The Power of Enough

By | September 28, 2015

At what point would you consider yourself rich?  I think we can all agree that a billionaire is “rich”. What about a millionaire? What about someone who has $702,664.97?  Which final penny makes someone rich? How much is enough?

I know I’m not the first person to ponder this question. This is the ancient sorites paradox or the argument of the growing heap. According to The Praise of Folly, the argument of the growing heap is:

If ten coins are not enough to make a man rich, what if you add one coin? What if you add another? Finally, you will have to say that no one can be rich unless one coin can make him so.”

I spend a lot of time thinking about this paradox. One of the many reasons I love my charts is that it gives me a clear idea of how much I need and when I could potentially stop working. My charts tells me how much is enough for me and that is a powerful bit of knowledge. Everyone has a different amount at which they no longer need the additional money, at which amount they consider themselves rich. Big Law is lucrative. If I can save $10,000 a month here, why not continue doing this work indefinitely and build up millions?

Because I have enough.

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When it comes to money, I just want to show you what’s possible. I don’t use numbers in any of my charts as I’m not sure the numbers themselves matter. I feel rich because I have enough. Your enough will be different from my enough which will be different from that guy’s enough. But the less you need, the sooner you will feel rich.

Budgets must be fluid and extremely personal. I simply encourage you to think about your spending and consider how much is enough for you. Don’t compare yourself to others. Compare yourself to where you were a year ago.


I started this website so I can point to something when people ask me what I do. I turn dreams into goals, play around with spreadsheets and charts and chase my favorite high – crossing items off one of my many lists.

8 thoughts on “The Power of Enough

  1. Brian

    It’s funny, I have a friend in Sydney where he and I discuss the same thing on a regular basis. He’s got some stock, but his assets are primarily in real estate. I remember he was telling me it never felt enough. How does one decide? We don’t know at the moment, but what we can say is that by not knowing what is enough, we’re just spinning our wheels to no end. We have to decide how much is enough.

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  2. walter

    “But the less you need, the sooner you will feel rich.” this is downright proverbial. right after i read it, i felt something in my mind go, “WOW…i need to read that again!” i’m definitely liking the meanderings oozing out from between your ears Thriftygal.

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  3. Simon Kenton

    I don’t remember the word “sorites” in the Moriae Encomium, and in fact it doesn’t search. Try an internet latin text thereof. (This his treatise could have been titled Stultitiae Encomium, but Erasmus was a friend of Sir Thomas More, so punned in the title – Praise of Folly is also Praise of More). In a sense, More’s martyrdom lay at the end of a moral sorites, the actions of his monarch, Henry VIII, growing less tolerable and more heretical until More could not longer exculpate him and Henry would no longer stomach his disapproval. Pedantically yours….

    I think really this is one of those “two kinds of people” problems: those who think the universe is a benevolent cornucopia with plenty for all including me; those who think the universe a desert of scarcity in the whole of which, in all those 500 billion galaxies, there is not enough to keep me. You seem a rarity among the accumulators I have encountered, in that you could make a reasonable assessment of what’s enough and elect to live by it. Most have continued to accumulate until death, or try to, meaning the decision smacked more of neurosis than rationality. Encomiastically yours….

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  4. Jeremy

    My mantra regarding wealth is that it is measured in time, not dollars. The more of it you have, the wealthier you are. I was very time poor in my 20s, but I’m reaping endless free time now in my 30s.

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  5. Andrew

    I think this is the hardest question for someone to answer and the reason why most of use will work one more year…or a few more years.

    I love how you just pulled the trigger not knowing or caring about all the different permutations and combinations of factors that could change things.

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