Money and happiness are the things that everyone wants, they are often linked with the idea that if you have one you have both. Growing up you are always told to work hard so you can get a good well paid job and then you can enjoy your life, but do you need money to enjoy your life?
Money does buy happiness
PNAS conducted a 6 month experiment where 200 participants were given $10,000 each and were required to spend it all within three months. The participants happiness was recorded monthly as well as a control group of 100 people who were not given any money. The researches found the control group ranked their happiness lower on a scale, whereas the participants ranked their happiness to be higher from when they first started the experiment. Although this is a small scale study it does suggest money can buy happiness. The recent cost of living crisis in the UK could further support this as people with lower incomes are now fearing what is to come. Money saving tips are being presented all over the media which shows people are panicking, higher income individuals are less affected by this, meaning a persons wealth does impact their emotions.
Michigan State University supports this to a certain extent. Their research shows income can impact your happiness levels but after a certain point, an increase in salary has little impact on your happiness. Michael Norton, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, has done extensive research on this topic, he has found that money can buy happiness if you're spending it in the right way. Norton found that people who gave their money away or spent it on others were happier than those that spend it on themselves, he also found people who spent money on group activities and experiences were happier people than those who spend their money on material items.
Money doesn't buy happiness
Above suggests money does buy happiness but some would argue it provides temporary joy instead of true happiness. Money can buy you whatever you like and give you experiences you have never had before but if you don't have people to share them with then are you really happy? Money doesn't buy friends or family which is a vital part of your life as good people = good feelings. Happiness comes from doing things that you love with the people that you love, not your bank balance as special moments can fill your heart in the way money cannot. Although money can improve your life a lot, it's not a cure to sadness. Were all human at the end of the day so we have human feelings, people go through ups and downs in life and money cannot always fix them downs. Money is not a cure for disease and doesn't stop illness not only to you but also your loved ones. Everyone looks at the bigger things when talking about money, how you can buy whatever you like, but no one really talks about the little things in life. Money can't buy love or character, no amount of money will turn you from an unkind person to a kind person and unkind people tend to have negative outlooks on the world meaning they will never truly be happy. Love is that one thing in life that everyone wants, it makes you happy in the purest and truest form possible but sadly it doesn't happen for everyone, money will not find you true love so does this mean you will never be happy?
Money does and does not buy happiness. In retrospect I believe money can buy you a better quality of life, it can provide security and it can give you the freedom to live your life in the way you want to achieve happiness but money on it's own will not buy you happiness, not every rich person is happy and not every poor person is sad. Money makes your life easier but not happier. Happiness often has more to do with interpersonal relationships and moments rather than material possessions. After all, what fun is a nice boat ride if you don't have friends or loved ones to share it with you?