Bad Money: Is There Such a Thing

My wife recently got her drivers license (it’s a long story) so while she was doing that we spent a good amount of time hanging out at the DMV. It’s not the funnest, cleanest or most enjoyable place to be but…that’s the end of that sentence 🙂

While there, because there are usually way too many people crammed into far too little space, I overheard quite a few conversations. One in particular was pretty interesting to me and got me thinking, it went something like this:

Guy 1: Yo, what’s up man, it’s been a while!

Guy 2: hey ya, what are you doing here?

blah blah blah, then the interesting part

Guy 2: What have you been up to lately?

Guy 1: I’ve been selling alarm systems in Texas. It’s not fun but it’s good money.

I fully understood what the guy was talking about, the pay was high, but it did get me thinking about what I consider good or bad money.

So what constitutes good money? And even further, what would you consider bad money?

I think this question is very open to opinion because everyone has their own moral compass to follow. The guy doing hits for the mob may think he’s getting paid good money but most of us would (hopefully) agree that that money is pretty bad money. The guy that’s being overpaid and knows it may feel like he’s getting paid bad money and may feel guilty about it but again that’s all up to personal opinion.

Here is my personal opinion on the subject. I generally think that the way you feel personally about the way you obtain money denotes whether or not that money is bad or good. Let me stress that is a generalization. I don’t think mob hits are a good idea. I don’t think stealing is good money either, even if it’s stealing from a bad organization or from the hitman.

I once quit a job because I felt like the customers were being cheated. I was basically in charge of doing the selling and I didn’t believe the products and services were worth the amount being charged for them. I wasn’t even receiving all that money and was only paid an hourly wage but still felt bad about the fact that people were being overcharged based on my recommendations. That to me wasn’t good money, even though the pay was good.

What do you think? If the customer is happy, like many of these customers that I felt were overpaying, should I have felt bad about it? Where do you draw the line between good and bad money?

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4 People have left comments on this post

» CraigNo Gravatar said: { Dec 30, 2009 - 12:12:44 }

All about what your time is worth. If you think you are getting paid fairly for your time and effort it’s bad money, anything else you will complain about. Doesn’t make the money bad, you still need it, but will feel you are being underpaid.
.-= Craig´s last blog ..Weekly Personal Finance Twitter Chat: Scholarships =-.

» Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar said: { Dec 30, 2009 - 01:12:55 }

Thanks for your comment Craig. I agree, time is important and definitely weighs in on the value of the dollar.

» AmandaNo Gravatar said: { Dec 31, 2009 - 02:12:50 }

I really think it’s just all in your perspective. If you feel you are being compensated fairly for the time and effort you put into something, it’s good money. Bad money is just the opposite, but there is also the argument that at least you are making money when so many people are jobless, and therefore, there is no bad money.

Good post though, makes you think!
.-= Amanda´s last blog ..Resolutions =-.

» Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar said: { Jan 4, 2010 - 11:01:09 }

Amanda, that is absolutely right. The moral dilemmas still come in to play but for the most part, if in your mind, you are being compensated fairly for your time and abilities it’s good money, though never stop looking upward and onward 🙂 you don’t want to miss out on any opportunities.

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