The Thelma and Louise Guide to Personal Finance

There’s a great anecdote that I’ve heard told several ways. The names change and the setting varies, but it always goes something like this . . .

Two friends are sitting around a campfire, Thelma and Louise.

Thelma says “that Donald Trump sure is rich.”

Louise says “I have him beat.”

Thelma looks at her friend says “what are you smoking? Donald Trump made $200 million last year.”

Louise just stares into the fire and says “I have him beat.”

Thelma says “Forbes magazine lists Donald Trump in their top 400 list; they say he’s worth billions.”

Louise pulls a marshmallow off a stick and says again “I have him beat.”

Thelma, now exasperated, says “would you please mind explaining yourself?”

Louise says, “from what I’ve seen, Trump still goes into the office, Trump still grubs for money each day, and despite all that Trump has made and all he’s got, he still has to go out and get more.” Louise takes a bite of marshmallow. “I have him beat. I have him beat not because I’ve made more money, I have him beat because I’ve already got all the money I need.”

This story carries a surprise element only because the concept of “enough” sounds so foreign to North American ears. Under the common wisdom, if you have 6 million of anything, then 7 million is always better.

But if you can manage to buck the common wisdom and find your own “enough,” you place yourself in rarefied air. That’s how you or anyone else can trump Trump and do it on a budget that’s much smaller than his.

But how do you figure out what’s enough for you?

Everyone’s answer is different.

As for me, I’ll be riding my bike today—and tonight I might even reward myself with a marshmallow.

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10 Responses to The Thelma and Louise Guide to Personal Finance

  1. J. Money May 8, 2014 at 9:51 AM #

    haha…. rock on brotha, good one 😉

  2. Free To Pursue May 9, 2014 at 5:16 AM #


    Love this. Live this and will share it. Best post yet!

    • A Noonan Moose May 9, 2014 at 7:04 AM #

      Thank you F2P!

  3. Wess Stewart May 9, 2014 at 7:37 AM #

    “Enough” can be a tricky concept for some people. Great post. 🙂

    • A Noonan Moose May 9, 2014 at 7:49 AM #

      Thanks for stopping by, Wess!

  4. Sundeep May 10, 2014 at 8:52 PM #

    Great post, short and simple.

    I think there are a lot of people who need to sit down and figure out what is “enough” for them. I bet a lot of them will be surprised at how little it is and some may even realize they already have enough…

    • A Noonan Moose May 11, 2014 at 10:11 AM #

      Great point Sundeep. Anyone can stay on the treadmill and earn a few incremental dollars, but I think incremental hours have far greater value.

  5. Even Steven May 14, 2014 at 8:18 AM #

    Well said, well said indeed!

    • A Noonan Moose May 14, 2014 at 9:14 AM #

      Thanks ES!


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