Living a Comfortable Lifestyle or Just Making Ends Meet
How much money do we really need to feel comfortable?
I often ask myself the same question over and over again. How much money do I need to make to live comfortably? It’s a different answer for everyone, but why does it really have to be a different answer? Don’t we all have the same wants and needs as everyone else? Apparently not. Depending on how you grew up you’ll become accustomed to live a certain way. Some people do make enough to live comfortably but continue to live beyond their means. Whereas, there are others that make more than they ever need and continue to horde away their money.
I have asked myself this question at different stages in my life and the answer varies at each stage of my life. I’m sure this is the same for everyone. When you’re young, you don’t think you need that much money. You just want enough to play games, hang with friends and have fun. I wish this never changed. Property, investments, health concerns and family issues weren’t really in my head at the time. Deaths and weddings were never in my radar. When I was young I thought about myself and that’s about it. I can see mode of thought echo in the youth. How could I have the most fun and work the least I could? That was my goal. I guess some things never change.
When I started my career, I looked at money a lot differently. When I started making money I wanted even more of it. I was always trying to think of new ways of making money. I had to figure out how much money I wanted to invest and how much would go into paying debt. I luckily went to a retirement course early on in my career. They told me that the biggest issue that people have with money is debt. Pay off your debt first because in your retirement you'll want to live off your retirement savings without debt.
So I decided to live a life without debt. They were right. All that money paying back debt prevented me from having to pay interest and compound interest if I accumulated too much debt. Now at a different stage in life, I have to ponder the same question. How much is enough? As I age, so are members of my family. When we get older we have more expenses because our body breaks down and parents need to be taken care of. If I plan for marriage and kids then I have to earn more or do I? Can I make ends meet without having to take on more responsibilities at work?
What do I really want in my life to afford to live life comfortably? I want myself and my partner to be able to live without having to worry about money. This is a general statement I'm pretty sure all families say to themselves, but this is rather general. Mainly because every year there are always new things and places to explore. The world has so much more than it did back in the old days. It's an incredible time to live in but the temptations are crazy. Companies are wildly creative and make us want to buy so much and I admit I fall into their traps. I’ve even been burned in the past for buying useless items and trips. You have to enjoy live life or else it's not worth living, right?
I see families that live beyond their means and I wonder how they do it. They just put caution to the wind and live their lives worry free and don't think of the repercussions of their actions. Maybe they do worry but only at the end. They may have their sweet satisfaction now but stress over it when the bill comes. I know this lifestyle isn't for me but I’m glad it works for them.
On the other end of the spectrum we have people that continuously make money that they don’t really need. I totally understand their thought process though. It can be addictive when you start making good money. You want more and more it’s sort of like a video game that you want the highest score for. I can’t really live that life either though. I don’t really think you’re living your life if all you care about is money. I could see it giving me a hollow sense of satisfaction.
There has to be a middle ground. Enough money to have fun and be worry free. It all comes down to a good work-life balance that is comfortable for you. Again everyone is different. People that don’t have much may appreciate a modest living. This can prove to be enough money but they need to realize what they have brings them happiness. We have to do our own introspective analysis. No one knows ourselves as well as we do. Don't base your results on someone else.