“Money can’t buy happiness” is a commonly said statement, but is it true?
There is an ongoing debate about ‘Does money buy happiness?’. This seems like a simple yes or no question, however it is more complicated that you could possibly imagine. There is no correct or incorrect response to this issue, it just depends on your values and beliefs.
What exactly is happiness?
Merriam-Webster defines happiness as ‘a state of well-being and contentment’. When you feel whole and content, you are happy. It occurs when you are happy with your circumstances and your possessions. Many people question if the rich are ‘really happy’. Money may make a person temporarily happy by buying items, but genuine pleasure is more than that. There is only so much happiness you can buy, it can buy you lust but not love, acquaintances but not friendship, and power but not respect.
Will people remember us for the amount of money we have or the connections we have with others when we die?
Money is, without a doubt, one of the most essential things in the world, life would be difficult without it. With the current cost-of-living crisis, most of us would say that a little more money wouldn’t hurt. It helps you become financially secure, which makes life simpler in certain aspects.
Many wealthy people will never feel the debilitating worry that many people in poverty endure as they struggle to make ends meet, let alone feed their families or heat their homes. As a result, individuals who are unable to fend for themselves due to their economic situation are unable to achieve this level of happiness since their thoughts are continuously preoccupied with the numerous stresses of everyday life. Wealth does not guarantee happiness, but privileged people have a higher likelihood of achieving it since they are not always concerned about whether they can meet their fundamental requirements or the needs of their family.
Throughout history, wealth has opened endless possibilities, allowing people to choose a rewarding profession rather than a worthless career that would barely pay the bills. People that do not have this opportunity must commit to long hours of demanding, underpaid, and undervalued labour, the more fortunate can freely devote themselves to their work. As a result, while money cannot directly purchase happiness, it may buy the opportunity to discover what can unlock this experience.
Can money solve mental health?
According to the World Health Organisation.....
With mental health steadily deteriorating, can money decrease or increase the likelihood of suffering these debilitating disorders?
There are mental health services provided by the NHS, such as CAMHS, where cases are building up due to a lack of funds to manage them, leaving many struggling people across the UK waiting months for support. In the article 'Your Mental Health Improvement Won't Come Overnight!' on Mindless Mag, there are actions individuals can do to enhance resilience to recover from adverse experiences while people wait for treatments.
Meanwhile, others who suffer from the same disorders and are wealthy can easily avoid the waiting lists. With private mental health services readily available to those who can afford them, concerns can be resolved more quickly. Those in lower socioeconomic groups, on the other hand, cannot feel 'happiness' because they cannot get the care, they need to recover from mental health conditions that prevent them from finding it. This comes with the question ‘How can money not buy happiness if it can buy aid required to achieve this state?’.
How much money is enough?
In 2019, 34% of people in Great Britain believe having more money is the greatest source of happiness. However, money does not bring much more enjoyment once you have met your fundamental human necessities. Having more and more money will only make you want more possessions, leaving you constantly unsatisfied because you want the brand-new expensive car, the latest iPhone or current trending designer items.
There are crucial things in life that will satisfy you such as friends and relationships, an undeniable connection with someone cannot be bought and will make you content with life. Humans have exaggerated the worth of money over time. People make it appear that if you are not well-off, you will not have a wonderful life, but this is not the case. You can be less fortunate and have a beautiful and joyful life.
So, does money actually buy happiness?
Overall, despite claims that society is equal, there are apparent economic differences that have resulted in the disadvantages I've highlighted such as waiting months for mental health support and no financial freedom for the fundamentals of life. I do not believe that happiness is associated with material belongings and money but is associated with well-being and relationships.
Although, I do believe that individuals who have wealth have a better chance of achieving happiness as it helps freedom, security, and assistance deemed necessary in society's ever-changing pursuit of happiness.