Can money buy you happiness?

Money
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The question is, 'can money buy you happiness or not?' We are all familiar with people saying to us 'money can't buy you happiness', but is that really true? I am inclined to think that maybe we tend to look at the obvious aspects of having plenty of money e.g. big houses, fast cars etc, and then we base our opinions on these instead of looking in more depth at what having money could do to change a person's life in ways which would actually make them very happy indeed.

Partly due to ever increasing costs of living, stress related illnesses are on the rise. It is not surprising that people have committed suicide over financial problems that leave them finding their debts are spiraling out of control, and unable to see any other way out they take the only way out they can see left, suicide! Money can buy you happiness, it can buy you happiness in lots of basic ways even if you don't have a small fortune to play with, (think choices, options and financial freedom). It goes without saying that not having enough money can certainly make you very very miserable, possibly with dire consequences.

My Mother used to have a very wise saying with regards to relationships. She said "When poverty comes in at the door, love flies out of the window". Of course what she was actually saying was that the pressures of struggling to survive financially, and the arguments this can cause within even the most loving marriages, can cause couples to split up. Many couples do split up when not having enough money to cover the day to day bills becomes a major issue, often with each blaming the other for their financial problems. Yes you will hear lots of true stories of couples who survive these tough times and stay together, but whether or not they are the majority I will leave you to decide.

How can money buy you happiness then?

Well to understand how money can indeed buy you happiness you need to think outside of the box. Forget luxury holidays, sports cars, casinos etc, and start thinking more towards the basic necessities of life, like food, clothing, a roof over your head, medical cover etc. If you have enough money to cover all your basic costs and live comfortably then you are generally fairly contented, and contented usually equates to being happy.

  • Money can give you freedom, the freedom to have a meal out every now and again, or an annual vacation/holiday with your family.
  • Money can allow you to enjoy hobbies you might not otherwise have been able to, such as horse riding, stamp collecting, mountain climbing etc.
  • Money in your pocket can allow you to make spontaneous romantic gestures like buying your wife a bunch of flowers or your Husband a new fishing rod.
  • Money makes it possible to afford to have pets, and stroking dogs and cats is proven to lower blood pressure and relax us, not to mention the rewards of the unconditional love they offer, which in itself makes us feel happy and contented.
  • Money allows you to afford to pay the vets bills associated with having the aforementioned pets.
  • Money can allow you to donate to charities that you want to support.
  • Money can allow you to help out other family members who are in a less financially stable situation.
  • Money means being able to buy your children the presents they really want at Christmas, and not having to get them cheaper alternatives.
  • Money can make more money if invested correctly.
  • Money means being able to eat the foods you really like at meal times, which can mean something as simple as being able to eat a better cut of beef or being able to afford ethical foods such as free range or organic products which are usually more expensive.
  • Money means being able to get a taxi home at the end of a night out rather than walking or risking drink driving.
  • Money means being able to have a hair cut when you need one rather than leaving it until you vaguely resemble a Yeti.
  • Money makes it possible to have more children than you could have afforded otherwise.
  • Money allows you to pay for medical treatments like IVF if you are struggling to conceive.
  • Money means being able to take a day off to look after your partner or child if they are sick, or even just to have a bit of time to yourself when you need it.
  • Money means being able to pay for a round of drinks in the bar without feeling embarrassed about not being able to afford to.
  • Money means being able to repair your car or household appliances when they break down, or replace them when something major goes wrong with them.

There are many more examples I could add to the list above, but hopefully you already see the point I am trying to make. Money can buy you happiness, or at least it can help prevent misery. Money can't buy you love, but it can stop the pressures not having enough money puts on even the strongest of marriages. Money can make the difference between simply existing in this life, or truly being able to live it. Money gives us choices and options that can improve our quality of life and therefore make us happier and less stressed as a result.

Can Money Buy Happiness?

Do you believe money can buy you happiness?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe
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Do you think you would be happier if you had more money than you have right now?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe
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Budgeting
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Comments 20 comments

RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Hey Misty - I have given this some thought. I would say money can't buy you happiness in the fact that it really is not a product you can buy. You can't purchase a feeling but yes! money makes me happy!

I am just keeping it real -I do not know how anyone could say they enjoy being poor or scraping money for the bills - that is stressful. I really enjoyed the guy in the video.

When we were broke though -I shut the cable off and we watched re-runs of The Newlywed Game - guessing the answers for each other! lol Now that is pathetic but it was all that was on free television!

Voted up and shared and everything and I can't wait to see what everyone else says! So interesting!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks Kelly, a great comment by the way. I too will be intrigued to see what thoughts the other comments bring in. I just hope those people don't rush to the comments section without reading the hub first. Sadly this happens a whole lot with controversial subjects where people have already 'decided' their opinion, and are not looking to find a reason to change it.

