Can money bring happiness? If yes, then what kind of?
It brings temporary happiness. But there is another angle to the answer, which varies from person to person. For a person without enough money to meet his daily needs, definitely money would bring happiness. Not having enough money can be stressful for many people. Stress leads to unhappiness, and often happiness is merely the relief of old pains (such as poverty) finally going away.
It would be wrong to say money always brings happiness. Usually, with more money, a new standard of living is set, from which the person now wants even more, and as a result, end up being stressed about not being wealthy enough, even when above the poverty line, or even when rich.
Of course, money can lift the burdens that come with poverty. In that case, it gives happiness. Due to the mindset of society, it appears as if rich people are always happy. It’s just like the old saying: “all that glitters is not gold“. I have observed the lives of many rich people closely.
It’s a strange fact: the poorest and wealthiest people desperately want more money, and predicate their happiness on that, just for different reasons. People look for happiness outside of themselves, as with material comforts. When you don’t desperately need money to survive, any materialistic comfort bought with money can make life somewhat more intriguing, for a moment.
I am not anti-money, anti-capitalism, nothing like that. I also don’t kid myself. If someone finds that he can buy happiness with money and that happiness lasts as long as he has money, he’s lucky. He got a better deal than most.
For the majority of people, there are many things which are a source of genuine happiness and money can’t buy them, such as good health, old memories, love, etc. I strongly believe that money can’t buy longstanding happiness. There has to be a goal the money is centered around, a purpose that the money is directed toward. Otherwise, it’s just a number.
It may seem strange, but being a millionaire means nothing. I believe it is the emptiest goal anyone could ever achieve. Becoming a millionaire in the process of living out another, broader life purpose, however, is noble and more secure in the long run. It’s similar to my beliefs about love. Your partner should not be your life purpose, they should be alongside you to support a different purpose. In the same way, money supports us in the lifestyles we truly want, but it is not the end goal. Do not work yourself too hard and neglect other aspects of life, or you will turn into a sick, lonely millionaire, the type of person that I’ve seen far too often.
I knew one friend who was very strongly motivated to get out of the middle class. So he worked very hard at his job, and succeeded, even though it cost him his social life and I hardly saw him. When I finally did get to see him, he was now in the upper class, by definition, but he still wasn’t happy. He had already invented a new desire, to be a millionaire. He didn’t seem to be getting any happier, in the process of pursuing these money-related goals, and that’s because the money wasn’t for anything. Not to travel, try new things, create a business, support a cause, it just sat in his account, occasionally spent on nice clothes.
He associated a person’s personal worth with the amount of money they just had, sitting around in their bank account. I am similar but different in one keyway. I measure someone by what ratio of the money they spend on the things that matter to them. For instance, if someone gives half their money to their family in another country, I find that admirable, even if they’re just making a middle or lower-class income. If someone makes way more money than him but sits on it just to say he’s a millionaire, what’s the point of that? Money can’t do any good if it isn’t being exchanged. It’s just like a lonely dragon guarding a hoard of gold.
If you’d like to see a deeper take of mine on these concepts, I welcome you to check out my article: The Homeless Millionaire: How Making Money Is Only Half the Battle.
In conclusion, money brings temporary happiness and relief from poverty conditions. What really lasts is gaining wealth in the process of living out your dreams. Each feeds the other, in a healthy cycle. If someone is poor, money is the key to them escaping that situation, so of course they should try and improve their finances. From that point onward, though, money is a tool, a fuel, not the end goal.
Please feel free to reply to me if you have any questions or thoughts.