- "Being rich" is an empty goal, according to the personal-finance website The Financial Diet.
- Money shouldn't be seen as a material to be hoarded but as a way to live a good life, said Chelsea Fagan, the site's cofounder.
- If society views wealth accumulation as an achievement, it will continue to repeat a cycle of wealth-hoarding that produces wealth inequality and lacks meaning, Fagan said.
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"'Being rich' is among the most empty goals a person can have," the tweet said. "Accumulating money for the sake of a number misses the point entirely — life should be treated as a story you are writing, and money should be the ink that helps you write, not the story itself."
"Being rich" is among the most empty goals a person can have. Accumulating money for the sake of a number misses the point entirely -- life should be treated as a story you are writing, and money should be the ink that helps you write, not the story itself.— The Financial Diet (@TFDiet) April 15, 2019
In short, building wealth shouldn't be about having a certain amount in the bank, but living a life you love.
"Essentially, I think in this country we put an enormous premium on the accumulation of wealth as an isolated achievement — the lists ranking the X wealthiest people, the constant focus on celebrities' net worth, the obsession with displaying personal wealth on social media — and this creates a perception that the number itself is in some way a goal," Chelsea Fagan, a cofounder of The Financial Diet, told Business Insider.
She added: "The money becomes a competition or a statement of personal value, and as we accumulate more of it, we are increasingly in social circles of similar wealth which only reinforce this feedback loop of net-worth-as-achievement."
Money, according to Fagan, should be viewed as a way to facilitate a good life that provides things like security, comfort, freedom, options, and, occasionally, risks — not as a material to be hoarded.
"This is not only because doing the latter does not make us any happier or improve our lives in any way, but also because a societal focus on wealth-hoarding inherently creates a society which is more imbalanced and precarious, with wealth increasingly collecting and stagnating at the very top," she said.
She continued: "But so long as we continue to view the accumulation of massive wealth as any kind of achievement (and not the reflection of a meaningfully broken economic system), this system will continue to reproduce itself, with deep systemic inequalities on the societal level and profound lack of meaning at the personal level."