I was laying on a loungechair at an Onsen in Japan the other day- an Onsen is a Japanese hotspring. It was a beautiful day out and I’d just come out of the Himalayan salt sauna next to me. I could feel the salt between my toes and the sun on my skin. My breathing came easily and deeply. I was about to jump into the open air hotspring in front of me. And I felt rich. And I thought “this is an amazingly expensive experience.” It was a funny thought to have because this particular beautiful onsen experience had cost me a grand total of 7 whole dollars.
Yep, the Onsen entry fee was a paltry 700 yen, which actually equates to a little less than 7 US dollars. And as I was laying there in the sun and basking in the spa-like experience, I kept thinking about how people want to have tons of money so that they could have experiences such as this, but this had cost me nearly nothing.
And this happens all the time. I sometimes have an amazing, brilliant meal somewhere that blows me away, and the whole thing has cost me a grand total of 10 dollars.
Or I’m at a beautiful lake somewhere and the whole experience costs me a grand total of zero dollars plus $2.50 train fare.
This isn’t just a Japan thing. Sometimes in America I’ll have a great super filling brunch for less than $15 complete with Bloody Mary and coffee.
Sometimes I’ll be at an amazing five dollar yoga class in Bryant Park, or I’ll get a cheap massage in Queens that’s less than forty dollars for a whole hour- not hundreds.
I’m not saying that having money isn’t important and that you don’t need a comfortable degree of money to live a happy life. Being worried about money is terrible- I know firsthand what that feels like and the stress that causes.
However, I don’t think you need to have tons of money to live the rich life you’d live if you did have tons of money. You can live it anyway at any income level- don’t equate expensive with value. Many things you’re waiting for the money to do aren’t as expensive as you think. The saying isn’t true- lots of things in life are free! Or at least pretty cheap. And they’re all around- just look for them.