How Much Money Do You Need To Be Happy?
For some people, the answer is $10 million.
For others, it’s less than $1 million.
And for most of us, there’s no such thing as enough money – it’s always about more and more and more.
What if we had a better idea of how much money would actually fulfill our needs and desires?
If you ask a billionaire, they’ll likely respond that no amount is enough.
Others might reflexively say, a million dollars.
The more thoughtful might have a different number.
Finally, there comes the point in your life that there might be a better way to spend your time than trying to make more money.
To know that you’ve reached that point, you need to define it.
Can you ever be satisfied with what you’ve accomplished and not want more? Be honest.
You don’t need to justify it or make excuses for feeling the way you do.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting more as long as there’s a balance between your desires and reality.
If that balance shifts too far away from what you actually have, then the inherent problem will become clear:
You’re chasing an endless goal that can never be attained because it doesn’t exist.
So why are so many people unhappy despite having lots of money and success?
Why is there such a lack of fulfillment among those who seem to have everything they could possibly desire?
The answer might surprise you: It’s not about the money.
Most people think that more money will solve all their problems, but that’s not always the case.
Studies have shown that happiness doesn’t necessarily correlate with income level.
In fact, once a person earns over $75,000 per year, additional wealth doesn’t lead to significantly more happiness.
So, how much money is enough?
The answer to that question depends on you and your specific situation.
What are your goals in life?
What are your values?
How much money do you need to live comfortably without fear or stress?
If you can’t answer those questions, then you’re not ready for more money.
When you’re ready to stop chasing more, then you can finally reach your goals and achieve success on a level that will impact the world on a grander scale than merely accumulating large sums of cash.
Confucius said it best: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
You need to define what is most important to you.
Spend time addressing this vital issue.
Consider how much money you need to live fully:
1. Start by defining what “enough” means to you
2. Think about your values and what’s important to you
3. Consider how much money you need to live comfortably without fear or stress
- How old are you?
Consider how old you are and how much longer you expect to live; if you’re 90, your financial needs will be less than someone who is 30.
Look at actuarial tables that can tell you how long the average person in your age group is expected to live (unless there’s a genetic predisposition).
Plan on living past this number!
- How much are your monthly expenses?
Decide how much you need to live on each year – this should include everything: housing, food, utilities, transportation, insurance, healthcare costs, and any other desired expenses.
What would your payments be if you were living the life of your dreams? Let your imagination run wild.
What expenses would you have? A new bowling ball each year or the second house on the beach? A housekeeper?
It’s your life.
Determine how much it would take to finance your ideal life.
- Who are you responsible for?
Do you have three children that will attend college in the next 10 years?
Do you have a spouse that doesn’t work? Do you care for an aging parent?
For how long do you expect to financially provide for others?
- What is your current debt situation?
Do you have 20 years left on a mortgage hanging over your head? Significant medical bills? Credit cards?
- When would you like to retire, and how much do you need each month to live comfortably?
How would you like to spend your retirement?
Do you want to travel regularly? Play golf every day?
How much would a typical month in retirement cost?
Maybe you value your free time above all else and would be happy living a simple life with a Labrador retriever and a large vegetable garden, reading books all afternoon.
- What toys do you want to own?
A plane? A Porsche? A boat? A second home? Swimming pool? Motorcycle?
4. Once you have a solid number in mind, work towards that goal
So, Just How Much Money is Enough?
The answer to this question is going to be different for everyone.
It depends on your current lifestyle, the future you want and what would bring you happiness in life.
But one thing that many people don’t think about when they wonder how much money they need is that there are plenty of things we can do with our time other than work if we have enough income from investments or passive cash flow sources.
For example, travel more often, spend more time volunteering at a charity organization or create a legacy project like writing a book about your experiences in business, so someone else doesn’t make the same mistakes as you did!
You might also enjoy engaging in hobbies such as gardening, painting landscapes or playing an instrument while earning some extra cash doing it via a side hustle.
In the end, it all comes down to what will make you happy and if you want to retire as soon as possible or work until a later age.
Just make sure that when figuring out how much money is enough for you, you consider all of the variables and not just your salary!
Remember that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
So start defining how much money you need to be happy now!