Wealth and Trust

What is money? Wouldn't you just love to roll in it?

I always knew I was going to be rich. I don't think I ever doubted it for a minute.

-Warren Buffett


In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash

What is Money?

When we were young, we used to watch "the rich" in cartoons doing what we would do if we had lots of money: rolling in it, fondling it, tossing it in the air, and playing "keep away" from the hero (who was NOT rich.) It was fun and it was all we could imagine to do with money. Money was a toy, but a very special toy that EVERYONE liked to play with.

When we grew up, money changed a little. For most people, there is a bit of desperation attached to money. No longer just a fun toy, it now becomes something WE NEED.

But what is money, really?

Actual money is little pieces of cheap metal and fabric (no, we only call it paper money, its actually more like a heavy linen fabric.) It can be made of anything, as we just found out. I, personally, think the new paper money looks more like monopoly money than the old money did. But it still gets me to the gas station and through the grocery store.

In fact, you don't even have to touch any money to spend it. Checks, debit cards, and credit cards make shopping so much easier than carrying a thick wad of bills in your pocket. And then there are always gift cards. They act like money, though only at one store.

So why does all this stuff work?

Because money is all about trust.

When I buy that gift card, I can trust the store I bought if from to allow my loved one to purchase something they like at that store.

When I use a debit card, the store is trusting my bank that they will transfer some money from my bank account into the store's bank account. Same thing with a check; it just takes a little longer.

When I use my credit card, the credit card company is trusting me that I will keep making my monthly payments.

If you read the back of your paper money, it says "In God we trust."

Honesty and trust are the foundations of living in a society where it is so easy to earn money and to spend it.

So I would have to say the answer to the question "What is money?" is "Trust."