How Much is Enough?

Peter H Christian
6 min readDec 3, 2023

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”Oprah Winfrey

I remember growing up that at times my father at dinner time would say, “I am so hungry I could eat a horse”.

He and we never actually ate a horse or anything that close in size. In fact to this day I don’t remember seeing horse on the menu anywhere, not even at home.

He got me saying it too. Of course, the opposite of that was when I took a portion I couldn’t finish and he then said, “Your eyes are bigger than you stomach”. The happy median to these was to take just the right amount that sated our appetites.

Just recently I read where the average billionaire owns 10 homes. It got me thinking, “How many homes does one person really need?” !0 seems a bit excessive, especially for one person. And I bet each home has 8 to 10 bathrooms. Again, isn’t that overkill? If one is that incontinent, there are other means to get to the restroom in time.

The question to be answered by all of this is, “How much is enough?” How much of anything do we need (Money, food, possessions and the like) before we have enough?

For most of us one home is plenty.

The work and upkeep on one keeps folks like myself busy. Having a second some miles away to me is a drudge. Now granted we may be renting out the second home, but that has a list of other issues to deal with.

And to call home number 2 a “vacation home” is stretching it. I do not want to take vacation to spend my time working on another home. That is why God invented Hiltons and Marriotts. Nice place to stay, no work involved.

“Experience has taught us that material wants know no natural bounds, that they will expand without end unless we consciously restrain them. Capitalism rests precisely on this endless expansion of wants. That is why, for all its success, it remains so unloved. It has given us wealth beyond measure, but has taken away the chief benefit of wealth: the consciousness of having enough.” Robert and Edward Skidelsky

We all want things.

The latest car is nice. The next one will be even better. Our vacation trip was really nice, but the next one will be even better. And staying for two weeks doesn’t seem enough. Maybe a month is better.

Then there is the old savings account. A million dollars would be great. But two or even four million would be better. But why stop there? Getting as much as we can forever is the way, even if it means not actually doing anything with what we have accumulated.

In the end, the question ultimately is, “When is enough. Really enough”?

For some it is that nice car we now own, all payments made on it. That dream vacation was perfect. Sure we want to go to other places and see more, but this one will be hard to top. And we are financially secure and can buy what we want (Within reason) when we want it. We have worked hard to earn it and the joy is not the accumulation, but the ability to spend when we want or need to.

For some that sounds absurd.

To them you can never have enough of anything. The more the better and the sooner we get it, even better. Just one problem. While adding more and more they aren’t enjoying what they have. It is the next car or home or trip that will bring them happiness. Except that doesn’t ever seem to happen, because there is always the next one and the next one and so on.

There was a saying that, “We need to stop and smell the roses”. That is never more true than in this situation. If we cannot stop and enjoy what we have done, accomplished and gotten we probably never will. And that is much the pity, because that really is what life is all about.

So, in the end, how much is enough?

To different people that is a personal thing. To some there will never be enough. There is no such thing as too much. If that is their want, then so be it.

To most of us, I believe that there is a point where enough is truly enough. That is where you can eat till satisfied without feeling uncomfortable. Where you might leave that last bite or two because to eat any more would make what you just ate unsatisfying.

And while we would all like just a little more money, when you are wanting for nothing and living comfortably, then you certainly have enough. To get more means sacrificing other things such as family time, relationships or doing fun things, just to get another dollar which you really don’t need.

And accumulating stuff reaches a point where you realize you aren’t dealing with the stuff you already have. When you haven’t worn clothes or looked at collections in years, why bother having those things. They are just clutter and who needs more of that?

In the end you cannot take these worldly things with you.

Regardless of your beliefs, if this life is, it those things will stay with those who remain. And if there is an afterlife then they are unnecessary as greater riches and rewards await you.

I am in the camp of I am comfortable and satisfied. I will indulge every now and again, but I get over it really fast. If I get more wealth, it will be to use to help others less fortunate. Otherwise, I and my wife are quite well off and lacking nothing. We don’t need 8 bathrooms. It is a pain dealing with two and a half. Who wants to clean 5 or 6 more?

We never wanted a vacation home. Keeping up the one we have is a big enough job. And it is plenty big enough the two of us and any visitors we have. We are in a nice location with a great back porch and pool. What more do we need? Nothing comes to mind. Having a vacation home is not needed.

We can vacation wherever we want and are not restricted to wherever the home is. And Marriott does a great job of housing us and making the bed each day. And eating out at nice restaurants beats cooking meals as a vacation endeavor.

I have no idea where you stand regarding this.

I know not everyone has the same situation we do. But, I think that once you take stock, you will realize just how good you have things. Life is about a balance. That includes accumulating things and when you have enough, that should be it and it is time to enjoy what you have and realize that Enough is Enough.



Peter H. Christian was a founding partner and president of espi, a business consulting firm in Northeastern PA. Previously he was an Executive at Crayola Corporation. He has worked with 300+ clients in business development, profit improvement, operations, IS selection and implementation, and Project Management. He has 40+ years of experience in strategic and facility planning, CI, lean, and supply chain. He has helped companies to realize millions of dollars in cost reductions and profit improvements adding and retaining thousands of jobs. He has authored the Amazon bestselling business books, “What About the Vermin Problem?” and “Influences and Influencers” (4 out of 4 star review on Online Bookclub) which are highlighted in his profile. He is also published in a variety of professional magazines. He is most appreciative of Dr. Rodney Ridley, Donald Schalk and Gaetan Gianinni of Alvernia University for their support in allowing him to teach Project Management at the University.



Peter H Christian

Peter played a key role in the 700% growth of Crayola over 17 years. His first book, “What About the Vermin Problem?” is now an Amazon bestseller.