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Does Money Buy Happiness?

Has money shaped our mentalities for the future?

Money is a key commodity in the world and acts as a general medium of exchange . Whether you are a struggling university student or a multi millionaire entrepreneur, everyone is impacted by the value of money but the question is, does money buy happiness?

Can money really buy happiness?

A recent study in September 2022 performed by PNAS about wealth distribution shows how different people were affected by anonymous donors donating $10,000 into 200 recipients accounts. It demonstrates how the money affected different people from different backgrounds of wealth. There was a group on the study that received the $10,000 and a group that received nothing. There was clear signs of an increase in happiness with the people that received the money, with the overall level happiness increasing in all wealth ranges not just the poorer wealth bracket, than the group that did not receive anything.

"We took advantage of a unique experiment, in which anonymous donors gave US$10,000 to each of 200 recipients in seven countries. By comparing cash recipients with a control group that did not receive money, this preregistered experiment provides causal evidence that cash transfers substantially increase happiness across a diverse global sample."

However the increase in happiness, whilst experienced by the poor and the wealthy, was shown to be higher in the people that had significantly less money rather than the considerable wealth of the richer populus.

"These gains were greatest for recipients who had the least: Those in lower-income countries gained three times more happiness than those in higher-income countries."

The lower income recipients were based in low income countries, Brazil, Indonesia and Kenya whereas the higher income recipients were based in Canada, USA, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Does money affect mental health?

Money has an affect on your day to day life, so would it put a dampener on your life if you were not

earning enough?

According to research conducted by the Mind organisation, money can cause mental problems such as anxiety and panic which can then lead to sleeping problems as well as stress and guilt. People with debt are more likely to experience this as they are 46% more likely to have a mental health problem alongside the debt according to the money and mental health policy institute.

"Almost one in five (18%) people with mental health problems are in problem debt. People experiencing mental health problems are three and a half times more likely to be in problem debt than people without mental health problems (5%)."

This research contradicts the research shown by PNAS saying that money can buy happiness because in most cases this is not the overall opinion.


Money can have a different effect of both aspects of the emotional scale, whether it be happy or sad; people are affected by money as it is an important part of daily life causing either stress or relaxation.

Now as the PNAS results stated, money can buy happiness, however this test was ran and people were blindly given money to prove the theory which wouldn't happen in such large amounts in day to day life therefore disproving that it would actually affect people in the real world. People value money, yes, but the emotional state that comes with the inflow or outflow of any currency is based on the spending habits of the individual who has the money, it can have a differing impact on a person's life depending on what they may spend the money on which could range from a simple loaf of bread that would supply a family with food for the night or a brand new Louis Vuitton bag that had just come out on the shelf. Therefore, I believe there is a direct impact of money on the amount of a happiness an individual may or may not recieve based on their spending habits and their view on life.


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