Money – The Key to Happiness?

So maybe money can’t buy you love, friends or social status, but in complete honesty; can you really be happy without money?

Whether money can buy you happiness is one of the great existential questions of the life that we spend buried in our £600 phones. The most common argument against this is that you can have all the money in the world, yet live an unbelievably sad life. There are billionaires who live alone in huge apartments, with no real friends and no one trustworthy to talk to. Many religious texts would have you believe that rich people are greedy people and greedy people are bad, ‘It is harder for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of god’ (Matthew 19:24). Therefore because money can lead you to sadness, money cannot buy you happiness, right?

No, I disagree.

Of course, there are cases where people finally get their lucky break and become rich, but then go and splash all their money out on alcohol, gambling and drugs, but without money in today’s society, it’s practically unheard of for someone to be truly happy with only a few pennies in the bank.

For example, imagine a man living in London, where living costs are higher than most other cities in the world. Say this man has been unemployed for the past year and is living on the streets. He hasn’t had a clean change of clothes in months, he hasn’t had somewhere warm to stay over the cold British winter and has had minimal food to survive on for what has probably felt like an age. Say you gave this man £1000, he could rent a room for a while, buy some new clothes, clean up, have some hot food and a good mug of tea (so British… I know). He could finally be able to turn up in a presentable state to an employer and get a job so that he could support himself, he would have somewhere warm to sleep at night and a window and roof to separate him from the rain, hail and snow outside. Would this man not be so much happier now that he was off the streets?

Now say our man had a small family. He can now provide for his partner and their child, he can buy their son a new set of clothes to wear to the school that he hasn’t been to for the past month. He might even be able to get his partner a little something for their 2nd anniversary. I don’t know about you guys, but seeing other people happy makes me happy too. The same goes for our friend, his family is happy and so is he. In our example, hasn’t money essentially bought him happiness? Hasn’t money provided him with everything that can make his life happier?

Now think about you. If you were given, say, £5000 pounds, what could you do with it? Anything that you wanted to do with it really. You could go travelling in Europe, you could redecorate your room and get rid of the hideous colour on your walls, you could even donate it to that charity that you strongly believe will make a difference to thousands of people around the globe. What is guaranteed is that you would get pleasure out of spending it on whatever you wanted to.

On the subject of charities, if money doesn’t buy people happiness, what is the £10.6 billion pounds that adults in the UK spent on charity for? Isn’t that money going somewhere to improve the quality of someone’s life? Even if it’s not going towards someone, it will be going towards something, whether that’s the rainforest, or a snow leopard. Surely by donating money to these causes you are gaining happiness over the fact that you are saving the planet?

Technology (and social media) is clearly something driven by money that gives happiness, but that is a whole other article; I’d rather not send you to sleep when you are so close to the end (!)

Obviously, in an ideal world, our happiness wouldn’t depend on money, people wouldn’t be so materialistic and we wouldn’t be so dependent on the luxuries that we have in the developed world (e.g. the device that you are reading this on). Unfortunately, the reality is that people in poverty lead lives where the what they have is insufficient for their basic human needs and often, in the 21st century, almost every way we have of fixing these problems requires money to work and this isn’t something that is likely to ever change.

So going back to the original question at the beginning of this post (I just realised how different this post is from what I had planned… oh well), do I think money can buy happiness? Yes, yes I do. Whilst having money doesn’t always make someone happy, in today’s society, I think that not having money doesn’t allow for someone to be happy. This isn’t favourable, but it’s the truth that we sadly have to face.

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27 thoughts on “Money – The Key to Happiness?

  1. I very much agree with what you have said. Though I think much of the reason that money ‘can’ buy happiness is not that it (the money) actually causes you to be happier, it just puts you in a position where you are then free to be able to pursue your happiness. If that makes sense! If you are out on the street, having money for a bit will provide you happiness and comfort, but the happiness you initially felt will peter off with time. However, getting off of the street permanently because you have enough money to do so, and being able to use your time to pursue other things outside of seeking out the bare necessities of life can bring you happiness, as your survival is now no longer dependant upon how you use the time that you have. How you choose to spend that time and money is up to you – if you pursue interests, family, friendships, charity then you will likely be happy, but if you choose to spend and pursue the acquisition of more money, chances are you will not.

