I hear the phrase “a lot of money” well… a lot… but what is a lot of money? Recently I asked what you’d do with an extra $20,000 and to some that was “A lot” of money, but to others it was not a lot of money at all. What gives?
Bringing this topic up reminds me of how different perspectives are in the world of finance primarily due to the external environment one lives in and the benchmarks they have in their mind because of their previous experiences. If you’re being raised by billionaire parents who live a highly extravagant lifestyle I actually feel sorry for you because your previous experience will make your “a lot of money” a lot more than my “a lot of money” and therefore you’ll probably have to work “a lot” harder if you want to achieve that status that’s created in your own mind. However, you do have the benefit of the knowledge handed to you by billionaires which may help at tad as well.
A lot of money in London is a lot more than a lot of money in Houston which is a lot more money than Des Moines Iowa, which is a lot more money than in Green Bay, Wisconsin, which is a lot more money than in Thailand, which is a lot more money than in Rwanda. Therefore, if you want to feel like you have a lot of money, why not just move to somewhere with a lot lower cost of living and live like a king?
Does Your Perspective of A lot of money change how much you make?
If you think that $100,000 is a lot of money that may limit your goals and how hard you work to achieve a lot of money (if money is the goal). However if you think $1 million is peanuts do you think that will change your actions so that you’ll more easily reach the million dollar goal since you perceive it to be less challenging and more realistic. This scenario reminds me of dating and women. If a guy thinks that he can never get the hottest girl in the room because he’s not good enough then frankly, he’ll never get the hottest girl in the room because he doesn’t even try. Perhaps the same thought process works with finances and if one thinks they’re inferior to say, $1 million in net worth, how are they going to ever achieve it?
I Don’t Have a Lot, But I Don’t Have Not a Lot (got it?)
Considering popular perspective values the idea that you never have enough and the ideology that more is better I’m guessing most people in the world think they don’t have a lot of money. Where I work If you make $250 in a night my coworkers will say that’s a lot of money or rather that’s “good money,” but at other careers/jobs making $250 in a day is something to be laughed at (why is money laughable at all?). I don’t have a lot compared to the environment I’m in which is Honolulu, but if I drive up to Waianae where there are tent cities along the beach, I’d say I have more than enough.
I wrote a post a while back titled the richest poor person you’ll ever meet in which I outlined how even a person without much wealth still lives a life of wealth, especially in America. Just because you’re not buying things and stuff doesn’t mean you don’t have a lot. You simply don’t have a lot of things and stuff, which after all aren’t fulfilling and are often trashed anyways.
It’s all relative
The reason a lot of money can’t be defined is because we all lead different lives and have different benchmarks for success and ultimately how much money is a lot to each of us.
Perhaps a lot of money is simply whatever makes you considerably richer than everyone else in your current fishbowl. Therefore you can either become a bigger fish, move to a smaller fishbowl, or change your fish perspective. I chose the latter.
How much is a lot of money to you?
Do you ever think you’ll come to a point where you consider yourself to have a lot of money?
Are you able to avoid comparing with others so that you don’t consider whether “a lot” even matters?
Image from tracy_olson