When is Enough Money…Enough?

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When is enough money enough? I share some things to keep in mind when you try to make more money and the importance of knowing your why.

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.

When is enough money enough? I share some things to keep in mind when you try to make more money and the importance of knowing your why.

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?

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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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  • Chris says:

    My requirements for enough are actually lower than my partner’s. So I base it more on what she wants. Me? I’m happy eating the same cheap, healthy meals every day. But she would prefer to make the 3x rent that people recommend and have things like cable and be able to shop for extra things.

    My side hustles 100% hinge on doing what I love. My main job now is basically selling art through various online platforms, I just recently got into blogging which is more of a hobby than a hustle. If it’s something that I am not happy adding to my already busy schedule, I don’t do it.

    As far as social media, I have to use it for business, but my parents, similar to yours, taught me that you have no idea what’s going on in someone else’s house. They may look like they have it all, but they can be unhappy or have zero dollars in their bank account at the same time. I also, ultimately, just don’t care what other people think/do/say, so there’s no real pull towards social media for me.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Completely agreed on the social media aspect. It’s easy to put up window dressing, but you rarely know what’s going on inside someone else’s life.

  • DC @ Young Adult Money says:

    I think social media can be extremely distracting and depressing for most people. I’ve noticed the less I use it and the less I view other people’s social media the happier and more productive I am. I really don’t have time to spend 10-20 hours a week on social media like many people do, and I know I’ve fallen into that trap in the past.

    • John Schmoll says:

      I think you’re exactly right. I know I’ve found it to be true of myself which is a big reason why I try to avoid social media as much as possible. It’s easy to allow it to become a black hole and have it impact productivity and happiness.

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