When is Enough Money…Enough?
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We live in a culture driven by an insatiable desire for more. We can never seem to have enough things, friends, money, etc., etc. Advertisers, credit card companies and we ourselves play on that desire, which can end up making life feel less like a journey and more like an endless treadmill workout.
Having more isn’t necessarily wrong, as it isn’t bad to have something nice. But, at some point the question begins to enter your mind – when is enough money…enough?
Going Deaf in the Echo Chamber
Social media is a great tool. You can connect with long lost friends and keep in touch with new ones; follow the news; learn new things and so much more. I love that I can go on Facebook and chat with friends or find out details about an event that we’re planning to attend.
Are you like me though and you go onto Facebook/you name the social media platform and the next thing you know, 30 minutes have gone by and your to-do list is still sitting there staring you in the face?
Yeah, I’ve done that far too many times to count. A funny thing can happen when you’re on social media. You begin to see what others have. They have more than you and you instantly, or subconsciously, you want to have what they have.
Call it keeping up with the Joneses if you will and it can be easy to think we must do what that particular person is doing in order to be happy or fulfilled, not stopping to realize the person showing all this stuff may be broke.
We see something similar in the blogging space. We see the proliferation of income reports, stories of side hustles blowing up to crazy big businesses or methods to make extra money and think we all have to do it, which makes me somewhat of a hypocrite as a quick search on this site will show a number of articles on how to make extra money. 🙂
All that being said, it can be easy to see these things and think we must do them in order to have any status or to be successful. In short, it can cause us to go deaf from all the noise we hear around us.
Knowing Your Why
One of my Dad’s favorite sayings went something like this – “If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you do the same thing?” I hated this saying as a kid/young adult as I felt he was writing me off and not listening to what I thought I wanted.
As I’ve grown older wiser I’ve come to love the fact that he would ask me that question. I now know what he was trying to accomplish. He was trying to get me to think for myself and to help me determine what I really want in life. He wanted me to be happy and following what I wanted in life, but that required/requires thought to make sure it aligns with where we want to go.
In relation to the make more/earn more/side hustle this means one thing – we’re prone to working ourselves to death simply to make more money. Making more money is great. Doing so has allowed me to do things like pay off debt, save more money for retirement and take awesome vacations.
However, when you’re simply making more for the sake of making more, when do you get off the rat wheel? When is enough, enough? If you’re like me, it means that you’ll rarely, if ever, be satisfied with whatever number you hit as it’ll only drive you to make more.
At the end of the day, I believe it’s much more satisfying and rewarding to know your why, hit that goal and let the chips fall as they may instead of making it a constant fight to earn more. This is a hard balance to find, for sure but one worth pursuing.
Take Time to Smell the Roses
This is something I’ve become more convinced of over the past few years. Running your own business is great, and we’ve done well for ourselves, but what’s the point to continue to earn more if we don’t take time to stop to smell the roses and enjoy life?
That doesn’t have to mean spending all sorts of money. It doesn’t have to mean that at all. In fact, I’m convinced that money doesn’t have to be involved at all.
It can be as simple as taking the time to play a board game with your kids on a regular basis. It can mean going for a walk to catch some fresh air. It can mean taking the time to learn something new. In fact, it really doesn’t matter what it is, so long as you’re getting time with those close to you or doing something you enjoy.
I guess my point in all of this is when you’re looking to start a new side hustle, or find another way to make extra money – ask yourself if it’s really worth it.
Ask yourself if you’re doing it for you/your family or you’re simply doing it because everyone else around you is doing it. If it’s the former then great and go after it. If it’s the latter, go back to your why and see if it’s really worth cramming into your already busy life.
How would you define “enough” for you/your family? What questions do you ask yourself when it comes to considering making more money/starting a side hustle? How do you protect yourself from going deaf in the echo chamber of social media?
John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.
Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.
Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.
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