How Much Money Is Enough?

(Note: See Thursday for how your parents relationship with money affected your $$ decisions.)

How much money is enough to make you happy? We work to make money. Why? To have a place to live, food to eat, for security, power, fame fortune, lots of reasons. But how much money is really enough? Most of us think if we made more money, we would be happier. Have you ever really thought about exactly how much is enough for you to be happy?

Take this money quiz by David Krueger, MD, author of the article, "Understanding and Revising Your Money Story."  

Give an immediate, single answer to these 3 questions:

1) My current annual income _______.

2) In order to ensure happiness and contentment financially, with no more money problems and worries, my annual income would need to be ________.

3) What money means to me: __________.

If you're like the 90% of the people that have taken Dr. Krueger's quiz you believe you would need to earn twice what you're currently earning to "be happy and free of money worries." Dr. Krueger also observes that those who then double their income free raise the limit so that happiness continues to remain out of reach.

How about the answer to question #3? Many report that money means power, freedom, happiness, security. We attach a lot of power and fantasy to money, which is something originally created just as a means of exchange. 

If money really equaled happiness wouldn't the rich all be happy? But research shows some rich are happy and some are not. I've known quite a few who are definitely not happy. Different money struggles - for example- many struggle with guilt about having money their parent or grandparents have earned and that they now live off of from a trust. Here's an interesting tidbit a friend who worked as an estate manager for the wealthy shared with me. Peggy said the rich see money as power and the working/middle class see it as security. 

Money is a means to an end. Money is the vehicle we humans have given the power of exchange to. We forget we made the concept of money up. If we want more of it we have to be willing to do what it takes to create it for ourselves. And, to be conscious of why is it I want more? Another question:  Is having all the "stuff" you want really going to make you happy? Is it the quest to get there that makes you happy? Take some time to explore these questions:  What does happiness really mean for me? What am I really searching for? How do I create fulfillment and purpose in my life?