Money is not everything, is it?

Most people would say that money is not everything. I had an interesting encounter with it recently.

My little one was down with fever for about a week, and we had to bring her down the the KK Hospital’s A&E for children. It was quite an experience. So to start off, the usual temperature taking, Covid-19 questions, and then you are brought in where the nurses will do a triage on your kid’s condition.

Here comes the interesting part. Before we could go in and see the doctor, we had to register and make payment. This is unlike in a poly clinic, where you register, see a doctor and then make payment. It cost $120 for subsidized bill and $240 for the non subsidized one.

I know $240 isn’t a lot. But it got me thinking, what would happen if I didn’t have the money to pay. I’m guessing there might be some financial assistance that you can apply to. You have to remember, having a sick kid, and having to worry about the bill is no fun.

Having money in this case removes the anxiety that I might have if I am unable to foot the bill.

Money is everything until it isn’t

To everyone who said that money is not everything, let’s take a look at Maslow’s hierachy of needs.

  • Physiological needs (food, water, sleep)
  • Safety needs (shelter, job security, well being)
  • Social needs (love, belonging, inclusion)
  • Esteem needs (presitge, feeling of accomplishment)
  • Self actualization (development, creativity)

Money is everything in the first 2 levels. You need money for food and drink. Without money, you won’t be able to sleep or rest well cause you are always worrying about when the next meal will come. Having a roof over your head needs money too. If you are constantly worried about not having money for your basic needs, it will eventually wear you down and affects your well being.

Once those 2 levels of needs are met, then money is not everything from then on.

Love – you can pay someone for companionship, but you can’t pay someone to love you

Health – money can buy you medication but it can’t bring back your health

Purpose – money can help you to achieve your purpose, but it can never bring you purpose.

Money as a tool

Personally, I like to think of money as a tool. You have to learn how or what you want to do with it.

For example, I always use money to buy time. I would pay for a 30 mins cab ride over a 2 hours journey by public transport.

In this pursuit to financial freedom, money is the tool that is going to give me options: the freedom to walk away from a 9-5 job, and the freedom to do what I want.

I also like to think of money as a tool to make more money, through investing.


Money by itself doesn’t mean anything. But if you use it wisely, money can change your life for the better. Money can open up opportunities.

Ultimately, money can help you to find happiness, but it won’t bring you happiness.