Until we know what are the items or experiences that are a bang for our buck, we’ll keep moving the goalpost and money will soon be a liability masquerading as an asset. Gradually, we become a victim of our own success. Even though money is fungible in the manner that my $1 dollar bill is indistinguishable from your $1 dollar bill, the value we individually get out of a dollar varies wildly. This concept applies even among people with the same income and net worth.
Most of us can afford to spend money, but can’t afford to save money.
Our world is filled with people who can describe the power of compounding while eating fast food and paying for subscriptions we never use. Progress in either directions happens too slowly to notice, while dire consequences happen too fast to ignore. The whole point of compounding is that the tiny small things that seems inconsequential in the short run can grow huge in the long run in a process that is unnoticeably slow and easy to overlook.
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.
I believe happiness and money goes hand in hand. Without money, it is almost impossible to be happy. At the bare minimum, we need to earn enough money to secure our physiological needs (e.g. food and shelter) and safety needs (e.g. health and employment). However, it isn’t the case that when we have a lot of money, our happiness goes off the roof too. It is easy to envision a life where more money equates more happiness, but there are multiple research that showcase that earning more money makes people happier until about $75,000 USD a year, at which point higher salaries are no longer associated with greater well-being.
Unless you experience a great sense of joy from the instrumental chase of higher salaries, you’ll be much happier spending lesser time working and more time doing what you want to do, when you want to do it, with whom you want to do it with, for as long as you want to do it for.
At the end of the day, we’re all after autonomy and a sense of control over our time. When we explore and figure out some of the best life experiences we’re truly after, we’ll soon realize that we don’t need that much money to be happy. Our brain doesn’t recognise how much we spend to make ourselves happy, our brain merely experiences the happiness in of itself. Simply put, a $2.30 McDonald’s hash brown can make you as happy or even happier than consuming a $23 plate of rosti.