Get Rich or Die Lying: Are We too Obsessed with Money?

"Money makes the world go 'round", "Money is the root of all evil", Money can't buy you happiness". We've all heard the story of ole fucked up Mr. Money, yet we still work every day just to get him in our bank accounts and most of us wish to have more. But, how much is too much and why is everyone so obsessed with his ass? 

There's no denying that we need money to survive. Even the most basic needs, such as water and food, require mula. According to the USDA's March 2017 Cost of Food report, the monthly cost for a woman 19-50 years old ranged from $163-$325 and it was even higher for men. Now that's just food. Imagine rent, utilities, transportation, clothes, phone, credit card and student loans (a.k.a The Trap). When you calculate all these expenses, it makes sense for people to aspire to be financially stable at the least. Unless you've learned to be self-sufficient outside of the main system of things, you won't survive without a proper source of income.

The big question is how much, exactly, is enough? I can provide research on the cost of living in the U.S. or what is considered poverty, but it's all bullshit.  Based on Illinois' requirements, I'm a middle-class citizen, but I still say I'm poor. After I pay bills and eat, I'm basically left with little to nothing. The main difference between me and someone who is below the poverty line is they can receive government benefits and I can't. As a new adult, that shit is stressful; which is why I can see why so many people think money will solve all their problems. Walking around with the burden of not being able to have the things you need or want is a constant reminder that you are missing something—that green paper. How can you escape the thought of money when the very absence of it is being shoved down your throat every day?

Money is not the only answer, but it makes a difference.
— Barack Obama

 

While some financial goals may seem a bit overboard, there is nothing wrong with wanting to have an income that will cover your cost of living and leave you a surplus, especially if you have or are planning a family. No one should be judged because money is a priority in their life. While it shouldn't be your only focus, we can't turn a blind eye to the fact that with poverty comes consequences. As fucked up as it is, you usually cannot get proper healthcare, education, healthy food etc. if you are poor. You are literally at a social and economic disadvantage. I'm not saying being poor means you can't be happy, especially when you learn to appreciate the little things in life. What I mean is, the quality of the things you have access to normally depends on your income. That's the way the system is set up. As much as we know it needs to change, it won't for a long time. So, it's understandable why people focus on making money. 

The true issue lies in when it becomes embedded in someone's personality and morality. As much as wanting to become financially successful is a good thing, letting it cause you to be ruthless and dehumanize others is where you need to pump the brakes shawty. That "get it by any means" attitude will fuck you and everyone around you up. It's exactly why we have a rotten, corrupt pumpkin in the highest position for our country. Getting your coins doesn't mean go out and do something illegal or have no regard for who you hurt in the process. When your morale lowers you lower as a person. You might say you don't care, but karma will make you think twice. 

I believe that financial stability is a must in life, but I also believe this need has gone too far. Now, I don't judge anyone for wanting to have a 6 or 7 figure income. Hell, that's what I want; I need my vacations and I like to shop. However, there has been a new wave of obsession with keeping up with the Joneses. Social media has given everyone a peak into every stranger's life and now everyone wants what the next person has. There are two problems with this: most people can't afford this life of luxury and a lot of people who are being admired are putting on a facade. It's like a never-ending cycle of everyone acting like they have money and buying out of their budget just to impress others. I know people who can't afford lunch, but will break their necks to get some designer shoes. Word of advice: be patient. We're young and have plenty of time to reach our goals. Stop trying to have what the next person has and focus on becoming a better you in every way possible.  

As much as I see the problems with the obsession with money, stigmas for people's financial statuses and goals need to stop. Not every person who wants to just live comfortably is "basic" and, unlike Tyler Perry's romance movies, not everyone who is rich is a dipshit. Remain humble no matter how you choose to live. You thinking you're better because you live an average life compared to rich people still means you're an asshole. You're not exempt from the pool of obnoxious dicks. Everyone has a right to the type of lifestyle they want. Just make sure you're not bumming off someone else or becoming arrogant in the process of attaining it. 

In the end, do as you please. No one can tell you how to live unless it is affecting others. Just make sure you're happy and not basing your goals off filling a void in your soul. As for my goals:

 

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You can't buy tacos and plane tickets with potatoes. Show me the money!

 

Disclaimer: I am in no way shape or form an economist or budgeting expert. I'm just a witness to some real shit. 

Rachel Adeniyi