How much is enough?

The idea for this particular mosaic started about a year ago. It was due to a situation I put myself in when I decided that it would be a good idea to take a break and not to work for 6 months while living and renting a 2 bed flat in London! In short: it was scary but also great and I won’t ever do it again 😉

Last year, after about 6 months of a voluntary career break or how I like to call it: ‘early retirement’ I found myself in a bit of a pickle. As my savings started shrinking and job hunt was going slowly, I have decided to use a big plywood board to try to figure out my way out. I used the board first to break down each month spendings and, later, once the money started coming in, it was my ‘recovery action plan’. Yes, I know there are apps for that but somehow it was harder to ignore it this way. I knew that one day I’ll make a mosaic on exactly the same board.

Does money = security?

I was very lucky, I have had a great education and good work experience so I knew that sooner or later I will find a job that I want (because obviously, I didn’t want just any job, that would be too easy 😉 Plus I was fortunate because I live in London which really provides one with a plethora of opportunities. Still, it was a scary time for me. Not knowing if you will have enough until the end of the month is terrifying. If you like it or not money gives you comfort and peace of mind. Without it, it’s a scary world out there. Capitalism does not forget about you just because you are trying to ignore it.

How much is enough?

After a while, I’ve started to recover and managed to get to a place where I do not have to worry about the money so much but I stay cautious and it has changed my outlook on money, and my spendings. Nevertheless, I can’t pretend that having those 6 months off wasn’t good! It certainly was! I finally had time to do it all! My days consisted of making art, reading things, watching stuff, doing sports, or sometimes bird watching and vlogging about it – some of my friends still can’t forgive me for that one 😉 Money does give you security but only up to a certain point after which it loses its power a bit. When you pass that point every extra £1K of salary gives you less and less satisfaction. The payoffs become less and less rewarding. It’s true! Some studies say also that this amount is $50,000. But of course, it depends on a number of things and everyone will indeed, reach that place at a slightly different level. What is important is not to miss that moment and to stick to it!

The illusion of happiness

Nowadays, I am looking for a more balanced life. I know I need money but I don’t want to overspend and buy things I don’t need, tempted by the promises of a better, easier, more colourful life. I don’t need half of the things I buy, I already have too many of them and I know that the only thing that I actually need is the time, time to stop and live my life. What I need is to have less and appreciate it more.

So as much as the world tells us that we should consistently want more, get more and buy more, as much as it promises us a happy, beautiful life if we do that, let’s not lose track of what really matters.

Buy less, live more

I tried to reflect some of that in my mosaic. The happy playful colours, a capitalistic promise of a wonderland if you only work harder, earn more, buy more… is contrasted with harsh but true words, reminder that most of all we should celebrate life and simply enjoy it.