Your Money

How to know when you’ve got ‘enough money’

- November 10, 2021 3 MIN READ
How to tell when you have enough money

What does ‘enough money’ mean? In truth, there’s no magic number, but there are ways to tell if you have enough for you.

Most Australians dream of being rich. To be so ‘well off’ that they don’t have to worry about money.

They idolise celebrities who seemingly have it all. They try to keep up with the Joneses and queue for a lottery ticket every time the Powerball jackpot rolls over in the hope of hitting it big. But what does being rich actually mean? 

How do you know when you’re “well-off” and when can you stop stressing about making more money?

I see so many people working so hard and making enormous sacrifices, but they just don’t stop and appreciate what they got.

A recent report from Credit Suisse found that Australians are the richest people in the world, but we doubt whether the average Australian would say they are all that well-off. 

The truth is, there’s no magic number. There are people who are objectively well-off but can’t see the forest for the trees, and others who don’t earn much at all but are in a fantastic financial position. 

Here are my thoughts on how to tell if you have ‘enough money’. In other words, how to tell if you’re in a position to relax and smell the roses of life.

The basics are sorted

Ready access to food, clean water, high quality health and education services, plus a safe environment to live and work, are things that we take for granted in this country.

Remember, over over half the world lives on less than $5.50 a day, according to the World Bank. As a result, they lack access to even the most basic services.

If your basics are sorted, technically you have enough money.

You can afford to be healthy

When you have enough money, you’re able to invest in your health

That means they can afford regular dental check-ups or whatever doctor, specialist or hospital treatments they require. And they can take advantage of other health services like the physio or joining a gym. 

You’re not owned by interest payments

People with enough money are not drowning in debt

Their assets are paid off, while their income is used to fund their lifestyle or invest in growth assets that will continue to build their wealth

A seemingly rich person who has everything but has paid for it through debt will be in for a rude awakening if their situation changes and they can no longer meet their repayments.

You can live off your passive income… and it won’t run out

Passive income is money coming in that you didn’t directly earn. Things like share dividend payments or rental income from an investment property

People who have more than enough money are able to support themselves and maintain their standard of living using just passive income. While this might sound like a pipe dream to many, remember we all have to do this at some stage when we retire

Again, we’re lucky in this country that we have a compulsory superannuation system that gives everyone a leg up. But, regardless of whether you live to 82 or 102, you should have organised your affairs so your money won’t run out.  

Much of that means spending on a lifestyle you can afford.

You choose what you want to do with your life

A side effect of being able to live off passive income and not being crippled by debt is the ability to choose what you want to do when you wake up in the morning. 

While you might be employed, you’re free to decide what opportunities you want to pursue. And you enjoy your work.

Your kids are covered

People with enough can fully support their kids until they reach adulthood, including food, education and extra-curricular activities.  

It’s not about spoiling them or giving them lots of cash. It’s about providing them with the opportunities they need to develop into successful adults in their own right. 

Something comes up? Doesn’t matter

Whether it’s marriage or divorce, having another baby, or an unfortunate illness, life events aren’t going to affect your standard of living.

You realise that money isn’t everything

This is the most important measure of having enough money. 

Plenty of people who prioritise money over their personal relationships or morals live to regret their wealth. 

Truly rich people, on the other hand, are grounded. They have great relationships with their family and friends and are proud of their achievements.