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Money Makes the World go Round

The real question is does money make the world go round?

This image shows the world map in coins
The world and money

Money is said to be the most important commodity in any economic system and money now is the general medium of exchange. In the modern era we use money to buy products and services, but also sell products and services in exchange for money, therefore if you don't have money you won't be able to purchase any products or services. It wasn’t until about 5,000 years ago that Mesopotamian people created the shekel, which is considered to be the first known form of currency. Gold and silver coins date back to around 650 to 600 B.C. The British pound is the world’s oldest currency still in use at around 1,200 years old. Prior to the invention of money people used products and services as a currency and so people used to trade the products and services they had for other products and services they wanted meaning these carried some sort of 'value' (bartering). Livestock was the most valuable commodity.

Money is now the main focus and drive for many individuals as it allows them to live there lives the way they want and to purchase and experience the things they want.

Is money the answer to happiness?

Money to an extent contributes to happiness but it is not the only thing that brings happiness. There is said to be a certain amount of money can bring you happiness but anything over this amount is said that it does not increase your happiness more. However, having too little money will reduce your happiness if you can't afford the basic necessities to live, and so having more money can protect individuals from things that might make them unhappy. Money arguments are stated as being a major factor in why couples divorce.

There have been songs written about Money (Abba’s Money, Money Money) which

addresses various money issues: Working all night and day to pay the bills; Dreaming of a wealthy man so no need to work; Going to Las Vegas or Monaco to gamble with a view to winning a fortune. In addition, films too: such as “The Pursuit of Happiness” starring Will Smith which is based on the true story of the entrepreneur Chris Gardner with his character concluding the “The Pursuit of Happiness” was inseparable from the pursuit of money.

Individuals have to earn money, and sometimes the jobs that people do have a profound impact on one’s happiness. Normally, the higher paid jobs come with increased stress and more responsibilities which can directly impact someone's happiness and can lead to multiple issues one potentially being mental health problems. On the other hand, lower paid jobs tend to be less stressful and can carry fewer responsibilities which can lead to an individual being happier than someone in a higher paid job. But, if this job means a person you just make ends meet then it can also lead to a reduction in happiness as an individual they might not have any disposable income to purchase products and services that might make them happier in life. But, with the current standard of living crisis with prices being recorded in December 2022 to have risen 10.5% from the previous year, people are struggling to afford the basic necessities, and this is particularly affecting people in lower paid jobs and also people on zero-hour contracts who don't have guaranteed work. This can have a significant effect on one's happiness if they are working from pay check to pay check.

However, there's more to happiness than just money. Happiness can come in so many different forms for example: their health and well-being (both physical and mental), their family and a feeling that they have a purpose in life; these can all lead to 'the greatest happiness'. Having a strong family bond can increase happiness as it can give an individual motivation to be the best possible version of themselves. This is because studies have shown that spending time with your family can reduce stress and anxiety which in turn leads to a healthier and happier life. Nevertheless, money can play a significant role in family harmony, because if you don't have enough money to fully provide for your family then stress and a reduction of happiness is inevitable. Albert Einstein wrote: “Money only appeals to selfishness and irresistibly invites abuse”.

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