The fake money experiment, part 2

On Tuesday, we discussed the fake money experiment I started a few months ago.

I became aware of how anxious I was around money, and in an attempt to become more comfortable with money, I bought $50,000 worth of fake cash and stacked it on the side of my desk.

Maybe just being around money would help me feel more comfortable with it.

The first thing I noticed was the fears I had about it. Would someone steal it? How would people feel about me if they saw I had $50,000 stacked on my desk? Am I just crazy doing this?

But this is FAKE money. If someone steals it, I can buy more! If someone sees it, I can explain that it’s prop money.

So I started to play with it.

I made myself a fat roll that I tried carrying around in my pocket. That made me feel like a boss.

I would play with it during long phone calls, stacking it, organizing it, crickling it up to make it look worn.

Soon enough, I was feeling more comfortable with it. At first, my eyes would jump to it whenever I walked into the office. But after a while, I hardly noticed it.

Money is fake

Living with fake money made me realize that the whole construct of cash was fake. Money is, of course, just paper or metal. It has value because we all believe that other people will attribute value to it. I can buy gas with my money because the gas station owner can use that money to pay his mortgage. Everyone is in on it.

If money needs us to give it value, it also requires us to provide it with purpose.

Money sitting on the side of my desk is a waste. It’s not doing anything; it’s not working. Money needs us to give it a direction, a meaning, a purpose. If I decide to feed my family with that money, it’s fulfilling that purpose. If I choose to pay for a home repair or a vacation, that money now has that purpose.

“As long as you see money as a scarce resource, you will continually inconvenience yourself to get it. As soon as you have made yourself the scarce resource, money will inconvenience itself to get you.”

Michael Neill

Having fake money has made me feel like money is less scarce. It’s made it easier for me to spend money. I don’t get as anxious when investing in a big vacation for my family when I need new tires on my car or when the furnace breaks.

The funny thing is that ease in spending money hasn’t meant that I have any less money in my bank account.

What do you believe about money? Is it serving you to keep believing that?

I love talking about money; if you have thoughts or questions, hit reply!

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