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How much money one needs?

Updated on August 9, 2013

Why we need money and how much?

Ever since trading practices started around the world, people got attracted to precious metals, coins and paper currencies. Prior to that bartering was prevalent throughout human community. For instance, I grow grain in my land. I need milk or other products which I do not have access. What I do is simple. I take a bag of grain and exchange it for a pint of milk with the milkman. But there were problems of carrying goods and searching for the prospective buyer. Of course, the idea of a common place like the bazaar or sandy started after people encountered lot of problem in carrying their goods and searching for the items needed from others. The sandy served the purpose, since it is a common place for buying and selling all the products available in that place. Thus started commerce and trade activities. More and more products were added to the list.

People were intelligent and they found that this practice of exchange also involves many problems. There is no proper yardstick to fix the price of different materials and goods. Hence, the demands for a particular item escalated the price of the item, especially if it is of short supply. Even in today’s market conditions, we find that precious metals like gold; silver and platinum are of much value due to short supply. Hence Nations too started accumulating gold bars as a mark of their wealth. Accordingly the currencies are printed. But most of the governments do not hold sufficient quantity of gold bars but they print currency notes in excess of their gold reserve. This has caused huge inflation and the money value in the exchange market got decreased. There is another aspect. We import certain goods from other countries when we face shortage locally. Also we export the surplus goods to the needy nations.But in most of the cases; the value of imported goods will be higher than the export. This affects the balance of payments or trade deficit.

Now let us come to the main theme. After the invention of paper currencies, people were free to purchase anything if they possess sufficient money. Thus started, the attractions for money from all segments of society. Money has become very essential for our living on earth. The question is ‘how much money we need? Of course, it is a very difficult question to answer. It depends upon our essential needs like food, cloth, shelter, medicines, transport and education of our siblings. Once Sathya Saibaba has told a nice example to explain the point. He said, You go to a footwear shop to choose a shoe or slipper. What you usually do is to give the number of your shoe denoting the size. If you are not clear, the salesman will himself measure the size of your feet and select a suitable size for you. When he shows some designs corresponding to the size, you may choose a suitable one, wear it and walk a few steps. If it is tight and biting, you ask the salesman to show the next size. If it is too loose, you will select one size less. The idea is that the shoe or slipper is a perfect fit and it doesn't cause uncomfort while walking. So you choose the correct size. In respect of money, the same analogy holds good. You should be able to live comfortably and the money needed for a comfortable living is the judging point. If you earn less, you may not be able to fulfill your basic needs. If it is more, then you invite lot of troubles on your head. First, the income tax people, second the thieves and relatives, third, our own kith and kin and lastly fire and flood. These four categories are waiting to seize your excess money by hook or crook! For instance, if you wear a loose shoe which is higher than your size, the shoe will slip while walking and you will feel uncomfortable. If it is of less size, it will bite your feet! Hence, decide for yourself how much you need.

Saibaba holding a gold piece materialized!

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