How Rich We Should Be?

Is there any minimum limit or specific number that we should reach to feel rich? It actually is.



5/15/20213 min read

I was intrigued by a post of an Indonesian influencer, Fellexandro Ruby, at his Instagram account. In his post Ruby started with research by Gallup in America which try to define how much rich is and the result shows that being 'rich' is having 2 times of the current income. If you now have an income of 100 thousand, then you are rich is 200 thousand. After having 200 thousand, according to them, 400 thousand is rich. And so on.

In my opinion, this Ruby discussion is true & interesting, but it will need the following up question to it. Is there "actually" correlation between income & happiness/life satisfaction? Two Nobel Prize winners for Economics Danny Kahneman & Angus Deaton conducted a study: What is the correlation between Life Satisfaction & Income. What they are looking for is not only monitoring but is there any threshold value or not? Is there a point (of income) when you reached it, in general, you will have no trouble achieving happiness?

There actually is! It's $ 75,000/year. So the conclusion is that if you already have that kind of income, your level of happiness will not be affected much by the increase in your money. So, for example, in the beginning, when the income was only $10 thousand/year and you get more income, it will greatly affect your level of happiness. But after $75k/yr, the increased value doesn't really affect your stress level, how sad you are, etc. Why $75k? It is not clear why, but in the study, they knew the figure was reasonable because roughly you'll got your necessity covered in the US with the amount stated.

Of course, this value cannot be converted literally into the context of income in Indonesia. There are too many to consider with. Then what? I learned the discussion that I'll define the threshold value for my wealth to be ... a bowl with slices of many kinds of fruit

Yes, this is my definition of 'rich': being able to shop for various kinds of fruit. This is a portrait of fruits ratio in the refrigerator in post-shopping condition. If it's at the weekend, the conditions are different. But wait, let me explain why I define my ability to buy fruit = rich.

1. Fruit: think about health first and self-caring act. "Eat the rainbow", 5 (portions) a day, is some jargon to emphasize the importance of consuming a variety of fruits & vegetables. The benefits are real and I believe this is the main form of self-care because it directly affects health, even our focus ability and performance.

2. Fruit: planned consumption. The big problem in the budget and consumption in the family is less calculating. Lack of budget is a problem. If the budget is okay, but the consumption is not optimal, it is also a problem with food leftovers/waste. It took time, but finally, I was able to know how much fruit my family truly needs. So, the fruit is like a "symbol" of my learning in planning family consumption.

3. Fruit: all needs are fulfilled. In the past, I classified the fruit as tertiary goods. The feeling is still persistent now. So, every time I look at the fruit that I will eat, there is a feeling of gratitude and security that my basic needs have been met and can eat fruit.

That is the reason I take the rich meaning of a bowl of fruit. Moreover, this standard is easy to "trick", for example, buying fruit that is in season or local fruit to make it cheaper. Although less money is spent, the essence of being rich is still achieved and remains to calm my heart.

This discussion continued when I had a discussion with Iphip, we were both curious about if someone in Indonesia was doing this research, it would be very interesting. I think the threshold value is important because it'll be real evidence & the reason why we don't need to be constantly chasing money, being on a rat race if our neighbours have a new car or being too competitive about possession. After all, it could even be overwhelming and decreasing happiness after passing a certain number (it shows on $160k).  If the threshold is tried & true, I think it'll be better to use our energy for things that really make you happy. ☺