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A Letter to My Kids: Money Isn’t Everything

by Don Smith

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You have seen mom and I talk about money many times, and I've told you that we aren't going to do or get certain things because they cost too much. You've watched me work hard, and get stressed out at times over little slips of green paper. You've heard me talk about the importance of saving for a rainy day. You've seen me write articles and coach people on how to earn more money.

Money Can't Give You a Hug

What I may not have told you enough times is that money isn't everything. It can't bring your grandmother or your dog back. It won't give you a hug when you need it, or care when you have a good or a bad day.

It won't giggle, reach a tiny hand up, and grab yours while smiling and make you forget the troubles of the day for a moment as you did for me as a baby.

Money is an inanimate object, a tool only, neither good nor evil.

Yes, money is necessary, so I'm not telling you to sit on the couch in my basement for the rest of your life :). It can buy experiences like those vacations we took last year, provide you everything you need to live, and make things a little easier.

It can allow you to quietly help a loved one who desperately needs help due to an unexpected illness or disaster. It can give you the freedom to do what you want rather than what you feel like you have to do to keep food on the table. So don't completely write it off.

Don & Lauren talking on the beach
Money helped buy this time with my daughter on the beach. It's a tool, neither good nor evil.

Money Doesn't Equal Happiness

But more important than money is your health, happiness, and relationships. While you should never ignore your own basic needs or let people take advantage of you, happiness tends to come not from being greedy and continually asking what's in it for me, but from reaching out to help others.

Look up and outside of yourself if you want to find true happiness. Never trade your integrity, relationships, or long-term happiness for little strips of green paper. There are not enough dollars in the world to make it worth it.

Yes, money is necessary, but it is FAR from the most important thing in life. It's not a yardstick by which we should measure our worth. No amount of money will change the love I have for you, things like that are not for sale. Never forget that the most important things in life can't be bought, and that money isn't everything.

Love,

Dad

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About the Author 

Don Smith

The Personal Growth Channel founder, Don Smith also runs a technology company, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and enjoys seeing people achieve their goals. Happily married with five children, he lives in Springfield, Illinois.

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