Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness, right?

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Can money buy your Happiness?

joy - happy - money

There are tons of websites out there about money.

Making money,

hoarding money,

giving money away,

spending money here,

spending money there,

Even songs about it!

Money, Money, Money – ABBA.

Now don’t get me wrong and please don’t misunderstand my point, money is not a bad thing.  Making money is not a bad thing.  Making TONS OF MONEY is not a bad thing. But it is entirely too easy to become completely money focused.  Even to the point where making and keeping money consumes your thoughts until you have this weird lovey-dovey relationship with the money itself (think Ebenezer Scrooge here).

What does money have to do with happiness? Well, a lot actually.  As is with most things in life, it either enhances your happiness or helps to destroy it and I think it depends completely on your approach to Money itself and on your chosen state of mind. We could argue that there are really only two money mind-states –  loving money, and not loving money. There are members of both camps who have tons of it (money, that is, not happiness) and it works for them (several FI bloggers refer to them as their little employees) and others don’t have much of it (money, that is, not happiness) yet seem to continually pursue it (money, that is, not happiness) will all their might.

On the other hand, we all know of people who, whether they be friends, family or distant acquaintances have chosen Happiness over Money. They pursue it (happiness, that is, not money) and seem to be more content than the average Joe.  I have two neighbors who have chosen their happiness over their money and interestingly enough, one is financially independent while the other has what most people would consider barely enough to live on.  Yet, after many, many hours of long insightful conversations it is pretty clear both are incredibly happy with their chosen paths. To me, this was a huge lesson – there was no one-size-fits-all formula to happiness, at least not one that involved money.

Money can’t buy your happiness, unless you spend it on others.

At least that is what the research indicates.

Another study indicated that even if you have a low income, if you spend money on others your are happier than if you only or primariliy spend that money on yourself.

#Money can’t buy your #happiness, unless you spend it on others. Click To Tweet

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. – Winston Churchill

For me personally, I want to have more so I can give away more. After all, you can’t give away more than you have without going into debt.  Debt of course, can be the antithesis of happiness.

So, not to sound all preachy but the encouragement here is to master your money and not let your money master you.  For help with money mastery, check out our great list of great FI bloggers.

There is a saying that I think is appropriate for this post.  “Learn to be content in whatever state you are in.”  I think you’ll find this will help in all of our Pursuits.

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11 thoughts on “Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness, right?”

  1. I think I read something the other day that said that people that give away money are some of the happiest people while those that only want to consume are some of the most unhappy. They think it’s because those that consume never reach their fill and it’s like a drug where they want more. Where as people that keep giving away find a purpose that drives them. Anyway…interesting stuff like always 🙂

    1. There is something special that happens inside of me when I am able to give someone something that they need. I’d love to be able to do it more.

      Thanks for sharing!

  2. For me there has always been only one overarching purpose for money. Securing my freedom. Money buys comfort, not happiness . I’m happiest when I feel like I’m in control of my own destiny. Nice reminder post!

  3. I love that you have a neighbour that’s financially independent! You should definitely interview him, I’d love to hear his views on the money/happiness debate, as well as how he actually became FI!

    Funnily enough, I don’t know anyone in my life that’s achieved FI – except future me, of course 😉

    1. I know right! I think that is a great idea to interview him. I’ll be sure to throw that idea at him when I see him next.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. SO much of it is perspective. I know we are much more at peace now that money is not a struggle. We think about money a LOT less now that we have some. 🙂 That, to me, is the best part of financial stability. When we were broke, thoughts about money dominated way too much of our time and way too many of our decisions, because it had to. Now it’s at the very bottom of our list of importance and we use it for good without having to think twice. Great post!

  5. Master your money and not let your money master you.

    I like that a lot. That’s a sentiment that I resonate extremely well with.

    May I quote this on my site someday?

    Keep up your great work!!

  6. Great post. For me, money doesn’t buy happiness but it can surely help reduce a lot of stress! I find some truth in happiness with money coming from buying things for others. Giving gifts to others (when I can afford it) or supporting a cause through donations is one of my favorite things because it’s so satisfying.

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