Money, this word means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, to the way it's used to how they perceive it. Some stress that it makes the world go around, others say it is the root of all evil, most of us think it brings happiness, but it is almost never looked at as a tool. As a sixteen year old five months from being seventeen and dangerously close to being an adult, I've heard a lot about money, but barely learned about it. I don't know how to do my taxes (at least I know what they are). I can't balance a checkbook and I I don't know what a 401K is. Like many teenagers, I've asked my parents things like “When do you do your taxes?” or “Will I get benefits from any job or just big ones?” and they answer in generic ways like “Maybe… it just depends.” These lack of answers to my very necessary questions made me take a Personal Finance course online. I learned a lot from it, and now stress to all my friends to take one.
Money is a tool, not a toy, an impossible mountain to climb, or a hard level to beat. “You should take control of money, not let it take control of you” that's how my Dad would look at it. Through my Dad's eyes, he sees money as a passive tool, like the back end of a hammer only using it when he messes up striking the nail. Most people his age look at it like this, he is fifty-two, and is a PICC Nurse at our local VA hospital. He saves it up, stores it away, and never spends it, (unless it's on camping or RV equipment); we actually call him “the family cheap skate.” This style of money usage is one of many I learned about in my course, and is what would be called his “Money Language.” Everyone has a certain money language that stems from their personality. For example I am a earn to invest, meaning I make a little, but invest to make more. I use charts, graphs and math to calculate inflation, rises and falls in taxes and monthly company profit and loss. That all might sound hard and confusing but it is easier than you think. Saving money is a benefit, but money can also be an active tool rather than a passive one. If you are passive you will most likely settle instead of getting what you really want for most of your life. You will settle on things like like cars, houses, appliances and other general things. This stockpile is good for rainy days and unforeseen circumstances, but you are deprived of what money does best-buy things!
Money is like a double edged sword it can be incredibly effective, but could come back and hurt you if not handled with precision. “Money is meant to be used to help us,” My Mother would say. she has earn to spend language. She likes it when she knows where every dollar is going, for example she will use a zero based budget. That's just a fancy phrase meaning there will be no money left over. This money language excels at figuring out money priorities, which helps keep money from controlling her. My mother has been able to pay off much of her debt (mostly in student loans) and get her PHD in nursing education using this method, while also be able to provide for three kids by herself. These experiences have taught me the importance of money and how it can influence you. In conclusion, I want to stress the point that it is important to understand your money language and know how to use money effectively.