Money and Happiness

Do You Need Money to Be Happy?

Money and happiness. Do they always go together?  Not necessarily. You can have money and not be happy. Just the same you can be happy but have no money. As the saying goes, “Money can’t buy you happiness.” Or can it? Having a sufficient amount of money can certainly lower stress, but having an excess of it will not make you happier than anyone else.

We all want enough money so they we feel secure that our needs are met. Most of us would also like a little (or large) nest egg to sit on for the future to ensure our needs continue to be met. Having this money certainly makes us happier as we do not need to stress about the rent or mortgage, food, bills and all the other unexpected expenses that crop up. But not having it doesn’t mean we need to be unhappy. We can still find happiness by learning not to let the lack of it stress us to the point that we don’t enjoy life.

So can money buy you happiness or not? Here are a few thoughts to ponder on the subject.

Yes Money Can Buy You a Limited Amount of Happiness

Studies have shown that yes, having enough money to meet your needs and those of your family does bring happiness. People living in poverty are generally less happy than those whose needs are met. Not having enough money for the essential things in life-like a roof over your head or food on the table can be stressful. Being able to pay for your bills and having enough to get by financially will definitely help you succeed in feeling happy.

Excess Money Doesn’t Equal Excess Happiness

Having more money than you need, however, will not bring you extra happiness. Money and happiness are not proportional. Someone with enough money to buy a large house and several cars will not necessarily have more happiness than another individual with exactly what they need.

Money Brings Stresses of Its Own

There is stress that goes along with both having money and not having money. Whether you have a little or a lot, can decide what level of stress goes with your situation.  When you don’t have much there is the stress of knowing you need to spend what you have wisely and whether or not you will have enough to meet your bills. There is also a different kind of stress for those that are financially well off. They worry about their investments or where to invest or if their friends have ulterior motives associated with their friendships. Don’t we all want these types of stress?

Not About What Comes in But What Goes Out

It is not so much the amount of money that you make that ensures your happiness, but about what you are spending it on and where it is going on the way out. There are some principles for using money that can help you to feel more satisfied. Where you put your money and who receives it can make a difference as to whether you gained something by having had it.

Spend on Experiences, Not Things

Buying more things is not proven to make a person happy. Wanting the latest material possession that you think will make you happy is just a temporary happiness. Like getting that new sports car or the latest big screen TV. You feel good when you make the purchase but that feeling will wear off. Although investing in items that will last seems like a wise move, studies show that we tend to adjust to what we obtain. Having these things doesn’t continue bringing unlimited happiness.

We are more likely to have long-term happiness when money is spent on experiences which will give us lasting memories. This could mean going on vacation by yourself or with your family, or making time to do something fun every now and then. Be sure to create experiences rather than purchasing something that will simply fade away over time.

Give It Away

Giving is one of the most satisfying things you can do with your money. Obviously that is if your needs are met first. Whether it is to charity or a friend in need, find a way to give back and share what you have. This is a way to spend that will bring long-term personal rewards. Remember what we put out always comes back – good and bad.

The short answer is no; you do not need money to be happy. Money can be useful, however, to prevent stress that can diminish the happiness that you do have. No matter what amount of money you have, use these tips to help achieve the level of happiness you desire, and live a life filled with joy.

Money and Happiness

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