Can money buy you happiness and why is happiness different for everyone? Whether we realize it or not, we spend a significant amount of our time thinking about money.
Its a metric that can signify progress, status and wealth.
Most people would say Yes. Some no. And some would like to argue it out.
Can money buy you happiness why or why not? 9 Deep Thoughts
1) Yes, money can buy happiness
With enough money, people have the ability to purchase items and experiences that bring them joy.
Money, can contribute to happiness if you acknowledge that it is there to help you meet your needs and achieve your goals.
But that’s because the end goal isn’t money. Money is merely a tool that assists us in realizing our vision of a better future. Money is a means to an end, not an end in itself.
2) No, money cannot buy happiness.
Money can provide temporary satisfaction, but it cannot sustain a long-term sense of wellbeing.
At a point in my life, I thought happiness was really something you get to achieve, something to be earned. If you’re not successful, you shouldn’t be happy; you should wait until you hit that next promotion, get a raise, etc then suddenly you can feel happy.
Little did I know that I was setting myself up for more unhappiness; as “the pursuit of happiness can be a pointless goal” – Jordan Peterson (12 Rules for Life: an Antidote to Choas).
Examples of why money can’t buy happiness
1) Cultivate gratitude daily:
Don’t chase happiness; instead of chasing happiness, which is fleeting – practice being peaceful and content.
2) Stop comparing yourself with others;
The only person you should compare yourself with is who you were yesterday.
3) Devote your life to pursuit of meaningful goals
“Happiness cannot be pursued; it ensues as the result of living a life of meaning and purpose.”
Victor Frankl, in the “Search for meaning” taught that people can discover meaning and purpose in their lives by: 1) doing work that matters 2) loving others unconditionally 3) finding meaning in their suffering.
4) Eat clean, cut out sugar
Studies have found an increased risk of depression and mood disorders with higher consumption of added sugars, soft drinks, juices and pastries.
5) Workout daily
Exercise will not just make you feel good but has been shown to be effective both in reducing mortality an in treating symptoms of major depression.
6) Get moderate sunlight exposure daily/Vitamin D supplements
Vitamin D affects your mood and cognition (mental health); and is involved in helping you sleep at night
According to Healthline in an article on the benefits of sunlight:
“exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin.
Serotonin is associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused.
At night, darker lighting triggers the brain to make another hormone called melatonin. This hormone is responsible for helping you sleep.
… low level of serotonin are associated with a higher risk of major depression with seasonal pattern, formerly seasonal affective disorder SAD ”
3) It’s not about the amount of money, but how it’s earned
People who earn their income through meaningful work are generally happier than those who don’t.
Most Entrepreneurs I know including me are happier with a 100k from our business than 500k doing stuff we don’t love.
It’s not just about having a lot of money, but also feeling good about how you obtain it.
4) It depends on how the money is spent
If the money is spent on self-indulgent things, it may not make the person happy in the long run. However, if the money is used to help others or donate to causes, it can lead to happiness.
5) Increasing income and happiness
Is there a correlation between income and happiness? There is evidence that suggests that beyond a certain point, more money does not lead to more happiness.
Regardless of your income or salary, you could make just enough to survive and still be happy.
Largely because once you exceed your necessity, happiness may not increase with income. You could also make all the money in the world and still be miserable.
6) Invest more in Experiences, not things
We could easily buy things, but with time they no more excite us, this is because of how easy it is for humans to adapt to their environment – that’s why buying things can only make you happy for a while and ceases to.
Experiences however last longer in our minds than things; and are indeed parts of us compared to things which are separate from us.
Most experiences are shared in nature e.g. cooking for your family, taking a course on an interest, which brings about a shared connection with others; unlike personal consumption.
7) Value deeper connections with family and friends
Invest in your Family as its the basic unit of a life; even with your financial resources.
I learned of an analogy Steve Harvey made of men with zero priorities – they make money or get paid, gamble & drink first, then return home to their wives with the remnants.
Responsible men do the opposite – take care of family needs & priorities, gamble with the remnants.
Surround yourself with friends, family and nature..
8) Enjoy the process
Life is more of an adventure to be enjoyed than a challenge to be overcome. The goal is to lead a more meaningful and purposeful life (happy life).
But, since we think about money so much, we forget that money is merely a tool to help us achieve our goals. Money is a tool that allows us to achieve our objectives and not an end in itself.
9) Happiness comes from within
No matter how much money a person has, they will not be truly happy unless they are content with themselves.
Let me know what you think.
Disclaimer: This article aims to present the basic ideas about money and happiness, however our individual situations and psychological health may differ. For expert financial advice that fits your individual situation, speak with a financial consultant.