How much money do you need?

Dave Winer wrote has an article asking, basically, how much money do you need? I've always felt that I really don't need that much money to be happy. Most of the unhappiness people feel with the amount they have has to do with looking at their friends who have even more.
On the other hand, money is a lot like air, when you don't have it it becomes really important. Also, when there's a chance that in the future you'll might be without it, you also get worried about it.
I remember a TV show about Bombardier selling some air planes and a Saudi prince was sent by his dad to invest a million dollars a week while he was visiting Canada. And I though, they have so much money that they feel guilty having it do nothing.


Martin Giroux said…
How much money I would need to be "happy" is a question I have asked myself often. I guess the term would be to be "happier" because I'm doing fairly good now. A basic addition would be to remove all my debts (house, cars, others) and to make enough to cover my weekly needs (foods, restaurants, wine, books, entertainment, taxes, others) without having to work. A buffer in case of emergency and some extra to be able to change cars every few years would be important.

Then I would have enough to be "happier".

But being happy isn't directly associated with money as far as I'm concerned. My happiness is mostly measured by the level of quality time I spend with my family and friends, doing charity work, and by my achievements. While I don't need to quantify time spent with family and friends and in helping others, I quantify a lot of my achievements by the business successes I realize.

The biggest indicator of business success is I find is calculated by the monetary profit you make while providing great products and services and a good working environment for your employees. If your employees are happy, your customers swear by you and you are profitable, then you are successful.

Someone could argue that having happy employees and customers with enough to survive should be considered succesful but I disagree. As someone who starts a company there is a lot of inherent risk associated with it, and a lot of pain and aches before a business starts becoming profitable, that there's a need for compensation to counterbalance the hell we go through when starting something new.

Personally, I want a condo in the city, a house in the country (near a ski hill), a vineyard and a 100 foot yacht full displacement yacht to be able to travel the waters of the americas. Though I promised myself a Porsche Boxter when I make my first million, I want a hybrid SUV as a car, some time to ski and golf, a lot of time to spend with my family and friends, time to read and for charity work, a few computers and especially, an e-office in my two houses and my yacht.

For I need my business to be fully happy.

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