At some point in our lives, we all ask ourselves the question: Can money buy happiness? We think that money buys happiness because if we had it we could live in a bigger house, have a pool, buy nice things. That sounds great, doesn’t it?
Money Buys Happiness
Researchers and scientists are continuously exploring the money happiness relationship and why we put such a huge emphasis on money as a source of our happiness and success in life. The latest research (conducted by psychologist Ron Siegel) says that we love new things and the thrill to own them, but when the novelty wears off we lose interest. So, instant gratification is very present in our consumerist society. In this sense, money can’t buy lasting happiness.
Of course, there are many contradicting opinions. Other researchers say money can buy happiness – to some extent. In a recent study, participants were asked how happy they were in relation to their household income. It showed that happiness increases with higher income, but the increase is relatively small. Money brings happiness to a certain point because it helps you cover your basic needs, get better healthcare or healthier food. However, higher levels of household income are not necessarily linked to higher levels of happiness.
So, the conclusion is that money is just an instrument and it doesn’t matter as much as people think. What seems to matter more is what people do with the money to bring them joy, fulfilment and happiness – no matter the level of income.
Spending money on charity is a great way to feel happier. Research shows that both rich and poor people feel more content when they can see their money making a difference in the world or other people’s lives. That doesn’t mean giving all you have away but contributing to a cause you are passionate about will make you feel happy and will help the world.
Giving is a very important part of happiness. You can buy something for a family member or a friend, something that they need or want for a long time. This will make both of you happy and will be money well spent. Plus, you will always remember the face of the person that you made happy with this little gesture.
Experiences vs. Things
Many people know that spending money on experiences and not material objects will make them happier. Still, they believe that material possessions are a better use of their money. Experiences make us happier and have a higher value in our lives because they help us bond, create memories and enrich ourselves in a very special way.
Some people believe life experiences are too expensive.
That’s so not true! An experience can be anything from a dance lesson or yoga class, a walk in Nature or a picknick with a loved one. Experiences can fit anyone’s budget and it is not necessary to spend a lot on them.
Of course, there is a strong connection between our finances and emotions. The lack of money can affect our self-esteem and bring problems and worries. However, don’t forget that too much money stress harms your health. Think about it, you might need much less than you thought to be truly happy!
What would you buy if you had a lot of money? Do you think it would make you happier?