Money and Happiness, How Much Are They Connected?

"It is pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness; poverty and wealth have both failed." - Kin Hubbard

I was looking for ideas for a new hub and I came across a question about money. It asked what is more important than money. My answer is love and family, friends count as my family too, for I wouldn't be where I am now without those two things. Every hardship I've been through my family has stayed with me and provided me with a way to get past it. My family supports my actions and decisions even without understanding them or me at times.

But money... My high school economics teacher claimed that money by itself is completely useless. It is what money can get you that defines it's worth. How much is money and happiness connected?

Can money buy happiness?

Riches are for spending.           
- Francis Bacon"Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." - Will Smith

We look at  all the millionaires and multimillionaires and say "They must be so happy. They have it all".   We all have heard the stories of those that have committed suicide when the stock market crashed and they lost billions of dollars.  They went broke and decided they had nothing more to live for.  So does that prove that without money, we can't be happy? 
People spend around forty hours a week or more in the pursuit of making money.  Couples fight over it.  Money issues are one of the leading causes of divorce.  We spend all week looking forward to payday, only to pay bills and spend it till it's gone.  And then, back to work we go, whistling optional. Why do we stress over money so much, even knowing that more won't make us happy?  I'm just as guilty.  One of my biggest dreams is to have a beautiful house with beautiful furnishings.  My second is to open my own business.  Both require money to accomplish.

Back to the original question.  Can money buy happiness?  Economics who have researched this have discovered that yes, but only if you know what you want and up to a point.  Humans are adaptable creatures who quickly get used to a new situation.  So after buying that house of your dreams or that expensive outfit you've been eying in the store, you soon get accustomed to it and want something new and better.  This is made even worse by our tendency to  compare ourselves to others.  We always want what we don't have. 

Can you be broke and still be happy?

I believe so. I've known plenty of poor and happy people. I've also known people who are well off but overworked, and overstressed. It's all about finding that balance between making money and leaving yourself time to enjoying life and the beauty of it.

My theory is you have to already be happy before you can be happy being rich. But it's still just a theory. I'll let you know how true it is if I ever get rich.

Money will buy a bed but not sleep; books but not brains; food but not appetite; finery but not beauty; a house but not a home; medicine but not health; luxuries but not culture; amusements but not happiness; religion but not salvation; a passport to everywhere but heaven.
Unknown Source

I really can't say it better than that. Just be grateful for everything you have but don't be ashamed for wanting more.

Just in case you're not smiling yet.

Do you believe money can buy happiness?

  • Hey yea! All you need is money. If my friends don't agree I can always buy new ones.
  • Definately not. I don't need money at all and can be happy living in a cardboard box.
  • Yes, no...... maybe. Can you repeat the question?
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Comments 16 comments

fred allen profile image

fred allen 6 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

Beautiful! Some of the most joy filled people I know don't even have enough to pay bills. They have found happiness in the love of family and friends, but most importantly the love of God. You are wise. Hope you find your fortune!

M. T. Dremer profile image

M. T. Dremer 6 years ago from United States

You make a number of good points. Ideally we would all like to believe that we could be happy without money, but so much of our society requires money to do even the simplest of tasks. For example, if I'd like to go out to eat with my family, it costs money (even if you stay in and eat it costs money). If I want to go out with friends and family to see a movie or go to an amusement park, or see an event of any kind, it requires money. Essentially when you don't have money, you're restricted to sitting around the house, hoping something interesting happens. Even if you're going to a free event, you still need gas to get there, or money to pay for a cab. And if you're relying on other people to get there, then you're just leeching off their money.

So you're right when you say we need some amount of money to be happy. There is a range here; if you don't have enough money you can't do anything, but if you have too much, there will come a time when buying new things doesn't make you happy anymore.

evvy_09 profile image

evvy_09 6 years ago from Athens, AL Author

Thanks fred allen for the encouraging words. I'm not so wise just not afraid to make mistakes and learn, I think. :-)

M.T. Dreamer, you make my points better than I do. lol Thanks.

KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

You have done a wonderful job. I have to agree with you - love gives you that warm fuzzy feeling that makes live worth living - your family and friends will be there long after any money you manage to grab hold of is gone. Money is just a happy additive to the happiness the family brings. You have to admit we all need some money.

