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What is Money and Does It Buy Happiness?

Money is a commodity that is accepted by general consent as a means of economic exchange. Prices and values are expressed through money as a currency, and it rotates anonymously from one to another and country to country. Therefore, it has a huge role in trade and is a main factor in measuring wealth.

The topic of money has been a very interesting topic for thousands of years. A piece of paper labeled 1o pounds, 1 dollar, 10 euros or 100 yuan is like a piece of paper the same size taken from a magazine or newspaper, yet it decides if a family can eat and drink. Individuals accept money because they know that other people will. This theme makes these pieces of paper very valuable because everyone shares the same view. In various countries such as Israel, Argentina or Russia who have a history of having high inflation, prices can be often quoted in a different currency. For example, the US Dollar is used a lot because it has a more secure and stable value than the domestic currency. Also, residents accept the US Dollar as it is well-known and allows purchasing power to be more stable than the local currency.

Most people are familiar with the opinion that money doesn’t necessarily buy happiness, but everyone spends money and for most people, it is limited. Money is very important in terms of providing for families and building a network and does play a part in how happy someone is. A higher income allows people to have a home in a more secure area, allows access to better health and safety resources and can allow someone to spend more time enjoying their hobbies. But this is limited. Once an income hits a certain level and the necessities of life are sustained such as food, care, safety and shelter, the positives that money can bring such as acquiring your dream car or home are usually met with negatives such as being in a more stressful job or working longer hours.

A lot of people think that having things will create more happiness than experiences. For example, physical products such as the newest phone, car or handbag have a better longevity than something like going to a concert or going on holiday. In the short term, buying products does make people happy. However, in the long term, people will usually always want the newest thing, even if the previous product made them happy and excited at first, it becomes normal and eventually fades. So, even if someone does get that new car or phone, they will most likely talk about the time they went on holiday with their family or friends and tell the stories which occurred.

People think that buying for themselves rather than spending money on someone else will make them happier. However, researchers have assessed happiness and found that people got greater happiness spending their bonus on someone else or donating it rather than spending it on themselves.

A survey done on 1000 Americans in 2010 showed that money does make people happy to an extent. It showed that happiness would be increased with a salary of up to $75,000 but after this threshold, money would have no further effect on their happiness. In 2015, the office for national statistics showed that for people aged 16 and over in Britain, there is a link between household wealth and happiness. However, when the creator of Minecraft sold his company to Microsoft for £2.5 billion, he expressed in a tweet how he was in Ibiza with various celebrities partying but said he had never felt so isolated.

In conclusion, money does provide happiness to an extent. It allows people to fulfil their hobbies, buy their dream items or help people out, which provides both happiness for themselves and the person on the receiving end. It allows parents to provide for their children and can allow people to access better resources. Having more money also provides stability and reduces the stress of having to worry about paying a bill off. However, money isn't the answer to everyone's happiness and does have its limit. People wanting the latest and greatest thing will always have happiness in the short term, but it becomes the new normal and fades out. Therefore, it's not an answer for long term happiness and is not a sustainable way of thinking.

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