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Does Money Buy or Rent Happiness?

Can you buy happiness? A popular ongoing debate. The reality of the situation is that people spend their money on things that make them happy, however this factor may be a minuscule contribution for people who value other areas more. Happiness depends on where a person decides to spend their money, and what is gained from it. Renting and buying happiness are two very separate things, with buying being a permanent investment, while renting is only temporary.

Renting happiness

There are a wide range of goods and services that one can obtain with money. The theory is that money can only rent happiness and not buy it permanently. This is shown through the temporary joy something gives a person, due to the inevitability of boredom or a lack of longevity. An example of this would be investing in a good as oppose to an experience, where the difference between the rental and permanent purchase of happiness is demonstrated. Buying a good can increase happiness by owning something new and useful, however the novelty wares off after time or the item does not work as efficiently as it once did and so the linear relationship between said good and happiness drifts further apart, demonstrating the temporary joy gained. On the other hand, happiness can arguably be bought through the choice of spending money on an experience rather than an item or a good. Investing in an experience, like a holiday, creates long-term positive memories with the people you experience it with, as well as possibly bringing people closer together. Although an experience is far more temporary than buying a good, the lasting effect is far longer and can completely change a person's outlook on life. This explains the theory that happiness can be bought, if money is spent in the right area.

Areas of spending

It is crucial to consider the various potential areas money can be spent, for example for medical reasons. Although, in the United Kingdom, we have the NHS, a free healthcare service, not everywhere in the world is lucky enough to have this luxury as well as some people choosing to use private healthcare services. One way that money can arguably buy happiness is through surgeries to improve a person's quality of life. A contemporary example of this would be paying for surgery to correct imperfections like cleft palates. Something like a cleft palate can be a detriment to somebodies mental wellbeing, so paying to get it corrected could be argued as buying happiness because it would most likely make the person far happier. In addition, contributing to improving someone's physical health would increase both yours and their happiness overall, as the two are both directly correlated.

Another area in which money could be spent in order to gain permanent happiness would be through donating to charity. This could, not only help people in need by bringing them permanent happiness, but could also make the donor happy by gaining a sense of fulfilment. In this case, money may not be physically buying happiness but it is contributing to the happiness of others. The acknowledgement that helping other people can make you happier may incentivise people to become more generous and to start implementing helping others into their day to day lives. This would result in an overall increase in positivity and harmony between everyone and could contribute to making the world a better place.

Key message

Overall, from the points discussed, it is unanimous that spending money in the right areas can directly improve happiness in the long run as well as the short run. The key message that is being portrayed is the fact that, if people want to improve their happiness using money, it must be spent in the correct areas, helping people to become more generous as well as spending valuable time and experiences with family, friends and loved ones. A call to action for this would be to encourage yourself to donate to charity more often or give to people who need money more than yourself. In this, you can find happiness in others joy. As a result of spreading happiness and positivity, the world may become a better place due to the encouragement of being more generous, in turn creating a sense of community between people who may never have expected to be harmonious.

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