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Why Money Isn't The Path to Happiness

If asked does money buy happiness, without hesitation, 99% of people will say yes. If I had money, I could buy everything I desired, go on holiday, quit my job and just travel, but does it buy lifelong happiness or just fill a temporary void?

We need money to survive

All in all, money helps us get through as without it we would have little security and would struggle too makes ends meet. Money gives us options. For many people money is needed in order to gain an education, for those living in low-income countries without access to funds for an education it may be hard for them to complete things they desire and gain the knowledge they need for their future careers. Money buys us essentials. Food, water, housing, nutrition, without these we can't live. An extra sum of money for some people can give them these aspects of life which will contribute to happiness, but does this only work to some degree?

Money only makes you happy to a certain point

A sixth month experiment published in the journal PNAS looked into the effects of giving 200 people a sum of $10,000 from a mixture of 3 low-income countries which were Brazil, Indonesia, and Kenya, and 4 high-income countries of Australia, Canada, UK, and the US. Within this experiment this group of 200 people generally reported feeling happier, especially those living in the low-income countries who gained 3 times as much happiness compared to higher-income countries which could align with their yearly income as people who only earned $10,000 a year gained twice as much happiness as those who were making $100,000.

This experiment highlights how depending on your yearly income yes money can buy partial happiness but only to a certain extent, after that the extra sum of money has little to no affect on a persons mental wellbeing.

Money doesn't make you wise

In the world, we look up to people who have a lot of money as it gives you status and respect, therefore people chase this as they desire those feelings and relate them to happiness. However, a person could have an endless sum of money but have no understanding and sense of the world around them. Generosity is crucial to happiness, and this is something money can't buy as wealth can end up increasing your distance from others making it harder for you to emphasise with them and without realising it, people isolate themselves from others and sabotage their own happiness. The positive effects of building relationships and being generous can have more of an impact than money itself. The art of being happy comes from being grateful for what you already have, and gratitude can't be brought. Evidence suggests that the money more you have the more you desire, therefore it is an endless cycle of not being satisfied with what you already have in life. You will never be content with the amount of money you have and always strive for more which can lead to anxiety, stress, and greed.

The richest people still struggle

Jim Carrey is one of the top 25 actors of all time in terms of box office sales and is one of the most beloved and hard working actors of his generation. This status obviously comes with money, but not necessarily happiness as Carrey has admitted to struggling with major depression for a large proportion of his life, to the point that he was unsure if he would overcome it as it was so debilitating. His depression was overcome through spirituality, perceptual changes of life, and maintaining a sense of purpose, not money. There are countless actors, singers, writers etc that have struggled with their mental health due to drugs, alcohol, depression which demonstrates that money can fill a void but once it is gone its easy to go back to the feelings you had before you gained the money.

You make your own happiness in life

There is no yes or no answer to the question does money buy happiness, as we can all agree we would feel happy with an extra sum of money to complete all the things we desire but lifelong happiness is something which isn't brought. It comes from gratitude, generosity, love, and experiences. No amount of money in the world can cure all problems, everyone still struggles no matter how much money or material items they have. Anyone can make money, but not everyone can be grateful for what they already have which is where true happiness comes from.

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