Since the economic recession of 2008-2013, many of us have had to learn to take greater care of our money, and survive within sometimes drastically limited means. Even now, despite claims that Britain’s own economy is on the mend, the heat is still being felt by a high percentage of families across the UK.
But what about the other end of the spectrum – what is like for those that live without financial restriction, and how much money is too much money?
Naturally, the answer to this question is entirely subjective. How people choose to spend their money differs, some prefer to spend it on charitable enterprises, others on lavish displays of wealth and investment deals. Equally, the appeal of money to some means that you can never have too much of the stuff, whilst others declare that when you don’t have a clue what to do with it all, that’s when you’ve got more than enough.
So perhaps the better question surrounds public opinion of money, and those that are declared ‘rich’.
With the promise of ‘happiness’, and pitched as the resolution to all your problems, it is easy to understand why money is rightly or wrongly used as an indicator of personal success. And in recent years with the rise of social media, ‘personal success’ is a hot topic that has garnered a lot of attention, spawning programmes and articles about the “The Rich Kids of Instagram“, “The World’s Most Expensive Christmas” and “How much money do you need to join the super-rich?”
In many ways it is fascinating to see how other people spend their money, and how vastly different to our own spending habits it is. But it can also appear brazen and unashamedly ostentatious – flaunting money unnecessarily on items that will be seen/used once before being flung to the bottom of the pile. This is often encouraged on social media sites, as account holders gain more ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ as their displays of wealth become grander and more orchestrated. Now this by no means accounts for every ‘rich’ person out there, and should not overshadow the philanthropic gestures made by billionaires such as Bill Gates and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.
It does however suggest a tendency towards materialism over happiness, the outcome of which is most likely damaging. These ‘rich kids of Instagram’ and ‘money is no object’ people are no longer merely living comfortably, and perhaps this is the line at which a lot of money becomes too much money. And whilst it might be unfair to berate those that have earned or been fortunate enough to inherit vast sums of money, who are spending well within their means, there is something to be said of “knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing”.