1. How much money in U.S. currency do you need a year to support yourself and anyone you currently support in a modest lifestyle?
2. Describe in some detail what type of project or projects you would pursue if you didn’t have to work or make other compromises to have money.
3. Discuss how this is different from your current circumstances.
I have recently read an article that the magic income number to have a relative and consistent happy lifestyle is annually $75,000. The article stated that even those who made $50,000 to $65,000 still felt financial stress and bound to always make careful decisions when it came to money. This idea of making about three-quarters of a hundred grand a year is what I would consider modest living. I currently make about $20,000 a year and find that this lifestyle works. I have a relatively nice apartment on the lake, I can get a couple of cups of coffee each week, and a short vacation each year. This lifestyle, though it may seem normal and modest, is not. The beauty of being human in this world is that we can make anything work and we can make anything look like it works well. People can be happy with $10,000 a year and people can be just as happy – that is, no happier or no less happy – than someone who is making $45,000 a year. For me though, with high expectations for the quality of life; for me, who believes that the current standards of living are far below what the standards should be, I believe that an annual income of $75,000 would be the right amount to support a modest lifestyle.
“He’s got some high expectations,” you might be saying. Yes. Yes I do and I often get a good chuckle or two when I tell people about my bucket list. This is also when I come in conflict with the prompt. There are no projects that I’m not pursuing solely because I have to work or I make other compromises or because of money. I don’t so much believe that the greatness of a bucket list is having checked off items, rather that you made it one hell of a ride to checking them off. See, my bucket list isn’t something I’m waiting until I’m 70 years old to take seriously. (Be ready to be surprised) Nor is it a list of some five to ten items. It’s a list of 200+. This list ranges from speaking at the White House, to pepper tasting in Chile, to fire walking, to experiencing zero gravity, to learning calligraphy, to owning Le Corbusier’s (famous architect) chair. To say I am crazy about goals would be an understatement. I read them over nearly every week or two and try my hardest to cross at least one item off the list each week.
It would be wrong for me to not include a certain five word quote to help you better understand my mindset. This quote sums up why, though I may not be in the perfect situation to do everything that I want to do at this single moment, I am working as hard as I possibly can toward it. Every moment of mine is put to use, exploited, taken advantage of; every moment is put towards pushing me forward, doing what I love, getting to where I want to go, and enjoying the journey of checking items off my bucket list. It really comes down to this, “I’m naïve, but I’m not stupid.” Think about it.
Stay Positive & Life Really Is What You Make It
Garth E. Beyer