Money Matters: How Much is Enough?

From my many years as a community banker, I learned something very interesting about money. Every person has a different view on the age-old question “how much is enough”.

This issue causes a constant state of turmoil for so many people. Finding the right answer for yourself can resolve a large number of conflicts.

As I visited with customer after customer as they came in to handle their banking needs, they would share their financial circumstances and concerns. Let me tell you two stories to demonstrate the extremes.

Courtesy 123rf.com/ tsuneo
Courtesy 123rf.com/ tsuneo

One day a man sat down, visibly upset. I asked what was wrong. He began a sad story of how he felt he was ruined. His business was faltering and sales had dropped significantly. In his opinion, he was broke. I checked the computer. He had a cash balance in excess of $750,000. I thought to myself ‘gee, seems like a long way from broke.’

Not long after that visit a lady came in. She too sat down to chat, but was animated and cheery. I asked how things were going. She said ‘oh great! I just deposited some money we earned at a yard sale!’ She was so excited. I checked her records. She had $600 AFTER the deposit. Yet, she chose to be excited and joyous.

I wondered how the lady might be acting if she had $750,000 in her account. Conversely, I wondered what the man would have done with just $600 in his account.

There were many more stories of similar theme. The point here is that I learned everyone has their own, very unique, view of their money situation.

  • What is your definition?
  • Have you decided whether what you now have in the bank is enough?
  • Is your current financial goal reasonable?

Let me encourage you to spend some time resolving the question “how much IS enough?”

From my experience, I know that your answer will most likely be different from your peers and co-workers. While you might share some common goals with others, the amount of money, the means, to get there will be different.

Do not assume you understand someone else’s money troubles. Why? Because the basic principle driving someone’s view of money must be centered on this notion of their definition of what it means to be with or without money. If you are trying to empathize with someone else about their money woes, be sure to NOT filter the discussion through your own lens. Try to understand their view first.

[shareable cite=”Doug Thorpe”]Money may not be the perfect motivator, but lack of it can sure knock the wind out of you.[/shareable]

As to your own concerns for money, explore the basis of your expectation. Decide for yourself whether the vision is reasonable. Is there any possibility your target is based on greed or envy? Are your money goals about self-esteem? There are many, many different drivers that help us define our view of money.

If your own goal has not been established, seek some counsel to help you sort through the ideas that might influence how you are feeling about the question. Then, re-ask “how much is enough?”. By settling this key question, you can begin to focus on other priorities and find a better work-life balance.

Introducing the WHY.os. Learn YOUR why, how, and what that drives your passion and motivation.


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