Four Reasons Why Wealth Should NOT Be Your Financial Goal

by Joe Plemon on November 10, 2009

There's a world above
Creative Commons License photo credit: albertopveiga

I love writing financial tips to help you better manage your money. I want you to get out of debt, have a sound emergency fund and a plan to retire with dignity. I want you to learn enough good financial habits that you will, over time, accumulate wealth. But I don’t want wealth to be your financial goal.

“What are you talking about, Joe?” you may be thinking.

“Isn’t wealth the ultimate goal for all of the sacrifice and savings that you recommend? If my goal is not to become wealthy, I might as well just go off the wagon and live it up right now.”

Wrong. And you make my point for me. Living it up right now is short sighted and asking for lots of problems…the very problems I want you to avoid. Here is the deal: I want you to experience financial peace as you go through life. I want you to do smart things with money so that you can experience the mental well being of knowing you are in control of your money. When you are in control, your stress level will plummet, your marriage will be better and you will be freed up emotionally to be creative with your life. You will know what it is like to have choices instead of forever being a slave to the debt that you have created. You will not be treading water; you will be swimming and enjoying it. You will be able to look beyond your own life and be a blessing to others.

Read on for four reasons NOT to make wealth your goal.

1. Distorted value system.

How we use our money is an indicator of our value system. But simply accumulating money because you want lots of it is a distorted value. The bible does not say, “Money is the root of all evil” but it does say,

“The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” (I Timothy 6:10).

If wealth is your goal, you could very well be in love with money. According to scripture, you are close to encountering all kinds of evil.

2.Takes focus off more important things.

You can’t focus on two things at once. Marriage, children, faith and friends should never take the back seat to a desire for wealth.

3. Inward thinking.

If your goal is wealth, you will spend your life thinking about yourself. Isn’t this simply a form of selfishness? (Think Ebenezer Scrooge before his night of visitations) Those who think outwardly consider their wealth as a vehicle for blessing others, not as an end in itself. These are the truly happy and content people in life.

4. Measuring success in life by your net worth.

Big problem, because you will never be satisfied. Once you reach one goal, you will jump the ante to a higher level, always chasing the illusion that money can make you happy. It can’t.

Remember: money is nothing more than a tool. Like a smart carpenter, your tools will serve you well if you take good care of them. But it would be a very unwise carpenter who idolized the tools themselves.

Wealth, in and of itself, should therefore never be your financial goal.

email

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Peter November 10, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Great post! I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately – and how a high net worth and/or financial success really aren’t good goals to have, but instead finding true fulfillment can only be found in loving God, and loving others.

Reply

Joe Plemon November 10, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Thanks Peter,
You said it all with these words, “finding true fulfillment can only be found in loving God, and loving others.”
As always, I appreciate your thoughts.

Reply

Credit Card Chaser November 10, 2009 at 10:34 pm

One thing that I have been convicted of lately is to change some of my financial goals from “I want to make X amount of money per year” to “I want to give away X amount of money per year to missions, church, etc.”.

Reply

Craig Ford November 11, 2009 at 7:26 pm

@Joe. I’ve had this article tagged for a few days, but I’m finally getting over to leave my comment. I wanted to let you know that I love this post! I believe our call as Christians is much (much,much) deeper than simply building wealth. This does not mean wealth is bad, just that God has a greater purpose for us and our finances.

Reply

morrison November 11, 2009 at 8:13 pm

You can not love both God & money. You have to make a choice. I’d choose God each and every time.

Reply

Joe Plemon November 11, 2009 at 10:26 pm

@Credit Card Chaser. Isn’t giving money away liberating? Of course you have to have money first, but setting a goal like you are talking about will certainly prevent wealth from ever being your goal. Thanks for your thoughts.

@Craig. I love the fact that God has a greater purpose for us and our finances. Wouldn’t life be dismal if we simply worked and lived for the purposes of this world?

Reply

Joe Plemon November 11, 2009 at 10:40 pm

morrison…good choice! Me too!

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 4 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: