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Is Happiness Possible Without Money?

How our money driven world is completely wrong!

"Money can't buy happiness" is a marmite phrase in the sense that it divides opinion, but just how accurate actually is it?

In order to answer that we must question ourselves on what basic fundamentals we need initially for happiness to even to be possible. Water, food, shelter and warmth are for most people what spring to mind first here, and money in most instances is required to obtain them.

Therefore this suggests that to an extent money can dictate happiness, as the more money you have the more accessible these essentials become. Due to the added power stemming from having financial security, wealthy members of society are often respected, admired and given high status by their less fortunate peers.

Money, as a result, becomes a main objective for the majority and people begin to fixate on it to the point they work 60-hour a week jobs they despise and spend a lack of time doing what actually creates happiness.

This then leads to the question of why? Why do people strive to be richer than needed? If the essentials can be afforded than why are people always wanting more?

Meeting expectations

For some people, money has been ingrained into their brain as a focus by their families. High paying jobs will be suggested extremely early on and they will be encouraged to begin the relevant university course to attain those jobs as soon as they leave school. Consequently these children are almost programmed to become high earners, and it is not uncommon for this community to find themselves feeling despondent towards their line of employment.

Money disorder

As a consequence of anxiety, depression, trauma or potentially a poor financially stable childhood people may develop money disorder. This creates a distorted perception on money and means that no matter how much of it they own, they will never be totally satisfied. It is likely that many of the top worldwide entrepreneurs have this disorder, such as Elon musk who has previously opened up about how this impacts his mental health.


Some people may crave wealth as a form of validation. If someone was to grow up being neglected by family, friends or potential love interests this can form a low self-esteem and lack of confidence. Financial gain can be treated as a path to healing these issues and therefore these individuals strive towards being as high income as they can achieve.

Luxury lifestyle

Within the first minute of loading up social media chances are you'll see your old school friends posing on a yacht drinking champagne. Leading to a feeling of resentment, bitterness and the desire to trade places with that person for the one sat on their phone seeing it. In reality, if people are worried about how fat they look in photos whilst on their holiday, are they really enjoying themselves and completely happy? Yes, it is hard to not dream of a fancy holiday but they are by no means essential for high morale.

Can too much money cause sadness?

Here we look at the other end of the spectrum, which questions whether chasing financial liberty like a hamster running round a wheel is realistically how we become joyful and cheery.

The treadmill effect is the instants where that person is consistently buying expensive cars, houses or whatever is the popular costly item. Studies have proven this leads to a lower well-being and encourages a materialistic attitude.

Another argument which suggests an abundance of cash may not always be advantageous is the idea that in order to achieve these high incomes you need to become more isolated. Sacrificing close friends, partners and family members in order to strive towards this goal most commonly leads to feeling isolated, lonely and having no one to support you.

Overall from this, yes too much money may cause sadness, and many studies have shown a correlation which strongly supports that.

How can people become happier on a budget?

Live a healthy lifestyle: Anything from eating a fresh bowl of fruit to a daily morning run have been proven to have positive mental health effects. Remember exercise is free!

Surround yourself with the right people: Being in an environment full of loved ones will take your mind off any negative thoughts and bring back your smile.

Plan your weekly spend: Through preparing budgets you will find yourself with less money concerns and anything that remains can be spent on fun activities or nights out, this way you can still afford to have fun.

To conclude...

Overall, money is far from the only source of happiness, even in our cash driven society today. How money impacts us is largely down to our upbringing and attitude, but through learning to value what is actually important such as health and family, it becomes apparent that money really isn't everything and the world will still spin round just the same as it did before money was even in existence.

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