Thanks to "Your Money: The Missing Manual" for this image!

Thanks to “Your Money: The Missing Manual” for this image!

When you look at this graphic, what do you see?

Here’s what I get out of it: when you have a little money, you’re doing okay, but you still need more to survive. Once you get to survival, you’re great, but being comfortable is better.

After comfort you get to luxuries, which are very nice. Beyond survival and comfort. You have everything you need and the money to do it.

But what about after that?

After that, your happiness goes down. The more money you spend, the less happy you are.

The same idea goes for stuff. 

When you don’t have enough stuff, life isn’t comfortable. Imagine having no bed or couch or table. You need to spend money to buy (or use other resources to acquire) the things you need. You can survive with the minimal, but life isn’t that nice. Or comfortable. Or luxurious.

As time goes on and you move up the fulfillment curve with stuff, the pattern is very similar. For example, having lots of shoes to choose from is nice – but what happens when you have too many shoes to comfortably store in your closet?

The same goes for your kids’ toys. They are happy with enough to keep them entertained – yet when you keep consuming more and more, it becomes too much to manage – and it just isn’t enjoyable to play anymore.

So think – what in your life has gone “over” the curve – you have so much that you just can’t enjoy it anymore?

Be reducing what we have (or being mindful about what comes in ahead of time) we can help to set ourselves up for a more fulfilling life – no downcurve needed.