Money is a means to an end. It is meant for use, but, then, only the right use of it leads to happiness, the misuse of it leads to misery. Money is not for hoarding, but for removing want and relieving distress. A wise man will use it on himself to satisfy all his legitimate needs, and to help others, but a foolish man will squander it away in unnecessary trifles or harmful luxuries, or will give it to persons who do not deserve it. ‘Waste not, want not’ is a very sound maxim.
Some people condemn money as the root of evils. They say that we have difficulty in earning it, and difficulty in keeping it, and it causes us great sorrow when we part with it. This is an erroneous view. The efforts we make in earning money by honest means strengthen our character. Of course, there are men, such as gamblers and robbers, who wish to adopt short cuts to fortune, but we should not condemn wealth for the fault of these misguided votaries of it.
The best advice is ‘Earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can.’ so that earning money is not bad. We should amass wealth by all means, and must spend it in the right and proper way. Neither the miser who starves himself, and makes his pile grow larger day by day, nor the spendthrift who wastes away in drink and luxuries all that he earns, make the right use of money. We must live decently, within our income, according to our position, neither spending too much, beyond our means or station, nor spending less than we ought to. We must save as much as we can. These savings will help us in times of need. Lay hy something against a rainy day, is a very sound advice. A prudent man must not only meet his current needs, but must provide for the future, also.
A man who spends every penny he earns on himself alone does not perform his duty towards society. The best use of these savings is charity, but our charity should be well-directed, We should not give money to drunkards and idlers, who will be encouraged by our charity in their had habits, and remain a burden on society. We should be very careful in spending the money which we or our forefathers have earned by the sweat of their brow.
But one more thing we should hear in mind, that the accumulation of wealth, though extremely necessary and desirable, is not the be-all and end-all of our existence. Money is useful for the satisfaction of the needs of our material existence, but man does not live by bread alone, says the Bible. Goldsmith says:
Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates, and men decay.