What could you do with an extra $100 a month? Your reaction to that question has a lot do with how much you’re used to making. You see, the way you feel about money is relative.
We’ve all seen the “What is rich?” debate rage. There are those who swear that $250,000 a year is just barely getting by, and those who think that’s utterly ridiculous, because of course bringing home $250K big ones is rich, no matter who you are.
But it’s all relative. I’m not going to get into the debate, but I do hope to make you think.
Take that extra $100 a month
Does it seem like a lot to you? Or like no big deal, something that wouldn’t move the needle at all? Or somewhere in between?
Depending on where you’re at, an extra $100 a month can have a huge impact. Enormous. An extra $100 can mean eating good things. Letting your kid join activities. Actually making big progress on debt. Having some kind of a cushion. Replacing a worn out tire. Getting shoes for the whole family. Taking an overnight trip. Buying medication.
Once you get beyond just barely making ends meet though, perspectives change. You might find yourself cutting back and thinking that something is “only” going to save $100 a month. But an extra $100 a month is still a lot. If you’re no longer (or never were) living paycheck to paycheck, it’s good to keep in mind what an incredibly lucky thing it is to be able to even think a sentence like that.
When you have enough
Things used to be different, but now when I think of what I can do with an extra $100 a month, I think things like “put it toward the mortgage”. And well, that’s pretty much it. Because I already have enough to cover the basics, and getting the mortgage paid off early is my big goal.
I don’t have to stress anymore about making ends meet, and that’s a very good thing.
Way more than enough
For some folks on the opposite end of the scale, $100 might be something that could be left as a tip without thinking it was any big deal. To my way of thinking, when $100 goes from being “a lot” or “a nice amount” to “not very much”, that’s rich.
What do you think? Do you think of money as being relative? Sure, $100 is $100, but the impact it can have on your life varies.Posted in Emotions & Money on 11.02.11 with 16 comments.