Cheers so much for your votes, shares etc, luv ya to bits :)


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I enjoyed it! The saying you quote from your mom is true! We do research reports for lending institutions and part of what we look for are bankruptcies and judgements and if we see a bankruptcy we never have to look far to find the following divorce. I would say like 90% of the time I see that!


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

well you need money to get buy. but when you put money before everything else then you become very unhappy..

Great hub

voted up

Debbie


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks Kelly, yep your point about divorce following bankruptcy bears reiterating :)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Debbie, I totally agree. Money should not be put above everything else, but to naively think we would be just as happy without any of it would be a huge mistake to make :)


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

Hi Ms. Misty. No, I don't think money can buy ME happiness; I can't speak for you or anyone else. I don't think happiness depends on external stimulation at all really. It is genetic and influenced by the formative years of a person's life. If you have happy parents that is likely to result in happy offspring. And we can never rule out the genome.

Now, it would be lovely to have lots of money and be able to help friends and the poor people all over the world.

But all too often, the pursuit of big bucks calls for individuals to run over others and this is not a recipe for happiness.

And being able to satisfy your every whim seems to result in discontent for so many.

So, no, money doesn't buy happiness in my opinion, but it can buy a whole lot of fun and toys for a while.

Bob


Keri Summers profile image

Keri Summers 4 years ago from West of England

I think this is a wise, wise, Hub. The people who say that money can't buy you happiness, and who refute that there is any grey area to this question are generally people who haven't discovered the misery that lack of money can bring. (Although unfortunately it is something that more and more people are experiencing first hand). I think you hit the nail on the head with it preventing misery.

Your list of what money CAN buy was all so true. It doesn't mean that people are greedy or have their priorities wrong - quite often the exact opposite. They WANT to be able to pay their way, help others, be ecological, live a fulfilled life etc.

Up, useful, awesome.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I personally would like to have more money, but I don't think it would make me any happier than I am. I know that money problems in many relationships causes a great deal of stress. My parents as well as my husband parents were constantly bickering over money. We however are the exact opposite, which I am grateful for. When we've been dead broke it's actually brought us closer together.

Very interesting article!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Bob, thanks for your comment, your viewpoint is very similar to the one made by most people who say 'Money can't buy you happiness', i.e. they see it as a means 'to satisfy their every whim'. The point I was trying to make was that there is a lot more to having money than that, and that if it means you can feed, clothe and house yourself and prevent the misery of not being able to, then the money has brought you happiness.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Keri, thank you for those kind words. I am glad you understood the way I was thinking when I wrote this, and the 'grey' area that shows money can buy happiness in many ways.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks Susan, I really appreciate your feedback and your thoughts. When my Hubby and I are under financial pressure we tend to row loads, every penny he spends on luxuries like beers in the pub or cigarettes causes rows. However, when he has just been paid or an unexpected windfall comes our way, we are both far more relaxed and very loving towards each other. I guess it is because the stress levels drop, and we can focus more on what is important, i.e. our relationship.


cleaner3 profile image

cleaner3 4 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

Misty my sweet, money can buy anything you want including happiness. but the real question is if I was a millionare would you leave your happy life for someone with money that would give you the world.?


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

LOL, is that an offer then cleaner3??

Seriously though, I would struggle through with my partner, but the question is 'would the relationship survive the stress of money struggles?' The ideal balance is that we have enough money to live a normal quality of life and not struggle through too much hardship of not having enough money.

If I was choosing my partner based on them having more money than my current partner, then I would question my own moral standards.


vicki5897 profile image

vicki5897 4 years ago from South suburbs of Chicago

I think it can temporarily, but not in the longrun.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Vicki, thanks for commenting. Slightly curious as to if you read the article though, as you have not commented on the points made within it. I think in the long run having 'enough money' is important, having none is likely to lead to misery. What you have said implies that in the long run you would be happier with no money (based on what I have said in this article)!


cleaner3 profile image

cleaner3 4 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

Misty, can money buy morals? what can't money buy? that is a very individual decision.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

That was my point cleaner3, money CAN'T buy morals.


swb64 profile image

swb64 4 years ago from Addingham, UK.

Hmmm, from my experiences its usually folks who are financially 'OK' that say money can't by you happiness, I beg to differ, money would have been a huge help for me over the years, esp now that I have a strange illness. I must stress though money can't buy you love, oh, I live alone apart from when my sons occasionally visit. Money helps big time!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

100% agree swb64, what more can I say? You hit the nail on the head :)

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