How much money do you need to be happy?

“What are you doing?” I asked my husband.

He was wrapped neatly in his dressing gown and slippers, and closely examining something in the morning lounge-room light.  He was of course unable to hear my question as he is afflicted with the masculine inability to do two things at once.

His ability to do one thing at once can depend on an alarming number of variables.  You should see him psych himself up to call in a dinner order.  My God, you’d think he had to cook the curries and drive them over in 45 minutes.

Meshel LaurieThe crinkle of his nose and the reflection of rows of numbers in his specks answered my question.  “Ah, doing your numbers eh?”

My husband has become obsessed with the lottery.  He’s always waffling on about quick picks and supps and what not.  I, of course, am gifted with the feminine ability to appear to be listening when I’m not, so I can’t say that I know much about it.  I figure if he ever wakes to find he has the numbers he’ll collapse in a puddle of fear and flannelette and I’ll have plenty of time to catch up and get involved.

Jealous Piggies
“I found myself fantasising about what I would do in their position.”

I tuned in a couple of days ago when he was reading from the paper the story of a local family who’d won 2 million dollars.  I found myself fantasising about what I would do in their position.  I’d buy a big but sensible house in a nice but down to earth neighbourhood.  I’d send my kids to a private, but not too hoity school and I’d keep working but at something meaningful, helping others.  I started feeling really miffed that those jerks had my 2 million dollars.

“Don’t stress,” my husband reassured me with a zen he possesses only when discussing his numbers, “the other one’s jackpotted.  It’s 8 million now!”


I’d been ever so humble and happy with 2 million a minute before, but now 8 million sounded altogether more reasonable.   Yes, I definitely deserve 8 million free dollars to rain down upon me like rose petals on a Hindu Goddess.

“Don’t stress,” my husband reassured me with a zen he possesses only when discussing his numbers, “the other one’s jackpotted. It’s 8 million now!”

The question my revolting greed raises is, how much is enough money?  How much money would allow us to relax about money?  To not have to talk and argue and cry about money?   To never even have to think, ever again, about money?

Of course there is no amount of money that can change the way we see ourselves reflected in it.  By that I mean that judging your success as a human by how much money you have can only lead to craving more money, can’t it?

What if we just relaxed about money?  Like without even winning the lotto?  What if we lived in a smaller house, and shared a car?  What if we just went without things we couldn’t afford, and enrolled the kids in a school we could?  What if we didn’t even care who knew about it?

What if we stopped paying interest on credit cards?

What if we stopped doing jobs we hated?

What if we did something meaningful and helped people?

How much money do you think you need to be happy?  Has money brought you happiness?

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“Women are hardwired to be conservative with money. I say bollocks.”


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