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Money, Money, Money...

Does money buy happiness?

When we wonder whether money can buy happiness, we may consider the luxuries it provides, like expensive dinners and lavish vacations. But cash is key in another important way as it helps people avoid many of the day-to-day hassles that cause stress. Money can provide calm and control, allowing us to buy our way out of unforeseen bumps in the road, whether it’s a small nuisance, like dodging a rainstorm by ordering an Uber, or a bigger worry, like handling unexpected hospital bills.

Money buys peace of mind when we are able to live within our budget and save for the future. In the present, you will sleep better knowing you have some money in reserve in the event of an emergency. Looking into the future, you will be happy knowing you have built up enough of a nest egg to enable you to retire and live independently for as long as possible. In a six-month experiment, people who received cash transfers of $10,000 generally reported feeling happier than people who did not receive the payment. A recent experiment suggests that money can indeed buy happiness — at least for six months, among households making up to $123,000 a year.

However, this isn't always the case. Some believe that true happiness comes from within and can't be bought. Money can buy a lot of things, but not everything. A happy family, for example, is something you cannot buy. You must work hard to build a good relationship and maintain it. These emotional connections formed are the key to happiness. Once you allow money to become your source of happiness, you will never be satisfied. You will always want more because that shiny, new thing will become old and used one day. With technology introducing new products at lightning speed, there will always be a carrot dangling for you to reach for.

Although it may seem like the wealthy are surrounded by an extensive and devoted entourage, oftentimes those friends tend to fade away if the money diminishes or someone more affluent and influential arrives on the scene. Happiness comes from doing the things you love, not from your bank account balance. As for the passions that require money, such as travel and sporting adventures, budgeting and prioritizing will enable you to spend money on what is important to you. What’s more, not only does having plenty of money have nothing to do with the happiness of living a passionate life, but it can even have the opposite effect, too. For instance, money can bring about more debt and worry, which leads to unhappiness. Or it can lead people into temptation such as substance abuse and gambling addiction. The pursuit of money often creates anxiety because there is always the possibility of losing money. The richest person you know probably spends most of their time solving business problems rather than pleasant activities.

To conclude

Overall, there are many factors that can determine someone's opinion on whether they believe money can buy happiness including your upbringing. Someone who has been brought up with not a lot of money may believe that money does indeed buy happiness as they would appreciate the money a lot more and would put it towards something that matters to them. Whereas someone who has already been brought up having money, might say that it doesn't buy happiness as they have lost some appreciation of the value of money and therefore requires something different to make them happy. But there is no right or wrong in this case as it is purely based on personal experiences. Just know that you can still be happy without money as you start to appreciate the smaller things in life more. Money provides many social advantages that may not be as readily available without it, but money won’t solve all of your problems. Nor will it be able to heal your psychological wounds. Some people see money as a fix for all their issues in life, inner turmoil, and outer obstacles, but it never is the answer to everything. Money can’t buy happiness in the long run, but it can help make life easier. These feelings are transient, but while they last, it feels good to have money.

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