A few weeks ago I commented on an article at Everyday Tips and Thoughts on their article about what amount of money is enough. I felt the comment needed a little more elaboration to further explore the topic.
Is “more” the answer, or should it be the question?
To be short, the answer is yes, we do want more, but the bigger question is: can we have more? It’s human instinct to aspire towards more. If we didn’t then we wouldn’t have all of this technology surrounding us, and we wouldn’t have all of these advancements.
It is engrained in us to pursue more, even if living frugally, it is done with the idea of a better, or lower stressed life on the horizon.
“More income” tends to be the go-to answer
People who are in a financial pinch, tend to seek out more income not because they necessarily need it, but because they want to keep the same standard of living while meeting their financial obligations. Consider this, people don’t need the cell-phone, or cable television, they have it because they are luxuries that are nice to have. If a person cancelled their cell phone or cable, they would most likely still wake up the next day (we say “most likely,” because no day is guaranteed).
Some would cringe at the life you live
What needs to be considered, when we decide that we want more, is what we can do without to attain it. Some of us cringe to think about a life without cable, or without a cell-phone, but there are people out there that do live like that. A good way to look at this is by scaling it. Consider the stereotype of a billionaire, do you think that a billionaire would cringe having to live your life? Most likely, the answer is yes. This isn’t because your life is bad, but because they are used to a certain standard.
With that thinking, why can’t you step it down a bit? If the life that you enjoy now, is the life that others might abhor living, then what makes you think that you can’t enjoy your life if you took away a couple of the luxuries? You might miss them at first, but eventually it would become normal, and that new normal will allow you to save.
My Smartphone got a smart boot!
It happend to us just recently, I had a Blackberry Smartphone. It was fantastic! I could access my email, administrate this blog, respond to comments, say hello to family on facebook, browse websites, and stream music! It was great! But these are all things I could do on a computer, so why pay the extra $30.00 a month for the data plan? There was honestly no good reason for my particular use of the phone; anytime I was using it, I was within arms reach of a laptop!
This isn’t to say that the phone’s capabilities aren’t necessary for other’s out there, but for my particular situation, it didn’t make sense. So I switched to my old, normal flip-phone, and cut my phone bill down from $63.00 a month, to $32.00 a month, not bad! I’ve created an additional $30.00 a month surplus, or $360.00 a year! The time I spent on that phone was definitely not worth nearly $400 a year, and that is without question!
You can cut back to create a surplus!
I think that all of us in the developed world can agree that the quality of life that is furnished to us is a huge blessing, especially when compared to the lives that many others out there must deal with.
With that said, every single one of us is capable of making huge changes to our lives in order to save money, and we will still be living the lives that others on this planet fall asleep praying for.
For those curious souls out there, here is my comment from Everyday Tips & Thoughts:
“It’s a tough question to answer. We would always love to have more, but we strive to look at it from a percentages aspect. The reason people tend to want more is because they want to save more without affecting their current quality of life.
We try to consider it like this, we will lower our current quality of life in order to reach our savings goals. After all, quality of life is relative. There are billionaires out there that would cringe at the thought of living the quality of life that we are striving towards.
In that context, a few small steps back doesn’t seem so bad anymore, after all, it is still head and shoulders above the quality of life that many people wake up to everyday. It is an interesting question that you pose, and the short answer is: yes, we do want more, but in the absence of abundance we will cut back to create a surplus.”
Wealth Artisan Team Member