A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let lone ~Henry David Thoreau
We live in a fast-paced, materialistic society. We are never more than a few clicks and a credit card number away from our next big purchase. Whether it be a pair of Air Jordans, the latest oversized smartphone/undersized tablet, or a flashy piece of jewelry, most of us are all guilty of living from toy to toy at some time or another. While we should be
thankful that we live in a society that affords us a wealth of modern conveniences and luxuries, we sometimes forget that these things are still just conveniences and luxuries. Unfortunately, sometimes the line between what we need and what we want gets blurry.
Take time to think about how much of your worries and problems derive from money. Definitely some, maybe most? We always hear the similar refrain, If I just had more money I would… But take the time to think what you truly would do. Would you simply pay off your debts, and then put the rest into a savings account? Perhaps you would, and if so, good for you. However, mounds of data suggest that those in a higher income bracket tend to mire themselves in just as many financial problems as those with less. Perhaps you get that raise, and you see that peers in your office drive a nicer car than you. Suddenly, you no longer just want that BMW, but you need it. Maybe you want a better life for your family, but living comfortably no longer suffices. Suddenly a better life means lavish vacations, country club memberships, and trendy summer camps. Before you know it, you find yourself again living on the edge of your means, just as worried and stressed before.
However, the good news is that your financial fate is entirely up to you. With some thoughtful introspection, you can determine what truly matters. Such perspective can help draw a defined line between necessity and luxury. Billionaire Warren Buffett still lives in the same modest home in Omaha, Nebraska, that he purchased in 1957. Ikeas billionaire founder Ingvar Kamprad drives a 15 year old Volvo and flies coach. These men do not have to save, but they do out principle. Rethink necessity.
Dr. Buckminster Fuller asserts that wealth is measured by the number of days the income from your assets can sustain you. This definition is especially interesting in terms of how one views life insurance. By living within your means, not only will you have more saved in case of an emergency, but you will create a healthy financial culture among those that you leave behind. Then, life insurance is no longer a way for your family to keep buying stuff until the money runs out, but a means to keep their actual needs fulfilled because their happiness is not tethered to unnecessary material goods. Thus, we at SelectQuote challenge you to put less emphasis on keeping up with the Joness (or god forbid, the Kardashians), and instead be happy when you realize you have all that you need. The rest is just gravy, after-all.