Well thought out hub. Rated up and beautiful.

evvy_09 profile image

evvy_09 6 years ago from Athens, AL Author

Thanks so much! I agree, friends and family have always helped out, and my paycheck never lasts. :-)

toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 6 years ago

Well thought out and finely written! I especially liked the touch of the added quotes. You wrote about the topic in such a conversational way, it made for easy reading. And of course I loved the picture of your baby and your dog. Money can't buy joy like that!

All the best to you and keep writing!

evvy_09 profile image

evvy_09 6 years ago from Athens, AL Author

Thanks toknowinfo. I guess I'm going through a quote phase again because I've been looking them up the past week. Maybe just looking for more inspiration.

And woops, its not a video of my dog or baby. Just something I came across that made me laugh so I wanted to share it.

Best to you too!

FloBe profile image

FloBe 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

I love your article. I think we need money to live life, but we don't need it for happiness. Perhaps we put too much emphasis on things that make us happy rather than being happy about things...we can be happy with very little if we find the good in the situation instead of always fretting about what we don't have. Even people who have lots of money always feel like there's something they don't have. So, perhaps happiness comes from learning to be content no matter how much we have.

richtwf profile image

richtwf 6 years ago

I absolutely agree with your words and the sentiments of the previous comment by Flobe. We live in a society where we do need money for the simple things in life but it doesn't buy us happiness. There are many these days that are so accustomed to buying lots of unnecessary things to satisfy their desires but it only satisfies them for a short period of time and then the desiring and buying comes again like a bad addictive habit which they can't kick. Who do you blame? Consumers or advertisers? Both are responsible but ultimately it's down to the consumer.

If you're already happy then having more money is like a magnifier, it will magnify your happiness, the converse is true - just look at the some of the richest people in the world with sad personal problems - say no more. Happiness is a choice and it comes from within us and not from the zeros in your bank account or the material objects thats we accumulate. The currency of our happiness comes from the love that we have in our lives which probably in turn comes from our family and friends in most instances and also from the other passions that we have in our lives like the love of our work and hobbies.

I really enjoyed reading your wonderful hub and thanks for sharing it with us. Cheers!

P.S. Great videos - loved them!

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

Maybe something in the middle. While wealth may not make you happy, poverty is not fun. The anxiety of not quite having enough money to cover basic expenses like food and shelter is difficult. An illness or sudden expense can be a disaster.

evvy_09 profile image

evvy_09 6 years ago from Athens, AL Author

FloBe, richtwf and Dolores Monet, thanks so much for the wonderful comments.

It's getting difficult to add useful replies now. Everyone's comments already add so much to the article and I'm grateful for everyone of them.

Karen Wodke profile image

Karen Wodke 5 years ago from Midwest

I read this with interest since I wrote a book for young readers about the subject of money and determining your own fate in life. You are correct, money can't buy happiness. But we do need a certain amount to get by. Some of the happiest of moments, however, come because of the interactions we've had with others, and not because we stumbled across some extra money. I believe money just gives us a pause to catch our breaths by taking the immediate worry of survival off our shoulders. This is an excellent article with many thought-provoking points.

Mr Nice profile image

Mr Nice 5 years ago from North America

Hi evvy_09,

An excellent comparison between money and happiness. I also believe money is an essential part of everyone's life. Here are few of my favorite quotes about money and happiness. I let you decide what you think or believe. I really enjoyed reading your hub, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

~ Happiness is not bought by money, but it can buy circumstances and conditions that improve the chances of a worldly kind of happiness. ~ Steve Scott

~ Whoever said money can't buy happiness didn't know where to shop. ~Gertrude Stein

~ It is good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good too, to check up once in a while and make sure you haven't lost the things money can't buy. ~ George Lorimer

evvy_09 profile image

evvy_09 5 years ago from Athens, AL Author

Thanks so much Mr. Nice. It's been awhile since I had any comments, you made my day.

Personally I hate money but I love buying things. I'm a video game freak, obsessed with boots, and love going out to eat with my husband. Go figure huh? :)

I'll become rich and then I won't care.

Your comments are always super appreciated on any of my hubs. And you dug up more great quotes. I love the last one, it sums up everything nicely.

imatellmuva profile image

imatellmuva 5 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore

Truly, truly inspirational hub evvy_09! This hub has surely helped to place me in a better frame of mind...seriously! Thank you!

evvy_09 profile image

evvy_09 5 years ago from Athens, AL Author

Thanks imatellmuva, I'm happy to improve upon anyone's mood. :)

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