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Does Money Buy Happiness?

Money is an important component of our lives and is frequently viewed as the path to happiness and success. But does having more money actually make you happier? For generations, people have disputed whether money can purchase happiness, and there is no clear consensus on the subject. Some think that financial stability and security may bring peace of mind and contribute to increased happiness, whilst others believe that more money does not result in a proportionate rise in happiness beyond a certain point.

According to research, having a certain amount of income and financial stability is necessary for fundamental well-being and pleasure. People who struggle to pay their bills and put food on the table are generally worried and dissatisfied, whereas those who have enough money to cover their fundamental necessities are happier and more content. Indeed, studies have shown that, up to a point, as money improves, so does general life pleasure. This figure, called as the ‘wage bracket’ varies by person and society, but is typically thought to be approximately £70,000 to £100,000 per year. However, beyond this threshold, there is no evidence that more money leads to greater pleasure. Indeed, studies have shown that after people have enough money to cover their basic requirements plus a few pleasures, the association between income and happiness begins to level out. This implies that, while money can assist relieve the stress and anxiety associated with financial instability, it may not have a long-term benefit on happiness. The hedonic treadmill is one reason why money may not have a big influence on happiness after the satiation point. This relates to the notion that individuals get accustomed to their higher quality of living and tend to take it for granted. For example, if someone wins the lottery and finds themselves with more money than they know what to do with, they may feel overjoyed at first. However, as their riches grows, it may become the new normal for them, and they may find themselves looking for the next thrill or greater material acquisition to bring them contentment.

Furthermore, studies have shown that people are frequently inaccurate in anticipating what would make them happy. People may feel that buying a fancy automobile or a huge home will offer them happiness, but after they acquire these things, they may discover that they do not provide the long-term enjoyment they expected. This can create a cycle of continuously seeking the next big purchase or material item, leading to feelings of discontent and unhappiness.

It is critical to understand that money has varied effects on different people. Some people may discover that having more money increases their happiness, while others may discover that it has no influence. People who value experiences and spending time with loved ones over tangible belongings, for example, may discover that having more money allows them to do more of what they enjoy, leading to enhanced pleasure. People who are fixated on material possessions, on the other hand, may find that more money does not offer them the satisfaction they hoped for.

In addition to the link between money and happiness, the role of values and priorities must be considered. People who have strong, defined values and objectives, regardless of money or status, are more likely to be happy. Someone who values connections, personal growth, and helping others, for example, may be content even if they do not have a high-paying career or a lot of material belongings. Someone who prioritises status and financial items, on the other hand, may struggle to find happiness even if they are affluent.

Generosity is another aspect that may influence the link between money and happiness. Giving money to others, whether via charity gifts or assisting friends and family, has been demonstrated in studies to boost happiness and life satisfaction.

Looking back futher, the cost of living has risen, with electricity and water bills increasing, improving the bottom lines of investors but leaving some with little to live. Some may be content with the fact that they have relatives nearby and can have quality time regardless of the expenses since they can just barely afford them, but others are on the streets due to the exorbitant prices that they face. Is this their choice? No, but these are the circumstances they have found themselves in, and finding happiness when there is no help accessible owing to the price makes it difficult to tell whether a grin will ever appear.

In short, money can provide some enjoyment, but it is not a guarantee of happiness. People should prioritise creating meaningful connections, finding purpose in life, and striving for personal improvement over financial safety. Finally, happiness is the result of many variables, and money is only one of them.

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