Have you seen the movie ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street?’.
I watched it a couple of years ago and one thing that always struck me was that, no matter how much he made, Jordan Belfort always wanted more.
Now I know that the movie was over exaggerated (to sell movie tickets) but the basic need for “More”, I think is something we humans share.
So that got me thinking… How do you know, when you have made enough? How do you know when you have earned enough success? When is enough, enough?
Take a moment and dream with me for bit. Imagine if you had one million pounds… What would you do with it? Would you buy a nice house? Go on a nice holiday? Or, would you take risks and work hard to make it five million?
Suppose you had five million – would you be wealthy enough to relax and pursue non-monetary goals? Or would you push onward to reach ten million pounds?
For many people, there is no amount of wealth that is enough. They always want more. First there is tangible wealth: houses, cars, yachts, aircraft, seashore properties to dock the yacht, land for a private airfield for the aircraft. Then they need enough wealth to be able to pay the people they hire to maintain all these properties. Then there is intangible wealth, ownership of corporations that gives them control. There’s no limit.
If you’re not like that, a couple of million pounds would be enough to provide for a comfortable retirement, right?
How Much Money Do I Need To Be Happy?
At some point, more money becomes meaningless in terms of the quality of your life, but where is that point?
“Enoughness” is an important concept to become clear on because it dramatically affects what goals you pursue and how you pursue them.
For ME: Becoming Wealthy “Enough” Means Having Just The Right Amount Of Money To Maximise Life Experience.
That level of money is different for each person.
What's Your Financial Freedom Figure?
I find that most people don’t actually want to be Jeff Bezos (Net Worth $109.2 Billion) rich, they just want to be comfortable. I call the amount of money you need to meet your dream lifestyle, your ‘Financial Freedom Figure’.
A vast majority of people can live insanely happy lives with annual expenses between £25,000 – £60,000.
Here’s how I determined how much was enough for me. I started asking myself tough questions which has been broken into two categories.
Step 1: Look Inwards
- What kind of life do I want to live?
- What do I really love?
- What is my mission?
- What does the perfect day look like?
- What truly makes me happy?
- What do I want to be my legacy?
Tip: I encourage you to find a quiet place and write down your answers to these questions. Be honest with yourself. Also, realise that your answers to these questions will change over time.
Step 2: Write Your Numbers
- How much do I need to live the life I want to live?
- How much do I need to take care of my families basic needs?
- How much money do I need to maximize my happiness?
- What is the minimum amount of money I need each month to live the life I want?
- How much money do I need to help others?
Tip: make this as tangible as possible. Start by calculating what you need over a year and then break it down into monthly, and finally daily increments.
Being Too Wealthy Can Limit Freedom
Surprisingly, more money can lead to less freedom and happiness.
Earning and managing more money requires additional effort. Reaching mega-wealth raises your profile in such a way that it may place limits on your freedom.
That’s why celebrities and tycoons have body-guards, private ranches with security gates, and more.
They become targets of attention and can’t travel anywhere and do as they please without getting bothered. Their success actually limits their freedom and experience of life.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t become Ultra-Wealthy if you want, I’m just saying you should have your eyes open to what could happen.
The key to happiness is not getting, it’s giving.
To boost your happiness, you don’t need more money what you need is to be more liked and respected.
How do you do that?
People like people who are givers. Get engaged with your peer group, contribute, add value.
A Final Thought
What I’m trying to communicate is that at some point, you have all the money you need to have all the experiences you desire. When you reach that point, you have to question the value of spending your life energy earning more.
- I only need one bed to sleep in, one chair to sit in, and it doesn’t take a lot of money to buy these things.
- World travel, considered a luxury by many, can be purchased for a reasonable price. The more luxury you buy when traveling, the more insulated you become from the experience you sought from travel in the first place. There’s an efficient budget for traveling that avoids unnecessary hardship without insulating you from the country you came to visit.
- It doesn’t take a lot of money to buy a good bicycle or backpack, but it does take time, health, and freedom to enjoy bike trips and backpacking adventures.
- If travel and adventure isn’t your passion, but arts and crafts are, then the same rule applies. It doesn’t take a lot of money to pursue your artistic goals – but it does take time and health.
- Close, personal relationships cost very little to flourish, but they do require time to cultivate.
The message should be clear: the stuff that’s really important in life – that which contributes to happiness and fulfillment – doesn’t cost a lot of money.
Here are resources I highly recommend for more reading on this topic…