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Does Money Really Buy Happiness?

Does money buy happiness?

This is a question that is so frequently asked, and causes a divide between so many people. On one hand, happiness is a feeling and an emotion, so how could you put a price on that? On the other hand, can you truly be happy without having money to do the things that bring you joy? If you're constantly worrying about financial issues, and can't afford to do the things that bring you the most enjoyment, maybe money could buy happiness.

Photo taken from Pixels

Who is happier?

There was an experiment that was run over a 6 month period in which some people were paid $10,000 a month. NBC News found that these people showed higher levels of happiness than the people who didn't receive the payment. The people involved were required to spend all the money in a period of time, whilst ranking their happiness monthly, through ranking on different questions, such as their overall satisfaction of their life, and their negative and positive feelings.

To get more insight into what other people think in regards to this topic, I spoke to someone about it to get an understanding of their opinion on it, they believed that money can buy happiness to a certain extent. This is because there are a lot of people who are in wealthy positions who aren't necessarily happy in life, and it is all situational. That's not to say that money can't pay for things that make us happy, as it definitely is a factor that helps contribute to happiness, and makes things easier for individuals to get on with their lives and not have financial burden or worries.

There have been studies on people who have won the lottery, and whether or not it has made them happier people. There have been some cases where the winners have just spent all their money too quickly, and ended up with nothing. Statistics show that 70% of lottery winners end up broke and a third declare bankruptcy according to Love Money. It can be thought that they get excited at the thought of having all this money, and they don't know how to manage it properly, and they can get caught up in having a good time and spending the money, so that before they know it, they are left with nothing.

Mental health and university coincide with each other. When making the big change of moving out alone, living with strangers, adapting to a new place, and getting used to having limited money, can be extremely hard for a lot of people. Anxiety and depression are the biggest mental illnesses that are reported among students who move to university, and for a lot of people it is the first time they have experienced these sort of feelings. It can be really difficult to get used to having to be so aware of your spending habits, and learning to budget, whilst enjoying yourself and having a good university experience. From personal experience, and from peers, it is clear that having more money and being able to live freely at university, a lot of stress would be relieved. This is likely to lead to students being a lot happier, and being able to afford to do things that make them happy whilst they are living somewhere new. This can be particularly important if they are finding it hard being somewhere new, and struggling to afford to do things that make them happy.

Upbringing and money

It could be argued that whether or not money brings you happiness is dependent on how you have been brought up, whether that be in a wealthy family, or if money has always been a struggle. Someone who has never known struggles with money, probably wouldn't appreciate money as much as they don't know any different, and they are used to having the money to do what they want when they want. On the other hand, people who live in poverty, or don't have any spare money, would most likely appreciate money a lot more, and even a small amount would bring them more happiness than someone else.

So...Does money buy happiness?

Overall, I think it is clear that there is no right or wrong answer to the question "Does money buy happiness?" It is all dependent on an individual, and the situation they are in, as well as what they seek to be happy. For some people, being in a healthy relationship could be all they need to feel truly happy, whereas for others they may not ever feel truly happy, especially if they rely on the finances to be able to constantly doing fun things, and live their life to it's full potential.

Erin Anthony-Jones 12/02/2023


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