Is more money better?
If you would have asked me a week ago if more money is better, I would have said yes. I firmed believed that money, to a certain extent, can buy happiness.
Of course, it’s not the only thing you need, but assuming you’ve spent time developing your relationships and taking care of your own physical and mental health, more money is always better than less money, right?
Growing up, I never got into the habit of budgeting. I was fortunate enough that I’ve always lived a upper middle class life without having to worry about making ends meet, although my mom always instilled in me a scarcity mindset. Once in a while, she would tell me that although everything seems fine, we’re actually running dangerously low on money. This would scare me a bit, at the same time I don’t see our daily routines changing, so eventually I would put the thought away, until she brings it up again.
This compounded with the Asian cultural mentality that uses money as a measure of personal worth means that I’m always striving for more money.
Until recently, I’ve never stopped to ask why, or what “more” actually means. I just knew that everyone, I was drawing from a pot that is finite; I don’t actually know how full it is; and I always want to fill it up as much as possible.
This until a wake up call where I missed out on a job opportunity by being overly focused on the salary and how I can get the number to be bigger. I recognized it was not a bad offer, but having my personal worth tied to money, I thought I was worth more and should rightfully ask for more.
And then they decided to go with someone else. I don’t regret asking for more, but I’ve been doing a lot of reflection on why I wanted more.
The resulting answer is that perhaps I don’t need more. More money always comes at some tradeoff or cost, usually in time. Up until now, I’ve grossly underestimated the value of my time, considering it “free” as long as it’s not during working hours.
But, cheesy as it sounds, time is the most valuable thing we have, and gradually I’m starting to see that more money is not always better. Money into a bottomless pit that I never end up using is not really valuable. Instead, taking time for myself, my family, and my friends is what will bring me true satisfaction and happiness.
This is not to say I’m swearing off money altogether (I’m not there yet…) but I’d to be more mindful about decisions I make around money and what kind of tradeoffs I make in the name of money.
How do you define your relationship with money? Can money buy happiness? What is enough? I’m curious to hear about your journey and your thoughts!x