A critical piece of reducing your dependence on money is realizing other ways to measure "wealth". We are doing ourselves a huge disservice by elevating money to such an extreme level. It should not be this important in our society and we need to lower its status in favor of other forms of capital.
There are eight forms of capital that the authors, Ethan Roland and Gregory Landua, identified in their book Regenerative Enterprise: Financial, Material, Living, Social, Intellectual, Experiential, Spiritual, and Cultural. Here is a brief summary of each one.
- Financial capital is obviously money in all its forms including savings, investments, and access to financing.
- Material capital are physical good and objects either as raw materials or finished goods.
- Living capital is living objects like animals and plants but also the water, air, and ecosystems that are critical for living objects to live.
- Social capital are your family, friends, and connections, anyone that can be relied on.
- Intellectual capital is everything you've learned from your education, whether formal or informal.
- Experiential capital is everything you've learned from your experiences, whether in your chosen field or through travel or other life experiences.
- Spiritual capital is the capital needed to give you the right perspective on the universe and your place in it. This can be done through religion but also through something like karma.
- Cultural capital is the community traditions that are vital to a culture, things like art, music, stories, history, language, and wardrobe.
A few takeaways from this list. First is that financial capital can be exchanged for some other forms of capital (like intellectual) but not all forms. Second, some can be built with no other forms of capital but work and time (social, cultural, spiritual, experiential). Lastly, the non-financial forms of capital are what are really critical to a society and ultimately lead to happiness and resilience.
The other thing to note is that there is a unique currency for each form of capital. These alternative currencies can be developed and accumulated then used for exchange for other forms of capital. Here are the currencies of each type of capital:
- Financial - money
- Material - goods, objects, and materials
- Living - plants, animals, elements
- Social - connections
- Intellectual - ideas and knowledge
- Experiential - action
- Spiritual - prayer, faith, balance
- Cultural - song, story, ritual
So take stock of your "net worth" for each form of capital and find ways to apply the capital that you have in excess to helping society in hopes that it will reward you with forms of capital that you are lacking.