“How much money is enough?” It’s something we hear all the time from our clients. And while this is certainly an understandable question, we don’t think it’s the right one.
Asking how much is enough assumes that there are defined, objective values for what is a “lot” and a “little” money. But what is a lot or a little to someone can be vastly different.
Trying to measure your financial success by comparing your resources to someone else’s is ineffective at best. Changing your perception of financial success makes it much easier to manage (and appreciate) your money.
There Is Always Someone With More Money
If you’re constantly looking at your finances and comparing them to what other people have, it’s unlikely that you’re ever going to feel satisfied that you have “enough.” Unless you’re Jeff Bezos, there will always be someone out there who has more than you – sometimes significantly more. If your definition of enough money is based on what someone else has, you’ll never get there.
So if you can’t use what other people have to determine what is enough, how do you change your perspective? It’s not about whether you have a lot or a little. The real question to ask yourself is this: Do you have enough for the life you’re living?
Figuring Out What Is Enough
The amount of money that’s enough for you depends on your specific needs, lifestyle, and goals. What is enough for you may not be enough for someone else, and a different person may need far less for their lifestyle.
To really understand what your financial resources look like, take the time to ask yourself some key questions:
- How much money do you need to pay your bills each month?
- What’s your current lifestyle?
- Do you want to change your lifestyle? (For example, do you want to travel, expand your family, buy a bigger house, or max out your retirement contribution?)
- What needs to change? Do you need to cut back? Do you need to save more or allocate your savings differently?
By answering these questions, you can change your perspective about your needs and resources; you can figure out what’s available to you with the money you have.
Being honest about your resources and expenditures helps you determine whether you have enough money for your lifestyle. If you don’t, you can figure out where you need to make changes. If you realize that your resources exceed your needs, you can decide what you want to do with those extra dollars. Essentially, look at what your money can support, and use that information to make decisions going forward.
Make Financial Decisions Based on the Money You Have
It’s easy to fall into the comparison trap when you’re trying to determine your level of financial success. But there will always be people out there who have more (or less) than you. You can’t use these outside factors to determine whether you have enough money.
Rather, it’s essential to be honest about what you have and use that information to guide your financial decisions. The first step to analyzing your finances is getting all your paperwork together. Fortunately, we can help with that! Our free Personal Records Organizer makes it easy to collect all your information in one place.
When you’re ready to dive into your finances and make decisions about spending, saving, investing, and funding your retirement, Guiding Wealth is here to help. A Certified Financial Planner™ can help you figure out the best way to use the money you have. Get started by calling 214-810-3835 or using our online form to schedule an appointment.