There are numerous myths and lies told about money. For example, some people blame money for wealth and poverty - it is sometimes an enabler to the wealth end, but in and of itself money doesn’t cause either - that would be tautological to say.

The lie that just started itching like a festering sore is the one told by banks and financial advisers of all shapes and sizes: “make your money work for you”. Ahhhh, the bullshit is thickening!

One of my undergraduate economics professors asserted that money is the greatest invention in history (in part because without so few of the other inventions would have been possible or at least useful). The cool thing about it is that it can be used as a transfer, as a proxy for transfer and for storage. It has all kinds of cool properties like divisibility and establishing a method for setting one price even among different kinds of goods transfers. However, “working for you” is not one of those properties.

Working on the assumption that there is no idle money, when money is placed in a bank account it is aggregated with other funds in order to redistribute as loans. The bank pays the account holders a fee (interest) for being able to hold onto their money and lend to other customers at a higher rate, taking the difference (profit) and buying gold gilded wash basins. So it’s very simple to follow then - the money doesn’t work - the people paying the loans back work. Other people work for you, not your money. They work to have your money for a short while.

There is no great technical difference, but the way in which this is understood in financial parlance is overly sanitized.