Every day we live our lives chasing the almighty dollar. Every day we work hard to make money and we strive to have more of it. It is this endless pursuit of money that I want to write about today.
I want to ask you a question, would you be happier if you had more money? In order to answer this question, one must ask what happiness is. In my opinion, true happiness comes from love – and as the Beatles said, money can’t buy you love.
Think about presents given to you on your previous birthdays. Do you value the expensive presents more than the cheaper yet thoughtful ones? Think about your memories. Do you value the memories of your luxurious getaway more than the memories of spending quality time with your family? Happiness is free.
I will admit that it is true that those living in poverty would indeed be happier with more money. After all, not having money to pay the basic needs of life is stressful. So you could see how having enough money to put food on the table and a roof over your families’ head would bring about a certain level of happiness.
But once your needs are met, having more money will not significantly increase your happiness level. Studies have also shown that happiness levels in third world countries are similar to happiness levels in America, the world’s last superpower.
But what if you were filthy rich, wouldn’t that make you happy? Not necessarily. Some people have tons of money and they focus on stockpiling it into their savings account. Why? Perhaps because they’ve already spent money before and it didn’t increase their happiness level. So instead they focus on the things that bring real happiness into their lives.
It is not true that the more money you make the happier you’ll be. There is never a certain dollar amount that will make someone happy. Those who chase money and make big money will forever lead their lives chasing even more money, as if there was a certain amount that would make them happy.
But don’t you have less worries the more money you have? You could get a maid, a personal assistant, a cook and more. But that won’t decrease your problems. It’s just like the song says “mo’ money mo’ problems”. When you have a lot of money, you tend to have more things to worry about, not less. When you’ve got money you deal with people like financial managers who manage your investments in stocks or real estate. You deal with making sure you dot the i’s and cross the t’s in your tax return. You also deal with friends / family hitting you up for money. You deal with people wanting to rob you or take advantage of you. You also tend to lose friends due to jealousy.
So what’s the final word, does money buy happiness? My answer is this: Money can only buy you temporary happiness. It can buy you that gadget you’ve been wanting. Money can also put you in a position to create great memories, such as traveling to visit a relative. But in the end, it’s not the money itself that buys you happiness. The things that bring you real happiness will always be free.