I recently read an article which stated that the magic amount of money to make to reach happiness is $75K. It’s this safe number where everything get’s a little easier.
The problem is, in many professions IT TAKES YEARS to get there. Some, don’t even get there. It’s this magical number that seems as though all your worries will be over and you’ll finally be able to be free. To make matters worse, Toronto Life published an article that at a house hold income of $196K, you’re still only ‘almost rich’. UGH.
That’s a big gap between the magic happiness number and the almost rich number. One (myself) may feel discouraged, that your never going to be on top. That you’re never going to own a house, travel the world and live a life of ‘some what’ comfort. This sense of defeat is also reinforced by the cost of city living and that if you want to live somewhere that’s bigger than 750 square feet in the city, you better have a trust fund or have saved every penny since you were babysitting the neighbours annoying kids.
Not only that, because of marketing and advertising (yes this is the industry that I work in and love), we now feel that we ‘need’ things that really are at best a ‘want’ – example, Timmies/Starbucks, new Coach bags and that ‘it’ bracelet. What’s that all about? We now feel poor if we don’t have money, if we don’t have the latest LCD TV and if we’ve never traveled. We’re poor on three accounts now: image, experience and bank account. So, instead of saving money so we can afford to buy a house, we fill our rented tiny apartment with the latest sound system just to keep up the image that we’re making it too. Then we’re stuck with having to eat noodles with no sauce and pray for the lottery.
Will we ever be able to have enough money to keep up with the Joneses? Everyone wants to live the life of the uber-rich and celebutants, but where does that get us? In a giant hole of debt and despair that’s where.
Maybe our parents had it right when they would move into a place and eat off of boxes and maybe they had it right when they waited 20 years to go on a trip, all the while saving money for their illusive retirement (only to be deterred and delayed every time the market crashes). Meanwhile, we’re finding it hard to even save the proverbial nest egg (not even thinking about retirement) which now seems like an ideology that can only happen if you come from money and had no involvement of creating it.