Money has been a source of debate for centuries when it comes to the question of whether it can buy happiness. Some argue that money can bring happiness by providing material comforts and financial security, while others believe that happiness cannot be purchased with money. There is no easy or singular answer to this question, as the relationship between money and happiness is complex and multi-faceted.
The happiness money can provide
On the one hand, money can certainly buy happiness to a certain extent. Money can provide us with the means to purchase material goods and experiences that bring us pleasure and enjoyment. For example, money can allow us to travel to exotic destinations, buy luxurious goods, or indulge in hobbies and activities that bring us joy and allow us to socialise. These things can bring a sense of excitement, fulfilment, and satisfaction to our lives. Moreover, having enough money can also provide us with a sense of financial security, which can help alleviate stress and anxiety about our future.
"As an individual's income increases, their wellbeing increases at a slower and slower rate. And after income surpasses about $75,000 per year, Kahneman and Deaton's data suggests, wellbeing stops increasing altogether".
This information provided expands on the conclusion that someone with a lower income is more likely to live a less happy and fulfilled life, however, there is only so much income one needs to achieve happiness in life.
Furthermore, money can also improve our overall quality of life. For instance, having a stable source of income can allow us to live in a comfortable home, eat nutritious food, and have access to quality healthcare. These are all critical factors that contribute to our happiness and overall well-being. Additionally, money can give us the freedom to pursue our passions and interests without worrying about financial constraints. This, in turn, can bring a sense of purpose and fulfilment to our lives, which can positively impact our happiness.
The negative reality of money
On the other hand, money cannot buy happiness in the true sense of the word. While it can bring temporary pleasure and comfort, it cannot provide us with the deeper, more meaningful, and lasting happiness that comes from relationships, personal growth, and a sense of purpose. In fact, studies have shown that once a person's basic needs for food, shelter, and safety are met, additional money does not significantly increase happiness. This is because happiness is a subjective and personal experience influenced by various factors, such as relationships, personal growth, and a sense of purpose.
"Buying things does make us happy, at least in the short term. In the long-term, however, we habituate to new things and even though they may have made us excited and happy at first, eventually the item becomes the new normal and fades into the background".
When referring to the quote above, it builds on the argument that money can buy happiness sometimes, but it is down to how the individual spends their wealth. For example, if an individual were to buy tickets to a concert with friends, they are much more likely to have a long term increase in happiness rather than spending that money on a materialistic object, such as a new phone.
Moreover, the pursuit of money can often be a source of stress and anxiety, as people become consumed by the desire to acquire more wealth. This can lead to a materialistic lifestyle that prioritizes possessions and status over relationships, personal growth, and well-being. Additionally, constantly striving for more money can result in a constant sense of dissatisfaction and a lack of contentment, which can have a negative impact on happiness.
In conclusion, money can certainly buy happiness to a certain extent, as it can provide us with the means to purchase material goods and experiences that bring us pleasure and enjoyment, and it can improve our overall quality of life by providing us with financial security and the freedom to pursue our passions. However, money cannot buy true happiness because it cannot provide us with the deeper, more meaningful, and lasting contentment that comes from relationships, personal growth, and a sense of purpose. Ultimately, the relationship between money and happiness is complex and multi-faceted, depending on the individual's values, priorities, and circumstances.