Money makes the world go round. Money makes your house warm and your teeth clean. Money covers your feet and feeds your belly. Money awards freedom and issues respect. Money gives you life. Money also puts you in chains. Money keeps you shackled against the grain. It keeps you confined to tedious jobs and daily routines. It makes you scared to leave and terrified to die. It broadens your horizons while confining you to four walls and water coolers. It makes you scornful and petty. It makes you selfish and cheap.
Money is the only thing that can give you freedom while taking it away. It turns men blind, thinking it gives them sight. It destroys relationships and families as quickly as it creates them. It’s a necessity we live with that becomes the only thing worth living for.
It’s the root of all evil, the doer of all good and the very thing that defines our existence. We secure it in boxes and show it off in the form of new shutters and Cadillacs.
We buy watches and purses to hold our money. We go to school to learn how to turn money into more money.
Money is an acquaintance with which you should only give a passing nod. It’s not your best friend nor your family. It’s a stranger you’re forced to reckon with. It’s that man on the corner who yells at you to pay him attention, if only for a second.
Money should be a friendly thing that helps you live, to give you the freedom you can’t get without it. It should be appreciated but never worshiped. You should be able to let it go as easily as you take it.
It should be used to help you fulfill your dreams and to just get by. You should learn to struggle with it and strive with it. It’s a necessity, but it’s not everything.
It’s the small part of your life that forces you to follow the crowd, to do what you don’t feel like doing, just so you can be alone with a bottle of wine and a new book.
Your life is for living, not for saving every cent. It’s for enjoying the fruits of your labor and dying without a penny to your name. Life isn’t about bank statements and fortunes, but collections of experiences and daily struggles that make you who you’ll become.
In your twenties and thirties, it’s not about fancy clothes and dinners. It’s about roughing it to get to that concert and swindling your way into shots at the bar. We’re not supposed to be making a lot of money because we don’t need a lot.
In case you’re still not sure, here’s how much money you should be making:
You should be making enough money to buy your own groceries, to think that bread is overpriced and milk and cheese will go the furthest for your buck.
You should be making enough to have your own apartment, shared with one, two or three others.
You should be making enough to eat, but never feel completely full.
You should be making enough to go out once a week and get drunk enough to cab it home, but worry about affording brunch the next morning.
You should be making enough to buy wine for $12 a bottle.
You should be making enough to never feel poor but have to wonder what it’s like to have money.
You should be making enough to have a bed but never a headboard.
You should be making enough to sleep on sheets but never a full thread count.
You should be making enough to go to bars, but not without pregaming just a little.
You should be making enough to feel like you can do anything, but know it’s all really nothing.
You should be making enough to be able to travel the world but never see the inside of a hotel.
You should be making enough to buy coffee in the morning but lament how expensive it’s become.
You should be making enough to go shopping but return everything you buy because you really don’t need new clothes.
You should be making enough to go to the movies, but only when it’s something you HAVE to see.
You should be making enough to smoke weed but worry about where your next eighth will come from.
You should be making enough to travel on trains but never in style.
You should be making enough to eat lobster, but only when in Maine.
You should be making enough to buy a car, but only because it’s falling apart and you’re gonna use it to travel across states.
You should be making enough to go to the Plaza, but only to sit in the lobby for drinks.
You should be making enough to buy yourself some new shoes, but only because they’re for a once-in-a-lifetime date.
You should be making enough to take a woman out to dinner but eat in for the next few nights.
You should be making enough to order takeout, but only if it’s the lunch special.
You should be making enough to buy a new computer, but only because you are going to write a best-selling novel.
You should be making enough to own a cat, but only feed it dry food.
You should be making enough to pick up the check, but only because they’d do it for you.
This article originally appears on Elite Daily