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Who Needs Yachts and Islands?

August 27, 2010 · 40 comments

in Life, Personal Finance

Earlier this week  I wrote about owning a private island, and Financial Samurai wrote about a Russian billionaire that owns a $300 million dollar yacht.  Both these items seem incredibly extravagant, and I cannot imagine ever being in the financial position to own either one.

But that is ok.

I came to this realization while taking a walk.  I was having a fantastic day.   I spent some time with my kids in the morning, had lunch with a friend, played games with my daughter in the afternoon, and then went for my walk.  The afternoon was slightly cool and the leaves were just starting to fall off the trees.  It was actually an ordinary day, but I felt total contentment.

While I was walking, the yacht and the island both popped into my mind.  I thought owning either one of those items would be quite the burden, and I don’t know that they would bring me huge amounts of happiness.  Actually,  I can’t imagine feeling any happier than I already do, and it is just life in general that brings me happiness.  My family is healthy, my summer taxes are paid – what more could I want?   Sure, my house isn’t paid off, but so what?  Yes, I would feel more secure if the mortgage was completely paid and we had more money saved for retirement and such.   However, my happiness level probably would not increase dramatically because of it.  (Although I may throw a fun party when I finally make that last mortgage payment.)   Overall, I am just pretty darn happy with how things are.  Having a billion dollars would allow me to travel more and such, but would also introduce some headaches too (or at least I tell myself that).

I guess the point in all of this is that happiness can be found in many small things that are completely free, like spending time with family or sitting in the sun.   I know that my ‘lifestyle’ would not make everyone happy, as I am sure that my  life as a stay-at-home-mom (and blogger) may seem mundane to some.  But, it is perfect for me, at least for now, and I am grateful for what I have.

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole August 27, 2010 at 10:03 am

Happy is good. I’m not happy this morning because I woke up achy with a drippy nose and upset tummy. When I get better I won’t take good health for granted for at least a few days!

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Kris August 27, 2010 at 10:52 am

Summer colds are the worst! Feel better soon. Then be happy.

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WaterBishop August 27, 2010 at 12:02 pm

I’ve always felt that if I came into that much money, it would make me miserable since I would have nothing left to strive for. Sure, I could do charity work or grants, but been there, done that ,and it has its own downfalls.
I kind of like that just keeping a roof over my head Has always been a bit of a struggle. Not that I wouldn’t like easy street for a little bit, but at least with a modest life, I am able to feel proud for the times I manage to have it all together. It’s actually an accomplishment. Of course I would never turn down the money. 😉

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Kevin@InvestItWisely August 27, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Some say that one’s happiness point is relatively set in your outlook and genetics. Good and bad things will push it one way or another, but it will eventually try to come back to that middle.

I don’t know how true that is, but I believe happiness can be found without a great deal of money. A lot of happiness comes from these little things, and also from the feeling of freedom as you get closer to the day where you aren’t forced to work cause you have to pay off a mortgage, etc… which adds some pressure.

The $300 million yacht doesn’t hurt, either, but I would bet that you wouldn’t be 300 times happier 😉

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Money Reasons August 27, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Ah, you had a “Family Man” moment! “Family Man” is a movie that is a spin of “It’s a wonderful life”, but where the value of having a family really comes to light. I won’t say anymore in case you haven’t seen it yet! It’s a pretty good movie, for a Mr. Cage movie 😉

Here is the real kicker! I bet that rich billionaire doesn’t even realize what he is missing! He is so busy making money that he missed out on his (current or future) kids growning up.

I know when I was single, I wouldn’t have guess that my kids bring me such joy… In fact, I wasn’t even in a rush to have kids, luckily my wife was more insistent!

Consider youself very lucky to know this and fully enjoy it (I know many that don’t)…

Thanks for a feel good post, as it has served as a reminder that family living is one of the greatest sources of happiness!

I can’t resist a happiness saying:

“Happiness is a solid hug from a small child hugging as hard as s/he can, after you come home from a bad day at work”. 🙂

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Budgeting in the Fun Stuff August 27, 2010 at 2:39 pm

I’m a generally happy person. I’m also generally optimistic which helps. I’m happy with my husband, my friends, and my family – the only thing dragging me down is my job that is slowly taking away everything I liked about it. I’m working on that, but overall, I’m pretty dang content myself. 🙂 I really don’t think being billionaires would change much of my day-to-day except for a bigger house and more volunteering time.

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Rob Ward August 27, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Great perspective! I’m learning to be ok with having less. I have quite a bit already and it seems like there is always more that I want. But in reality whatever the thing is, it is not going to improve my life all that much. Experiences (like taking a walk or enjoying the sun) are much more enjoyable and memorable in the long run.

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Squirrelers August 27, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Wealth is just one part of happiness. Health and Relationships are a big part of it as well, for many of us. If one has significant assets, but poor health or relationships, it would be much tougher to truly enjoy the money.

When I look at life experiences that have made me they happiest, they have revolved around fun times with people.

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Kay Lynn @ Bucksome Boomer August 28, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Experiences are the best things in the life. However, money makes life easier. I don’t want to be wildly rich. Just enough to live comfortable, travel and give.

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Bank CD Rates August 29, 2010 at 6:23 pm

You are 100% correct! Of course that having millions of dollars could buy you so many commodities, but the essence of happiness can’t be purchased. Yes, you can fill your house and life with expensive things, but you should consider yourself a millionaire, having joy in your heart and a beautiful family…and truly enjoying life. Great post, thanks for sharing!

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