Monday, June 20, 2016

Money Doesn't Matter As Much As You Think It Does But Your Beliefs About Scarcity and Abundance Do

Money, we are told constantly, can't buy happiness. What we aren't told is that money - while it can't guarantee these things - can often buy security, peace of mind, convenience and fun. 

Or at least the right amount of money can. Money, like most things in life, has a sweet spot. Too much and it can become a mill stone, too little and it can be a significant impediment. 

How much is enough?
This article about four men and their four different incomes and life styles was all the buzz for some time. People reached different conclusions about what it meant, or should mean. Given that the piece is anecdotal not empirical, I don't think that the article necessarily offers take-aways of any magnitude. This is, after all, a look at four different personalities, four different temperaments and four different financial upbringings, all of which tend to factor into our views about money. (While it still would be anecdotal, I wish someone would do a piece on women in these income brackets.)

Fighting for precious little
This piece about refugees living in Jordan and Iraq is both interesting and enlightening. The article is a compilation of many women, not just one particular woman's story and I think the mash-up, while more dramatic, does a disservice to these women's stories. Nonetheless, it does provide insight into the daily lives of refugees and those living with the barest of necessities. You have to wonder what they would have said if asked whether or not money (and how much) could improve their situations. 

Money's Sweet Spot
Money's sweet spot has little to do with dollars and cents. It has more to do with our beliefs about scarcity and abundance. 

Recently I made a few purchases in the $100 range. Each of these (a few items to refresh a bedroom and a cleaning for my camera) brought me satisfaction, so much so that I was asking myself why I hadn't done it before. 

It would be easy to reach the conclusion that, therefore, in each of these circumstances, $100 was my sweet spot. But that would be inaccurate. While $100 in each instance was the total amount spent, the real value was that these things contributed to my overall feeling of abundance, enhancing what was already existing. 

If, for example, I had spent my last $100 on these items, I doubt they would have brought me even the most fleeting of satisfaction given that they aren't needed for survival. 

The real question isn't how much money can we spend, or accumulate for that matter, the question is what can we do to contribute to our feelings of abundance or alleviate our beliefs about scarcity, both true beliefs and faulty ones. 

Photo: When you look at the picture above, do you see scarcity or abundance?

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