Lagom - a Scandinavian word meaning 'just enough' - equality and modesty, certainly not excess and arrogance.
In general Western society, we have a general pursuit of more - to keep accumulating, growing, achieving without reason. All we know, is that we need some more, and then some more of that more. The financial services industry are experts at this, a constant ambition to chase returns, accumulate, and display success, yet maybe we have lost sight at times of what people actually need - or more accurately, what they genuinely want.
So lets take the concept of Lagom for a moment in many angles:
Food - you have just enough food, you feel fine, you have too much, you feel bloated and ill;
Alcohol - a couple of drinks is great, too much, and our judgement becomes clouded, the next day can be affected;
Exercise - just enough keeps us fit and healthy, too much leads us to put our bodies under extreme stress and risk damage;
Clothes - the right clothes, things we can savour, retains appreciation, too many clothes in the wardrobe leads to bewilderment, and lack of appreciation for some of the truly loved clothes we hold (that is another whole article in itself);
Money - just enough allows us to have what we need - and retain our appreciation, too much, and we lose sight of others, of compassion, of the value of what we have (and actually want).
Happiness - to feel happy is sufficient, and keeps us on a level footing, however we cannot possibly retain elation for all of our waking hours. Add to that, our extreme emotions are far closer than we may be aware. The emotional swing sometimes swings as violently each way, so a little sway towards happiness would be balanced by a little sway towards disappointment, and we can cope with that, but to go from elation to despair - now that is a whole different issue altogether.
By understanding what we truly value, appreciate, desire and how we feel is the key to unlocking the lock to the financial question - how much do I need. To blindly rush headlong in accumulation mode - seeking for more and more of more, fuelled by both self and society's greed, we face a never ending journey, one of uncertainty, anxiety and lack of direction or purpose. When however we strip it back to what is genuinely important to us, then we unlock the door to happiness and can work towards that by embracing the principle of Lagom - both now and in the future.
And that my friends, is called Financial Life Planning.
Lagom suggests moderation and balance in all things, finding the sweet spot rather than clinging to the assumption that more is better. Lagom is part of a broader Swedish belief in equality and modesty, in which excess and showiness violate key cultural norms.