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Does Money Buy Happiness?

The misconception between the relationship with money and happiness

Before we explore whether money can buy happiness, we should first come to terms with what happiness really is. To some happiness might just be the emotion they endure when being in the midst of something they enjoy; football matches, family gatherings, birthday Events, and parties are just a few examples. Others might describe happiness as an emotion they might only feel when receiving or giving tangible or materialistic items. But what does it mean to you?

A general idea of happiness vs money

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." —Mahatma Gandhi

In my opinion, the idea of happiness is all subjective, every individual finds happiness in a variety of ways; something that might make an individual feel happiness might make another person feel envy or embarrassment. And this links back to the original question - does money buy happiness? How can something tangible make someone feel true happiness?

Some might argue that money can obtain things to make a person happy, for example: being able to buy the latest shoes or technology, or purchasing tickets for events and activities; and to that extent I do agrees, but then again, (and this is where envying might play a part) do we as individuals buy these things to feel the emotion we call happiness, or do we buy them to keep up with the new trend or expectations set by modern society? To me, i find happiness through trying new things, exploring new topics of conversation, socialising with the people I’m closest with, and doing the things i enjoy the

most - it would be nice to have a large amount of money, but it doesn’t necessarily mean I can’t find happiness without it.

Money has played a massive part in the development of our society, the new trends we follow, the new careers that have been created, new technology, and the way we live our lives on a a day - to- day basis. Society would have no sense of direction without the introduction of any form of currency, there wouldn’t be anything to work towards in some cases. However, in this day and age, its become evident that everyone seeks to each financial freedom and basing their happiness off of monetary gains. A lot of individuals would rather trap themselves in an endless cycle of tiring labour in order to achieve happiness instead of taking time to learn new things about themselves, develop themselves as an individual, and finding things that would being them happiness. I don‘t personally belive there is anything wrong with working to earn money, but I don’t believe that forcing yourself to work in order to fund the things that bring you happiness is the way to go. Money helps to bring security to an individuals life and removes the stress they might come across as a result of society’s demanding nature.

According to a 2010 survey of 1,000 Americans, money only buys happiness up to an extent. Researchers from Princeton University, psychologist Daniel Kahneman and economist Angus Deaton, found that self-reported levels of wellbeing rose with income up to $75,000 (approximately £50,000) a year. However, after that, more money had no further impact on happiness. However, a more recent study, published by researchers at the University of Michigan in 2013, challenged the idea that the positive effect of money plateaus. After comparing life satisfaction and happiness levels in both rich and poor countries, and rich and poor people within a country, Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers concluded: “The relationship between wellbeing and income … does not diminish as income rises. If there is a satiation point, we are yet to reach it.”

The creator of Minecraft, Markus Persson, said selling his gaming company to Microsoft for £2.5bn didn’t give him the huge happiness boost you might expect.

So does money really buy happiness? Yes and no. It’s a question that will forever ponder in or minds and one with no set answer. We can all agree that money does provide the necessities needed for us as individuals to survive, bring us security, and keep up with the trends made by society. However, it’s not something to depend on when looking for joy and happiness. As i mentioned previously, happiness is subjective - its in the eyes of the beholder - many people my find happiness through financial gain, while other might find it through the experiences they come across in life, building relationships in life, and spending i e with the people they keep close to their hearts. It’s a discussion that will host many different views but the answers that matter the most are the ones you believe you would relate to the most.

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