How Much Money is Enough Money
On the face of it, it appears like a rhetorical question which cannot be answered without knowing who it refers to – whether the person referred to is rich, middle class or poor,
what standards of living or lifestyles he or she would adopt and for what period of time.
The question definitely goes beyond the essential amenities like food, clothing and shelter and concerns at what level of savings or wealth accumulation would a person get out of the feeling of insecurity. This, again, is a matter of individual choice. An ascetic or truly spiritually inclined person could make do without having anything to fall back on and not at all worried be about it as his pursuit in life is totally devoid of attachments or requirements of the body.
So, it all boils down to what expectations one has in this world – whether it is the three basic needs or maintaining a reputation of sorts or satisfying one’s greed or ego kicks. After a certain stage, the accumulation of wealth becomes a passionate game, a gamble or an exercise of business acumen, political clout, remaining in the limelight or what have you. There are, of course, exceptions where unlimited money or wealth is generated in manufacturing or any other field with intention of providing employment to people, improve the economical or technological or scientific edge of countries and such other matters which do not fall within the topic.
A normal person would need enough money to take care of the essentials, pay off debts, medical needs, transport need, education of children and marrying them off, protection of property etc., old age security – in short, the points on which life/general insurance cover is sold by the insurance companies and loans are given by the banking or financial companies. Add to these, sufficient money to participate in charitable activities, giving service to the needy, protect natural environment and most importantly just enough to retain a happy and satisfactory disposition, which are natural attributes in a human being.
If we elaborate a little further afield, the prevailing trend seems to be to acquire a second or more houses, additional vehicles, proceed on tourist destinations within the country and abroad, cruise on ships, buying sprees for gold etc. This is a trend among people to channelize additional income or savings at their disposal and is not an indispensable necessity within the meaning of enough money.
For the super rich however ostentatious living with proportionately much higher spending for items of similar nature as the common man is matter of prestige and show of superiority over others and any discussion of how much money is enough money in their cases would be futile and never ending exercise.
The discussion of the topic can therefore, only be confined to the purpose for which it can be called as enough or sufficient and not on the quantum which would a relative term vis-à-vis different people.
An individual of the material world, normally will not be in a position to be satisfied enough on his own to put a cut off limit on his wealth or income unless he thinks of the bigger picture of the purpose of life, his duties and joys other than accumulating money, is faced with circumstances which force him to end his attraction to money or the things money can buy. Money, therefore, is definitely a very essential requirement up to a certain extent for living, executing one’s duties etc. but it should be handled without personal attachment to it as anything other than a means of exchange for goods and services.
Attitude, which influences every aspect of life and makes the difference from one person to the other, will have its say in this matter also propelling one to decide how much money is enough money in each individual case.