If Money Was Food: 14 Examples of The ‘Roll’ it Would Play

Money and food are two everyday essentials that we often have complex relationships with. While we generally show a great deal of interest in food, our enthusiasm for understanding money beyond daily spending is usually much lower. This is evident from the abundance of food-related TV shows compared to the fewer programmes focused on personal finance.

Just as we consume different types of food for various reasons, we allocate our money towards various priorities and needs. With that in mind, here’s a list of food and drink items that serve as analogies for the different roles money plays in our lives.

Tinned Food – Emergency Money

Tinned food is reliable and long-lasting, perfect for those unexpected moments when you need sustenance quickly. Similarly, an emergency fund is essential for life’s unexpected expenses. These savings are your financial safety net, there to protect you in times of need, whether it’s an urgent home repair or sudden medical expense.

Fine Wine and Aged Cheese – Long-Term Investments

Fine wine and aged cheese both improve significantly with time, requiring patience as their flavours mature and develop. This is akin to long-term investments, such as your pension and investments, which require a long-term perspective. You let your money sit and grow, gradually reaping the benefits over time as it increases in value.

Chateaubriand – Luxury Treats

Chateaubriand is a luxury cut of beef, often reserved for special occasions. This represents the money you set aside for indulgences and treats. Whether it’s a new watch, jewellery, a car, or dining at a high-end restaurant, this portion of your finances allows you to enjoy the finer things in life, rewarding yourself for your hard work.

Desserts or Sweet Treats – Holiday and Travel

Desserts or sweet treats are often enjoyed occasionally and provide a delightful break from everyday meals. They are indulgences that bring joy and satisfaction, much like holidays and travel. Just as desserts add sweetness to your diet, holidays and travel add excitement and pleasure to your life, offering a refreshing escape from the routine. These experiences are about enjoyment, exploration, and creating cherished memories, much like how a dessert can be the highlight of a meal.

Salads – Health and Wellbeing

Salads are nutritious and good for maintaining your health. This corresponds to money spent on looking after yourself, such as gym memberships, healthy food, and wellness activities. Investing in your health ensures that you enjoy your retirement years to the fullest, staying active and vibrant.

Bread and Butter – Daily Expenses

Bread and butter are staple foods, forming the basis of many meals. This is similar to your day-to-day expenses, covering necessities like groceries, utility bills, transportation, and housing costs. These are the essential expenditures that keep your life running smoothly.

Porridge – Regular Savings

Porridge is a simple, steady breakfast option, providing sustained energy. It represents regular savings, like putting money into a savings account or ISA (Individual Savings Account). Consistently saving a portion of your income builds a solid foundation for your financial future, ensuring you have funds available for both planned and unplanned needs.

Homebrewed Beer – Investment in Hobbies

Homebrewing beer is a hobby that involves brewing, fermenting, and ageing beer over several weeks to months. This hobby not only requires an initial investment in equipment and ingredients but also time and attention to detail. It symbolises the money you spend on hobbies and personal interests. Investing in hobbies, whatever it is, enriches your life and provides joy and relaxation. It’s essential to have funds allocated to activities that enhance your quality of life.

Fugu – High Risk, High Reward Investments

Fugu, a Japanese delicacy, is prepared from pufferfish and requires the skill of a highly experienced chef due to its potential toxicity. This delicacy represents high-risk, high-reward investments. These investments can offer significant returns but also come with substantial risk, requiring careful consideration and risk tolerance. They are not for the faint-hearted or those who can’t afford to take the risk.

Homemade Soup – Family Support

Homemade soup is comforting and nourishing, often shared with family. This can represent the money you allocate towards supporting family members, whether it’s funding your children’s university costs, a house deposit or supporting ageing parents. It’s about sharing your resources to ensure your loved ones are taken care of.

Gourmet Coffee – Small Luxuries

A cup of gourmet coffee is a small, affordable luxury that brings daily joy. This can symbolise the little treats you allow yourself regularly, like a night out at the cinema, a spa day, or a special purchase. These small luxuries are important for maintaining your happiness and well-being without significantly impacting your overall financial health.

Pasta – Budget-Friendly Choices

Pasta is versatile, affordable and can be turned into a variety of meals, making it a budget-friendly choice. This represents the money you spend wisely, making the most of your budget without compromising on quality of life. It’s about being resourceful and getting the best value for your money.

Takeaways and Fast Food – Impulse Spending

Takeaways and fast food are convenient, often spontaneous choices that provide immediate satisfaction but are not necessarily the healthiest or most cost-effective options in the long run. Just like fast food, impulse purchases can quickly add up and might not always be the best use of your money. While they provide immediate gratification, relying too heavily on them can impact your overall financial health.

Luxury Hamper – Charitable Giving

A luxury hamper, often given on special occasions, is filled with high-quality and thoughtfully chosen items. This corresponds to charitable giving and donations, where you allocate part of your finances to causes you believe in. Supporting charities not only helps those in need but also provides a sense of fulfilment and purpose.

Viewing money through the lens of food can simplify and clarify the complexities of financial planning. Each type of “financial food” has its place in a well-balanced financial diet, ensuring that all aspects of your life are nourished. By recognising the purpose of each financial allocation, you can manage your money more effectively, ensuring a secure and fulfilling retirement.


Photo by Jimmy Dean on Unsplash

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