When It Comes To Money, Do You Have Enough?
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Are you money happy? When it comes to money, do you have enough? Enough money to pay your bills? Enough money to cover all your expenses, save for retirement and still have a fun and rewarding life?
What Is Enough?
According to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word enough means “occurring in such quantity, quality, or scope as to fully meet demands, needs or expectations.”
Do you define your ‘enough’ by the demands of your boss, the needs of your family or societies expectations?
Do you live within (or below) your means or are you always looking for that proverbial ‘greener grass’? In this consumerism based culture, how can you be money happy with what you have without wanting more? If you quantify your ‘enough’ by anyone other than your own self-justified demands, needs and expectations, you are certainly not alone.
RELATED: How Healthy Are Your Money Habits?
Are You Money Happy??
Having always been a bit of a money nerd, I love working on our budget and seeing the money in our savings continually grow. Finding bargains at stores, not paying for shipping, free money and credit card rewards all attribute to my money happy.
However, I am constantly obsessing about retirement funds and emergency savings; I am always questioning if we have enough [money]. If only we could win the lottery, then we would have enough! Then we will be money happy.
After losing my dreadful 9-5 office job, (see my post I Got Laid Off … No What ? ) I started to really think about what I wanted from life and what it would mean to be money happy. Trying to determine what my ‘enough’ is often makes me feel poor and decidedly ‘not enough’. A quandary many people can relate to, I’m sure. So I continually work on our budget, looking for better ways to save and new side hustles to explore. When I do start to feel that we do not have enough, I remember this story about the Mexican Fisherman:
An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The Mexican replied, “only a little while”. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.” The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”
“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”
“Millions – then what?”
The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”
Perhaps we all need to re-define our ‘enough’. Instead of striving for more money, maybe we should focus on being money happy. We need to stop focusing on what we don’t have and focus on what we do have.
WHAT MAKES YOU MONEY HAPPY?
Being able to pay my bills and still have a bit leftover to ‘play’ with, traveling with my husband and exploring different parts of the world, helping other’s discover their money happy potential … it isn’t always about having everything, but just being able to enjoy my life with people I love.
When I am at the end of my years, I want to look back and remember my family and friends. I want to look back and remember all the fun and exciting things I did and the amazing places I visited. Upon my final breath, I want to know that what I did mattered; that I loved and was loved. Will I really be thinking about how much money I made? What then, will I be lamenting as enough.