When discussing happiness, a topic that inevitably comes up is money. We’ve all heard the saying “money can’t buy happiness”, and yet to many people, acquiring as much money as possible is the ultimate goal in life. Acquiring some money, in one way or another, is something every one needs and wants to do. Whether we like it or not, money is a big part of our lives and certainly plays a part in our happiness.
In order to be happy, basic needs have to be met. You need a roof over your head, some clothing to warm your body, and food in order to stay alive, and not having one or multiple of these things will definitely put a big damper on your happiness. As can the threat of losing one or more of these due to a lack of money, since in modern day society money is what you need to acquire housing, clothing and food.
Once these three essentials are secured, to a certain extent having more money can still make you happier, in my opinion. Of course it’s not the money itself that’s contributing to a feeling of happiness, but what you can buy with it. It makes a huge difference whether you’re living off of bread and canned meat, or can afford to eat fresh salads every day.
I believe a little bit of luxury can definitely make you happier. It’s nice to be able to enjoy some comforts and go on a little holiday every now and then.
However, being able to buy more only makes you happier to a certain extent. Humans are programmed to always want more more more, but I honestly don’t think having four Porsches in your garage will make you much happier than having one Fiat. I don’t think eating canopés of caviar mousse every night will make you much happier than having a good pizza, and I don’t think staying in a gold-plated room in a Dubai hotel will make you much happier than staying in a beach hut in southern France. Not to mention the fact that money alone will not help you build meaningful and fulfilling interpersonal relationships or buy you true love. Neither can money fix your health or that of your loved ones (although being able to afford health care helps a lot).
I don’t think money can infinitely buy happiness, but I do think a lack of money can make you unhappy. Not having enough money to cater to your basic needs and wants and a certain level of comfort and luxury can be very stressful and take away from your feeling of security and peace, which is essential for happiness. Having money can in many cases help fix problems and take worries away, but beyond a certain point having more makes little to no difference.
I also think it’s possible to have “too much money”, in a sense that there’s no more excitement for you in the world. Once you don’t have to work harder/save up for something special, you lose that amazing feeling of accomplishment and reward you get when you reach a goal. There’s no more excitement in buying a Michael Kors bag when your walk-in closet is full of Chanel’s. More so, the Chanel itself probably doesn’t excite you anymore after a while. When something everybody strifes for becomes your standard, there’s nothing more to strife for or look forward to. There’s nothing above the top and once you reach the top, where do you go next? I can imagine being that rich can lead to a feeling of emptiness that can in no way be filled with money.
What do you think? Does money affect your happiness?