The Pearl is the retelling of an old Mexican folk tale in which the main character, Kino, finds a magnificent pearl and instantly begins speaking of all the great things he and his wife and child will do and have because of it. His dreams are neither overly greedy nor unrealistic. He wishes for new clothes (which they sorely need), a rifle, and an education for his son. However, by the standards of the time and their poverty, Kino's fortune breeds jealousy and greed in those around him and begins to distort his reality, which leads to trials and tragedy in only a couple days' time.
The story definitely teaches a lesson about the effect of money on a person and those around him/her. Although a good resource, not only will money not solve your problems, it may cause worse problems.
Are you a John Steinbeck fan? Which of his works have you read? The Grapes of Wrath is also one of my reading goals for this year.