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Can You Buy Happiness?

The complex relationship between money and competency: Does it really make you happy?

Does money really bring us true joy? It's a tricky conundrum to solve, as it relies on our individual perspectives. On the one hand, having enough money to pay for essentials like food, lodging, and clothes can bring an immense sense of relief and contentment. But on the flip side, if money controls your life and you're constantly fretting over it, it can be a major source of anxiety and misery.

The benefits or "more"

It can be difficult to resist the pull of instant gratification, especially when faced with the cost of living crisis in the UK. While having a substantial amount of disposable income can open up many opportunities, it's important to remember that nothing is permanent. That new car may bring a sense of joy, but no physical item can provide true and lasting satisfaction.

The stark reality is that individual differences and circumstances will determine how much people struggle to make ends meet. According to the BBC, in November 2022, a staggering one-quarter of adults reported they were having difficulty making it through the month. If these people were given the financial support they need, it could lead to an immense reduction in stress and a much more hopeful outlook on life.

Is enough, ever enough?

The idea of settling for having enough can be seen as a conservative approach, denying the potential for greater opportunity.

"Enough" is realizing that the opposite-an insatiable appite for more-will push you to the point of regret

The drive to want more can be all-consuming, leaving us always looking to the future, and never feeling content with what we have. We may earn more money, but it often leads to bigger expenses and bigger mortgages. But the greatest challenge we face is learning to be happy with what we have, instead of always striving for something bigger.

Comparing ourselves to those around us is an instinctive tendency, but it's important to remember that no matter how successful we are, there's always someone doing better. Take for example a young footballer earning a million pounds a year - on its own, that's a huge amount of money, but when compared to his teammate, Lionel Messi, who earns an astronomical salary forty times that amount, this same footballer may feel like he's not doing enough. We can use this as a reminder that no matter how hard we work, there's always a level of success that will remain unattainable - something we all need to keep in mind.

Relationships with money

No matter what side you stand on this debate we all must understand that everyone goes through very different interactions with money. This is not just about the internal side of wealth brought to you by your social groups but the time you grew up in also. This means that no one is necessarily crazy when it comes to people's expenditure habits.

Your personal experiences with money make up maybe 0.00000001% of what's happened in the wolrd, but maybe 80% of how you think the wolrd works.

We all make questionable decisions with our money, as we're all still learning the ever-evolving game of finance. What may seem irrational to you could make perfect sense to me. Nobody is insane - we all make choices based on individual experiences that seem reasonable to us at the moment.

The main take on the monetary value of happiness:

It would be naive to draw any definitive conclusions about the role of money in our lives, as each individual's relationship with it is complex and unique. In the short term, money can bring a sense of joy and contentment, depending on one's financial situation. However, in the long term, it may not be the answer to true happiness. We often compare ourselves to the wealthy, making us feel as if what we have isn't enough. It's essential to remember that money isn't everything, and that real joy comes from within. We should be grateful for what we have, and not be driven by the need to accumulate more.

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