How Would More Money Change Your Life?
The other night, in one of our hot tub conversations that happen a few times per week, I had an interesting money question come to mind.
“How would our lives change if we were each making $100,000 per year?” I asked my wife. It sparked a fascinating conversation between the two of us. Feel free to substitute any dollar amount in the above question, but the point remains, how would more money change your life?
At this point in our careers making $100,000 seems like an enormous amount of money, but we actually live in an area where salaries like that are the norm. In the past I’ve written about whether money buys happiness. The point of this post isn’t to rehash that debate, but there are plenty of studies out there showing that after a certain point (usually around $75,000), additional income doesn’t necessarily equal additional happiness. It’s very hard to feel contentment when you’re worried about paying your bills, but once those basic needs are met buying more material possessions doesn’t lead to contentment.
So getting back to my original question, how would making more money change your life?
For my wife and I, it would probably involve upgrading to a 2-bedroom apartment, eating out a few extra times per month, taking a few additional vacations per year, and maybe my wife would buy a few more plants. Would we be happier? Maybe, it’s hard to say. Are any of those life changes really groundbreaking? Not at all.
Honestly, life wouldn’t change all that much for us with more money. The biggest way that it would change would be that we’d reach debt freedom sooner and be able to build up our savings at a faster rate. While that would be nice, it’s not going to make or break our financial situation.
It’s definitely a blessing that we have enough money to cover our basic needs, I don’t take that for granted. I recognize that other people may not be so fortunate, so it’s a privileged position to be in.
That being said, my point is that we don’t need all that much to feel content. We live in an area with a high cost of living and we don’t make exorbitant salaries, but I’m incredibly happy with a simple life. Our lives aren’t perfect, we still have stress, struggles, and difficulties occur, but so much of life is based on the attitude you have towards your circumstances.
True happiness is found through self improvement, generosity, and relationships with other people. I have big goals for the future, and some of those goals involve making a higher income and ultimately building wealth, but money is not the most important part of my life. Most of the reason I started becoming interested in personal finance was to be able to avoid worrying about money.
If you’re not happy now and are struggling to find contentment in your current situation, I’d encourage you to look within and work on figuring out why. Simply making more money won’t fix those feelings, and likely wouldn’t change much at all.