Personal Finance Has Everything and Nothing to Do With Money

Personal Finance

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By Kristin Wong

On the surface, personal finance seems to be primarily about money: getting rich and optimizing your investments and so on. It’s definitely about all of that stuff, but in a larger, more important way, it has nothing to do with money at all. It’s more about using it to optimize your values and priorities.

Learn to Manage Your Money So It Doesn’t Manage You

My dad used to say, “Money isn’t the problem; the lack of it is.” And it’s true: money doesn’t buy you happiness, but not having enough of it can be a pain. And the level of pain varies, depending on your situation.

Growing up, my parents had a hard time making ends meet, at least for a few years. They wanted to move to a better neighborhood with better schools, but that wasn’t going to happen. Others have it even worse. In Scarcity, Why Having Too Little Means So Much, authors and researchers Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir describe study after study that shows a lack of money affects our decisiveness, well-being—even our politeness.

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