Money Monday: The True Nature of Money

BY: - 12 Jul '10 | Money

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We’re happy to announce that our “Money Monday” feature is back. Over the next few weeks you’ll get great weekly insight and tips on managing your greenbacks by Dr. Charles Alonzo Peters of MochaMoney.com. Please take a second to check out his site when you get done with this great article.

by Dr. Charles Alonzo Peters

I think we should change the way our money looks.

That’s right. Let’s get rid of those portraits of dead presidents and replace them with ……….. timepieces.

That’s right. On the $100 bill we’ll print a picture of a finely crafted Movado watch.
On the $20 bill we’ll place a good ole Timex, and on the $1 bill –   Goodbye George, hello big ol’ fat Flava Flav type clock.

What’s my preoccupation with changing the face of our currency?

I think we need a reminder about the true nature of money. Money represents time – our time more specifically.

Think about this.

Cash is but a mere representation for the time we spent making it.   It’s a visible embodiment of the time we used to earn it.

When we purchase that beautiful hand-crafted leather handbag, we’re not really paying cash.   Instead, we’re making a trade. We’re trading our time spent at work for the purse, with money acting as the medium of exchange.

This is time spent trapped in a car idling in rush hour commutes on Chicago’s Kennedy Expressway, Washington’s Capital Beltway, or Atlanta’s I-75. Time being tortured to death by unbearable meetings or working outside in the heat of the summer sun. Time spent meeting ulcer inducing deadlines, working with ill-tempered co-workers, or dealing with incompetent bosses.

Time is one of our most precious commodities. Each one of us is born with only finite amount of it. The minute we’re out the womb the clock starts ticking. It’s this precious time spent at work that we’re actually trading for the things we buy.

I believe once we understand that we’re trading our valuable time for the things we purchase, we’re in a position to make better financial decisions.

That shiny new iPad may not look so attractive when you realize that you’re trading away 39 hours of your life for it. Can your family get by with one car when you realize a second car will cost you 1,589 hours of your life? Is the larger McMansion really worth it when you understand it will suck up 23,530 additional hours of your life?

No, I don’t think I’ll ever get clocks on the face of our currency. But perhaps the next time you’re at the cash register, you’ll realize you’re not handing over money, but little pieces of your time.

BMWK, What do you think? Do you believe that money is time? Do you think such a concept can help you with your spending decisions?

About the author

Lamar Tyler wrote 2229 articles on this blog.

Lamar Tyler is co-creator BlackandMarriedWithKids.com. He also is the co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing.

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One thought on “Money Monday: The True Nature of Money

  1. healthandwealth!

    WOW….this article is SOOOOO insightful! I never considered that money is literally a representation of time. The amount of time we used to generate it. Those with the most, (may) have spent a lot of time to gain it. Those who acquire it quickly, usually do so with the least of ethical terms and while under tremendous negative pressure. Your time should be an investment that you spend with the expectation of acquiring something that will enable you to have MORE time (consequently more money).

    Very interesting take. Love this article! Can’t wait to see more! 🙂

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Money Monday: Mama Knows Best – The Childhood Money Advice We Should Be Listening to as Adults

BY: - 19 Jul '10 | Money

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by Dr. Charles Alonzo Peters

It never ceases to amaze me. Despite how grown up you think you are, you’ll never be as smart or as wise as your parents.

As an adult, I’m only now beginning to fully appreciate the lessons they tried to teach me. The phrases and sayings that made me roll my eyes with frustration are now springing to life with new meaning (OK, so I didn’t physically roll my eyes, I did have Black parents, but you get the point).

Here are a few of them. They’re things I hated hearing as a kid, but now have made me better off financially. Maybe you can relate or perhaps you have a few of your own to ad.


“No you don’t need any more toys, you don’t even play with the ones you have”

Like any kid I was magically drawn to the toy aisle. I’d imagine what I’d do with the new GI Joe action figure or the shiny metallic Matchbox car.   When I turned to my mom she’d ask me why I needed another – my room was full of toys as it was.

To be fair she had a point. What kid doesn’t have toys not only in their room, but also spread throughout the house in every nook and cranny known to man?

As an adult, I’m only now starting to take my parents’ advice to heart. How many times have I bought a new book, knowing I had a shelf full of books at home I hadn’t even touched?

Ladies, how many of you purchase a sharp pair of shoes or a new outfit even though the inside of your closet looks like a Macy’s department store? Men, how many of us buy new DVDs or video games knowing we have ones still stacked in the living room unused? Worse yet, how many of us spent money for that super, deluxe 400 channel cable service when we barely have time to watch programs on basic cable?

Yes, I think my mama was on to something.


“No you don’t need it, you WANT it”

No one could clarify the difference between a need and a want faster than my mother.   School clothes and my new glasses were needs. Baseball cards, movie tickets, and ice cream were wants.   I wasn’t totally deprived as a child. We did get   want items but only after all the needs were taken care of first.

It’s funny as adults we forget to break things down into needs and wants. We’ll happily splurge on wants like televisions, ipods, and clothes but then scramble to make the rent.

Worse yet, we’ll even rationalize a want into a need. I know I’ve been guilty of that all too often. Of course you “need” the new outfit or shoes. You have to dress the part or people at work won’t take you seriously. Yes you “need” that new foreign sports sedan because your clients have to see that you’re successful.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t see anything wrong with purchasing your want items, but only after you’ve taken care of needs like saving for retirement and paying off credit card debt.

Chalk another one up for mom.

You want to go to McDonald’s –   Boy you know I make better hamburgers at home”

Yes I had one of those mothers who was frugal before frugal was fashionable.   She avoided fast food places like the plague. In her mind they were pure money pits. Besides she knew her food tasted way better than anything grilled up by a bunch of teenagers making minimum wage.

So we’d drive past a Wendy’s or McDonald’s and look with envy at the other kids leaving with their Happy Meals in hand. Yet, looking back, mom’s thick ol’ hamburger stuck between two pieces of wonder bread did taste better than any thing we could have eaten at McDonald’s.

Only as an adult, after years of wasting thousands of dollars eating out, have I realized the value of her wisdom. No I’m no Bobby Flay or Chef Batali but my food is edible and my wallet is thanking me for it.

Yes, our parents delivered advice more precious than any found in a personal finance book.

What are some of the sayings you dreaded as a kid, but that have turned out to be words of wisdom as an adult?

Over the next few weeks you’ll get great weekly insight and tips on managing your greenbacks by Dr. Charles Alonzo Peters of MochaMoney.com so be sure to check back.

About the author

Lamar Tyler wrote 2229 articles on this blog.

Lamar Tyler is co-creator BlackandMarriedWithKids.com. He also is the co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing.

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