Why Don’t Money and Happiness Go Together? We all want to be happy. We see it as the ultimate goal in life, and we tend to think that money is the key. But despite what a lot of people say about wealth and happiness. It turns out that there’s no direct connection between them.
In fact, studies show that having more money doesn’t necessarily make you happier-at least not right away. This isn’t to say that having more money won’t help you enjoy life more; it just means there are other factors at play when it comes to your happiness level than just how much money you make each year. What possessions do you have access to in terms of material goods?
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Money Doesn’t Create Happiness:
Money is not the same as happiness. We often conflate the two: When we think about our goals and dreams for the future, we imagine them in terms of money. “I want to be successful; I want to make lots of money.”
But just because you have a lot of money doesn’t mean you’re happy. Money can contribute to happiness, but it’s not the same thing as being happy. Being rich does not enable you to buy happiness (nor does it enable anyone else).
You may be able to afford expensive vacations and luxury goods, but that doesn’t mean that these things alone will make you feel content with your life overall, especially if those things are used in an attempt to fill up some other emptiness within yourself or compensate for unmet needs.
Money Can Buy Happiness, If It’s Spent in the Right Way:
You’re probably thinking I’m crazy. After all, isn’t it true that money can buy happiness? Well, yes and no. The problem with the myth of money being able to bring you joy is that most people have a very skewed idea of what will actually make them happy in the long run.
If you really think about it, there are many things that can affect your mood on a day-to-day basis, like your body image or whether or not you’re in good health, that can be improved by just about anyone who has access to basic healthcare and mental wellness services.
In fact, studies show that when it comes to increasing overall well-being among populations at large (which includes everyone from individuals living at poverty levels all the way up into their 80s), financial security is only one of several factors involved (the others being social support networks).
Financial Stability Leads to Happiness:
Financial stability is a key component of happiness, and it’s different from money. While it’s true that money can buy you some things that make you happy, most people don’t believe it will make them truly happy, and they’re right. When we think about financial security, we tend to think in terms of having everything we need and some things we want. But beyond these basic needs, there’s no evidence that more money leads to greater happiness.
What does lead to greater happiness? Financial stability: knowing you’ll be able to pay rent or mortgage payments every month (or at least have enough left over for other necessities).
It also means having enough income so that unexpected expenses don’t put your budget in jeopardy (again). And last but not least, it means keeping the same level of income so as not to experience a reduction. The stress associated with ups-and-downs in earnings potential.
You Can’t Buy Happiness, But you can Buy Things that Contribute to it:
In his book, Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile, John Helliwell writes that “[h]appiness is a state of mind. It’s not about how much money you have or what your status is.”
The key thing to remember here is that happiness is an attitude and not a material possession. You can buy things that will contribute to your happiness (like taking time off or buying flowers), but they won’t automatically make you happy. You have to make the decision within yourself to be happy first before anything else can come along and enhance it.
The bottom line is that money can’t buy happiness. However, it can buy you things that make you happy. Financial stability is one of these things, and it’s important to be mindful of how much money we spend on non-essential items, because they can sometimes lead us down a path towards stress and unhappiness.
If your goal is to live a life with more happiness than not, then choosing wisely when spending money on material goods will help ensure success.