Over the past six years, I’ve written over a million words about money, done over 1,000 media and podcast interviews, written an international bestselling book, and talked with more readers than I can even begin to count. Here are the 50 things I’ve learned about money over the course of that journey.
1. Money is a mindset. It can be learned. You can figure it out.
2. Money buys you time. Time is not money—it’s much more valuable.
3. Money may not buy happiness… but that doesn’t matter because happiness is too small of a goal. What makes you feel truly alive? And how can you use money to reach it?
4. Money is easy once you figure it out. You learn more about it the more time you spend with it.
5. Money is a reflection of who you are. The better you know yourself the easier it is to define success.
6. Money isn’t a tool. It’s a form of energy. Calling it merely a tool limits its power and potential. How you make and spend your money impacts the world.
7. Money can buy you freedom, but most people don’t take advantage of the freedom they already have. 8. Money has diminishing returns. Just having the ability to buy what you want no longer means you need to buy it.
9. Money is complicated and made confusing by people who are trying to take it from you.
10. Money will mean more to you when you remember the energy you put into making it.
11. Money isn’t fair, but it should be fairer. Not everyone has the opportunities you do, so don’t waste them.
12. Money can increase your quality of life as long as you know what you want. If you don’t define what you want, then you’ll end up buying what someone else wants and then be left unsatisfied.
13. Money didn’t always exist. Humans made it and constantly overthink it.
14. Money means options. It gives you choices and can expand your life.
15. Money should be talked about. Share your salary, what worked for you and what didn’t, share blueprints.
16. Money will change your relationship to it if you let it. Take the time to build a relationship with money. The more time you spend with it, the more you’ll learn about money and yourself. It will be with you for the rest of your life.
17. Money is how you see the world. Freedom is freedom of mind.
18. Money is like life; you can learn from it if you pay attention.
19. Money is a tradeoff. You need to choose what you’re willing to trade it for.
20. Money is best when shared. Somehow, giving away money is more fun than making it. We’re social animals built to help others; giving magnifies our joy.
21. Money isn’t real. But then, nothing is, so don’t worry. Just enjoy.
22. Money making money is the key to financial freedom. It’s really that simple.
23. Money isn’t worth losing sleep over. Despite this, money is the number one stressor in most people’s lives. It’s hard to overcome this stress, but you can figure it out.
24. Money isn’t evil. It’s neither bad nor good. It just is. It’s whatever we project onto it.
25. Money is personal power. You can use it to turn your desires into reality, make the unreal real.
26. Money shouldn’t be over optimized. Don’t obsess over spreadsheets or your savings rate. I see this far too often. Put money in its place in your life and then focus your energy on more important things.
27. Money has limits and so does freedom. There’s only so much it and we can do with our lives. Find your own limits and operate within them–that’s the key to a rich life.
28. Money magnifies everything. It just does. Be cautious: making more money won’t solve all of your problems, but it can solve some of them.
29. Money comes and goes. Don’t hold onto it too tightly. This is the most important lesson I’ve learned and I try to remind myself of it every day.
30. Money is simple: make more, spend less, save the rest. Don’t overcomplicate it, just keep at it and you’ll have more money than you ever thought possible.
31. Money is a mind game. Don’t get stuck in your head; we’re our own worst enemies. Find your blind spots, correct them, and move on.
32. Money is sometimes an excuse for something else. People often say they want more money, but it’s always easier to chase money than it is to deal with what we’re running from.
33. Money is used by the rich to get richer and unfortunately, sometimes to keep others poor. Be on the right side of history. You can get richer while helping others to do the same.
34. Money changes you if you let it. Money can make you desire things you didn’t use to want. It can trap you into unhelpful dreams. You can get stuck, but that’s your choice.
35. Money doesn’t discriminate, people do. Use it for good.
36. Money experts don’t know you. I’m not an expert, I just have a perspective. Take from it what you can. Your life is yours.
37. Money isn’t worth sacrificing your health. It took me too long to learn this lesson. Letting my health go is my biggest money regret. It’s not worth it.
38. Money is worth managing yourself. I’ve never understood why anyone would want to outsource one of their most precious assets. Why would you give your freedom to someone else to manage? Your life to someone else to manage? I’m not hating on financial advisors, it’s just that even if you work with one you should still manage money yourself. Pay by the hour, not a percentage of your assets.
39. Money controls you or you control it. There’s no gray area. If you think there is, then money is controlling you. I see this all the time.
40. Money runs the world, unfortunately, and fortunately. You probably can’t change the game, so learn the rules and then master the game. There are rule books out there. Read them.
41. Money takes time—to make, save, and grow. Be patient, but not complacent.
42. Money is infinite—you can always go out and make more money. If you think you can’t, then you’ve already lost the game.
43. Money is always flowing, like water, into new places, opening new opportunities.
44. Money will continue to change as we change, evolving from physical to digital, from object to pixel. From shells to coins to paper to crypto, it will keep evolving like everything else.
45. Money means whatever you want it to mean. You can choose what it means to you and your life, what you’re willing to sacrifice for it, whether you let it stress you out. What does it mean to you?
46. Money has value, but its value is your choice. You can decide what you buy most of the time and whether it’s “worth it.” Choose wisely.
47. Money is being reborn in every moment, just like everything else. Money is alive. Don’t forget that.
48. Money isn’t about “more.” It’s about “enough.” How much is enough? This is the most important question and only you can answer it for yourself.
49. Money, like life, is about taking calculated risks. The better you know yourself, the easier risks are to take. They expand your life and teach you things. Don’t be afraid, but don’t risk it all. The single best piece of money advice ever is: “Don’t lose money” from Warren Buffett.
50. Money only matters if it helps you live a life you love. This is how I live my life.
To learn more about how I became a millionaire at age 30 and the most important steps you can take to create more freedom in your life, check out my book Financial Freedom, available in many languages wherever books are sold or at your local library.
Wishing you much success and peace on your journey!
This article originally appeared on Millennial Money with the title of 50 Things I’ve Learned About Money.
Grant Sabatier writes about money, mindfulness, and financial independence – all with the ultimate goal of helping you build a life you love.
His story and ideas have been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, CNBC, Business Insider, and many other places.