I had an employee ask why another was paid more on their bonus and it gave me an opportunity to remind the guy of his performance relative to the others on his team. He didn’t get a raise by the way, we had a good discussion on his performance and where it could improve.

  26. “I love money. I love everything about it. I bought some pretty good stuff. Got me a $300 pair of socks. Got a fur sink. An electric dog polisher. A gasoline powered turtleneck sweater. And, of course, I bought some dumb stuff, too.”

    ― Steve Martin

  27. First thought – Oh my gosh I want that bunny. Cute!

    Second thought – That is pretty hilarious about the IB interview question. I always laugh to myself too when asking other people, “what motivates you?” and nobody ever wants to admit “money” but that was always my answer when it came to my job. There were times when I just wanted to blurt out, “just keep paying me more money and I’ll gladly work harder!” But I was much more PC when I asked for my raises. :)

    Third thought – I love money too. I’m not as gung-ho as some people, but I love having it; I love saving it; and I love watching it grow. What I don’t really like is spending it because then I have less and have to work harder to make up for it.

    I think a lot of people are ashamed to admit they love money because they fear the perception it may create of them sounding greedy or frivolous instead of frugal.

  28. Dominic @ Gen Y Finance Guy









  29. Dividend Growth Investor


    Ok, I love money. This is why I invest in companies that make a lot of money, and send me a portion of their profits every 90 days. They are essentially showering me with cash.

    I think the best situation to be in is the one where you truly love what you do, and it generates a lot of cash for you.

    Best Regards,


  30. “If I spend $1, I’m really spending $1^Y. In other words, each dollar spent now is future money I won’t have. Therefore, it’s hard for me to justify spending something I love so much and not watching it grow.”

    This is something that is at the forefront of my mind each day. It’s simple math, but it is tough getting into a routine. Now that I have set a budget, I have almost taken it to an extreme of not spending any money. We will see when I get to a balance where I am spending the money that I allocate for myself.

    The path to financial success is never over, and a person can always adjust.

    I will say it too: I LOVE MONEY!!

  31. Yeah, I’ll admit it, I do love money. Thinking about money (trying to save what I have, earning more, etc.) takes up a good amount of my time. However, I’ve always adhered to the notion that there does need to be some balance in life. Your love of money can’t be all consuming. When it is, other areas of your life might suffer (personal health, relationships with spouse/family). And, love of money gone to the extreme can turn into greedy corruption. So, love money sure…but be mindful of its impact on you.

    1. Mrs. Budgets @mrandmrsbudgets

      I agree. I think it’s important everyone remember what their saving so hard far or life will pass them by.

  32. Thought provoking post, but I think it’s not money that people love, it’s the choice and freedom it gives. I don’t think of the FIRE community as being in love with money (just fixated on it maybe!) because money is merely the tool that will deliver the freedom from the boring job, that will allow the globe-trotting travel, buy the time to learn interesting skills and provide the means necessary to bring them, such as books, courses, DVD’s and so on. We love money as it’s the means to an end. The people we dislike are the people who see money as the end goal – who fixate on buying the Ferrari, the Rolex, the gold toilet, whatever. They don’t love money, they lust after it. I’d happily admit to loving money for the choice it brings, but I’d hate to think I was lusting after it.

    1. But maybe the FIRE community really does love, love, love money and all that it provides. If they didn’t love money, they wouldn’t be so obsessed with it – fixated, as you say!

  33. Ali @ Anything You Want

    I do love money, and I agree that it is kind of taboo to admit this. I think the issue is that people who love money are seen as greedy, consumerist, etc. A major distinction could be drawn between people who love money for the sake of money vs. people who love money for what it can do for them. If you want to accumulate money just because having a lot of money makes you feel special and superior, that is generally not socially acceptable in our culture. I feel that it is much more acceptable to love money because of what it allows you to have: freedom, security, stability, etc.

    1. I’m with you Ali. My brother takes great pleasure in watching his accounts grow. Money and investments invariably is all he wants to talk about. His portfolio is twice the size of mine, to him money IS the end, to me (and you) it’s a MEANS to a different end (your list plus Sam’s – helping others with money and time etc.). I tell my brother all the time “you are going to die a rich man… so what?, only your kids will benefit”.

      I admit it.. I love money, but only for what it allows me to do (NOT the money itself)

    2. Vijay Niles

      Money similar to any other resource is a tool that can be used for good or evil. Sadly, the love of money has become synonymous with greed DOES NOT have to be true. I agree with Sam in the belief that loving money will give you the motivation to be frugal and spend wisely (it is your hard earned dollars after all). It becomes very difficult to help the poor and disadvantaged when your one of them. Keep hustling everyone :D

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