Happiness can’t be bought by money, but can’t it buy the source of happiness?
Hi. That’s a difficult question to answer as it depends on one’s perspective. Like, some people find happiness in materialistic comforts which they can buy with money. There may be some people who find happiness in spending quality time with their friends and family, but money may give them the freedom to get that quality time.
If your happiness comes from peace of mind that you are financially secure, then absolutely, money can buy the source of happiness. It keeps the debt collector away, which is certainly a reason to be happy. However, after that immediate financial need is fulfilled and people seek out other things, money gives diminishing returns and it’s more about living your life how you want to live.
Let’s discuss more.
Money change show you experience life. Research shows that people with higher income tend to have more positive emotions (or at least, report themselves as having them). For the poor, money brings happiness if they can meet their routine expenses and eventually move up in the world. After someone manages to meet basic needs with money, then come desires, dreams, and wishes. In between both of these situations, there lies contentment: satisfaction with what you have. Contentment is difficult to find and often skipped over entirely, and as a result people blindly start chasing money and end up stressing themselves out if they are unable to make enough. But they don’t realize that there is no ‘enough’, and they’ll keep moving the goalposts further compulsively.
I have closely observed the lives of many rich people. They may be unhappy inside due to one reason or another, but outside, they always have to show off like everything is perfect. I understand their compulsion to do that. It’s societal pressure. Being rich is supposed to make everything easy and perfect, according to the media, so being rich and admitting to not being happy is seen as admitting to being a failure.
One thing is for sure: there is some direct connection between money and happiness. That’s the reason people work hard to save money, and then buy what they wanted. If that wasn’t the case, commerce would probably not exist at all. Money is power, and it’s easy to feel good when you’re powerful.
My opinion, though, is that the happiness most people feel from getting and spending money largely about a release of tension. If someone wants something a lot, but they have to save up a lot of money or improve their job situation to get it, spending that money feels like an earned moment. For rich people who don’t have to work hard to buy something expensive, suddenly things aren’t so valuable anymore. Almost anything is accessible to them at the swipe of a credit card.
I have seen people with a big home, luxurious cars, and well-paying jobs that are unhappy because they are used to getting their way with money, and some things can’t be fixed with wealth alone. For instance, I know a lot of lonely rich young guys who worked insanely hard to get into a high-paying job but have trouble keeping up friendships or dating, because money doesn’t really help people form a connection with you. In fact, lots of people instinctively dislike the rich, assuming they’re shallow or opportunistic.
This relationship between money and happiness is complicated, that’s for sure.
Most people operate under the idea that they just need X amount more money, and then they’ll be happy. But when someone gets to that point, at times, he/she is not happy as expected, because it was never about the money to begin with. It was to buy something all their friends had but they didn’t, move into a better place, you name it, but that just leads to new problems that a person might assume can only be fixed by making even more money. Then, a new goal is set, before they can appreciate what they’re worked so hard to get.
In the context of our discussion, I have an interesting article to share with you. In my article: The Homeless Millionaire: How Making Money Is Only Half the Battle, I have discussed another perspective, which is, even if you can buy sources of happiness, it’s up to the individual to maintain perspective and use their money for what really matters, not chasing new, temporary desires.
In conclusion, money can’t buy happiness, but you can buy the source of happiness with it depending on what your pain points are. No doubt that sort of happiness is temporary and is unremarkable compared to inner contentment, but, it matters.
I will say, few things are as awesome in life as having more than enough money for your needs in life, AND knowing it. Because once you fully know and appreciate that fact, you’re free to make even more money if you want, and it’s all a beautiful bonus to what you have, not a desperate chase up an infinite ladder.
Please feel free to reply to me if you need any clarification.