This Week’s Need to Know: The Angry Corner: Mad Money Matters

I really hate money and the important role it has in modern society angers me a hell of a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love a million quid in my account to make life easy, but having lots of it would make me feel uncomfortable as just the concept of money troubles me.

Physical money is just plastic, cloth and bits of metal that we arbitrary assign value to. I find it hilarious that coin collections can be more valuable than the original “retail” value. Don’t even get me started on the flimsy nature of digital money and credit; a literal glitch in the system can mint paupers.

Before money, people would trade services with each other which made sense as both sides got something “real” out of it. Then, what I suppose we would recognise as bankers must have introduced currency as a stand-in for goods and services. Middlemen, who complain about bureaucracy and red tape, introducing middlemen and red tape into transactions that ultimately make them richer. Then with enough money/potential value an individual becomes more valuable to society than someone with specialist skills and ability.

Obviously, I’m simplifying the matter greatly, but my point stands. Look at the recently announced increase to tuitions fees (again…) to over £9500 per year. Back before 2010 the same amount of education in a year was £3000, and earlier still it was free. Is there really a value increase in the quality of more than over triple? Nopety nope nope. Either way you get footnote hell and powerpoint slides – detailed and researched as they are.

Now over the summer I’ve been learning as much as I can about how to save money efficiently and more so how to invest wisely. I’ve obviously been doing this since being a student makes you realise how broke you really are. And I recommend learning as much as you can too, since it really is one of the best (only) ways to become affluent enough to live a comfortable life other than a well paying career.

Given that the retirement age keeps getting higher and higher, and the pension pot is getting smaller, we could all do with a little extra disposable income. Except the more you learn about investing the more you realise it is, at its core, just informed betting. Goes to show the value of money is blown out of proportion – before inflation. It’s all one big con.

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