What is money and why does it affect our happiness?
For thousands of years, money has been a crucial aspect in many of our lives and its role in our happiness is often debated and discussed. Money is one of the most important and used commodities in economies all over the world, and it acts as a medium of exchange. It allows us to purchase (trade for) other goods and is most commonly earned as a wage or salary. The relationship between money and happiness is complex and often differs from person to person, based on what they enjoy doing in life and their personal values. The relationship is affected by many factors such as personality, cultural background, and an individual’s beliefs and values. In a way, it is up to a person to decide whether money will ‘buy them happiness’. This article discusses these factors and whether or not these factors outweighs the importance of money!
Money makes us happy
To begin with, it’s important to acknowledge the positive impact money or wealth can have on someone’s life. Primarily, it allows us to purchase the necessities which we need to survive, such as food, shelter, and healthcare – this provides us with a sense of security and comfort. It gives us freedom to fund hobbies/fun activities in our spare time, like travel, sports events, and socialising on nights out. These activities can bring us joy, entertainment and make us feel a sense of happiness! Money also allows us to buy material goods, which may provide us temporary happiness but will eventually deteriorate or diminish, hence no longer bringing us happiness. For example, You could argue that the more money an individual has, the more financial freedom they have and the more enjoyable activities they can do, hence leading to more happiness. Similarly, poverty has been shown to have a negative effect on people’s well-being and happiness. The additional struggle and worry about not being able to afford basic needs can lead to stress, anxiety and sometimes depression.
Happiness in more than just money
However, there is an argument to say that happiness is not strictly bought by money as there are many factors that amount to happiness. I believe that happiness can be defined is many ways and is not strictly measured by how much money someone has. I think happiness is more dependent on other factors such as relationships with family and friends, health/well-being, sense of purpose and personal values. One of the most important factors of happiness in my opinion is a person’s relationships and social life. I don’t believe someone without solid relationships can be truly happy, no matter how much money they may have.
Another crucial aspect of happiness is health and wellbeing, which in my eyes, outweighs the importance of money. I believe that someone with poor health is not able to make use of their money in the long term, and sometimes not at all. In other cases, if someone’s health is so bad, their condition may prevent them from being happy and experiencing the life of an average person. For example, someone that has been diagnosed with terminal cancer would not be made happy by a large sum of money. In this case, their happiness is limited by their health and wellbeing.
In my experience as a student at Nottingham Trent, money definitely makes me happy! It allows me to do the activities I enjoy. For example, I can pay for my gym membership, I can go out to restaurants, clubs, and bars with my friends, and I can go travelling during the holidays. It also allows to to buy new clothes and material goods for myself and these things all bring me joy and happiness. However, I am also happy because of different factors; I have a lovely family and lots of friends, with whom i have great relationships. I am healthy and a feel a great sense of purpose whilst studying at university. I believe that these factors have an even bigger impact than how much money I have in relation to my happiness.
To conclude, I believe money has to potential to bring happiness. However, there are many other factors that make people happy, and these can often outweigh the importance of money for a certain individual. So, it is important to remember that there is more to life than money and it is not worth sacrificing other factors in order to become wealthy, as happiness is a state of mind, and not a bank balance.