If Some is Good, More is Better…Right?

This is a phrase that one of my college professors used to say frequently. It seems counterintuitive but sometimes if you keep adding more of a once thought of good thing it can get to a point where it goes against the one thing that you’re trying to achieve.

When you’re young, you get some money and buy something new and exciting, like a new bike or something else. As you grow up you buy new things and after every new thing you buy there’s excitement and pleasure. When you land that first job right out of college, you imagine all of the things you can buy with that great salary. You may buy all of those things, spend money on a new car, get a dog, buy a house, and all of the other things that go along with this.

Then you realize that you’re working most of the time and  can’t even enjoy all of these things that you bought. You’re working just to keep up on the payments and maintenance for the things that you don’t have time to use. This is the area on the utility curve where each addition “thing” that you buy actually gives you negative utility. Things are piling up with no use, the cost and hassle to store and maintain things are more than any enjoyment you get from them, not to mention the time that you’ve spent to make money to purchase these things.

Some people don’t even realize that they’re at this point, they keep buying to get to some point but it’s never enough. The concept of enough is difficult for some people to comprehend. The only limits are what people will loan them and the monthly payment they can afford. This is dangerous as a job loss or emergency could bankrupt you.

 

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