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  2. I always saw this quote , it’s better crying in a Lamborghini than on a bicycle , to be honest I would rather be in a Lamborghini than on a bicycle. But do I believe money can create constant happiness , no .
    What I like about your post for a split second I was like can it ? But for the man who was homeless money brought upon him the circumstances to live comfortably but did it bring him joy or make him happy maybe temporarily …..
    Money can temporarily make you happy but in my opinion if you don’t have a job you like going to, if you can buy your family materialistic things but give them no emotional support , if you are a billionaire / millionaire that wants more then no, money isn’t the answer for happiness.

    I don’t usual like long comments but your post was so interesting 🙂

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  3. Would it be OK if I cross-posted this article to WriterBeat.com? I’ll be sure to give you complete credit as the author. There is no fee, I’m simply trying to add more content diversity for our community and I liked what you wrote. If “OK” please respond via email.

    Autumn
    AutumnCote@WriterBeat.com

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  4. Great post.
    I found your little space in the community pool, so glad I did!! amazing write up!!!keep writing and inspire us…. surely will be waiting for more!!
    Please do visit my blog when time permits, thanks in advance and see you there! 🙂

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  5. I understand where you’re coming from with this and I do agree that, to a certain extent, money can buy the necessities in life and, therefore, bring happiness to one who is in desperate need to have their basic needs fulfilled. On the other hand, your example of the homeless man brings about a different perspective for me as I work with homeless families. Many of my families ARE in a happy state of mind despite the fact that they don’t have much money. Their basic needs are met through financial assistance (food, shelter, clothes on their back), but there are numerous other things that they want to work towards in their lives. Such as getting their GED or obtaining a steady job or being able to receive mental health services. Ultimately those things can lead to obtaining more money by becoming a more “functional” member of society, but my point is simply that if someone is able to buy things to fulfill their basic needs, there are always more things they will want to strive towards. Sorry this was so long, I’m just very passionate about the homeless population. I enjoyed reading this post and seeing your perspective on this. Well done!

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    • Thanks for the comment, to be honest,I hadn’t really thought much further about my argument, and I would certainly agree with you that happiness is more than just currency in someones pocket. (Quick question, whats GED?) I hope to do some work with some of the homeless people in my area, I’m sure helping them out and talking to them (maybe even) regarding issues such as this would be enjoyable and really interesting! Thanks again for reading!

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      • It stands for General Education Diploma. If someone quits high school before graduating, then they can enter a GED program and earn the equivalent of their high school diploma. No worries, I didn’t take offense to what you said.

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  6. Hello,
    Nicely written.
    However, I don’t agree much with that. I have many things to say but I would say two things: 1) the idea seems to be influenced by capitalist point of view. 2) How about if some says (and probably gives some example) that happiness is just a state of mind. This state of mind could be achieved by rich as well as poor.

    Still, nice writing.

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    • Hey, thanks for reading and commenting! 1) I really wouldn’t consider myself to be a capitalist, but actually more of a socialist. 2) If happiness is a state of mind that could be achieved by both poor and rich people, that would be great. But today, I think there is only so far a good state of mind could take you. If a close relative was very ill, and you couldn’t pay for treatment, you could have a really positive mindset, and always hope for the best, but when it comes to it, would you really be happy unless you were able to pay for their treatment and restore them to full health?

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      • Hey, please don’t feel offended. I didn’t mean that.
        Money is important for sure, as you say, in todays’ society. This topic have been debated for long. I don’t know what’s the conclusion of the debates but I would say the conclusions vary with individual per se. For example, your conclusion is different than mine. At this satge also, I think, you are right, money is important. Maybe the people who think happiness is a state of mind, are more on spiritualistic side than materialistic side. What do you say?

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Umm.. I don’t know if something’s wrong with my connection but I’m trying to follow you but again and again it is showing, “unable to follow this blog”. This is the first time it has happened. So, I thought I should bring it to your notice.

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  8. And as for your blog, I like the simple yet classy look of it.😍 Unfortunately, I’m on my phone right now and WordPress isn’t very compatible with my phone. So, I don’t know if I missed anything important. 😕

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  9. This is a very huge question and it can have such a multitude of different answers and yet, you cannot say one is right or one is wrong.
    But I really really agree with you. Personally, I don’t even get the quote that money can’t buy happiness. I understand the intention behind the quote but just can’t bring myself to agree with it.
    Very well written. Practical and straightforward.

    Liked by 1 person

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