Social Question

Cruiser's avatar

Can money buy happiness?

Asked by Cruiser (40421points) October 30th, 2010

How much money would it take to make you happy?? I’m nat asking about the gazillions that would buy everything….but that very minimal amount of cash you would need to put that “ahhhhh life is grand” smile on your face and give you that peace of mind you have been dreaming of??

Or is money not a factor and could you find happiness another way??

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53 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Money would only last to put a smile on my face until something happened (to my family or friends) to take it off again.

Money cannot buy happiness. Any amount.

BoBo1946's avatar

I think the people in Hollywood have proven that money does not buy happiness “Cruse.”

ucme's avatar

I’m fine as I am, although extra wads of cash would probably embellish things a little. Which can’t be bad :¬)

wilma's avatar

Money can’t make me happy, but it could make me more apt to be happy.
I think being debt free and having enough money to be able to purchase what I need and to know that I would have enough money to take care of me through my lifetime would set my mind at ease. Then I think it would be easier to be happy and enjoy life.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Enough money to live at all decently can prevent the misery of poverty. Anything beyond that is gravy, enabling one to do some things that might enhance happiness; too much tends to make people well-fed and miserable. Sorry about the cliched response, but it’s cliched for a reason.

MacBean's avatar

Money can’t buy happiness but it sure can help a little.

mammal's avatar

money can’t buy you happiness, but lack of it can make you very unhappy.

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BarnacleBill's avatar

A one-time hit of about $250,000 would probably take care of all the house expenses, outstanding debt, and replace old cars. (I have structural repairs that need to be made on the house. Ouch.)

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Money can certainly enhance your happiness. And if you look at it the right way, it can definitely buy you contentment. Unless you blow it all in a year like some stupid lottery winners.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Obviously the amount of money that would offer me a dignified life without debts would be necessary. Other than that, sincerely NO, it would not be the source of real happiness. How would it cover pain, loneliness, lack of love and emptiness?
I don’t want to be a hypocrite and say that I could live without any money at all, but just enough to keep the stomach full, the head under a roof, decent clothing and a normal life. Happiness is another story certainly not connected with money.

filmfann's avatar

Meg Whitman says NO. $142 million couldn’t get her a crappy job!

the100thmonkey's avatar

Enough money so that I would never have to worry about it or work again.

Research seems to suggest that amount of money has less to do with happiness (in a general sense) than wealth disparity within a given society. However, lack of money is strongly linked to depression.

Coloma's avatar

Happiness comes from within no matter the circumstance.

I have enjoyed having plenty of cash and I have known frightening times where I didn’t know how I would make the next round of bills.

The greatest gift money can buy, is personal freedom to pursue what is really in alignment with ones deepest desire.

In my case that meant the ability to take a lengthy sabbatical from life and pursue my personal and spiritual growth for several years while re-inventing a lifestyle that works best for me.

Someone else would have bought a Mercedes, I chose to live simply but well and ‘invest’ in my creative and spiritual journey, no regrets.

poisonedantidote's avatar

No, but it sure as hell can rent some.

tranquilsea's avatar

According to this article money can buy happiness up to making $75,000 a year. Anything over and above that doesn’t equal more and more happiness.

Personally, I’ve met very happy people who exist on meagre amounts and miserable people who are well off.

In my own life there is certainly less tension in the house now that our finances are not ruling our lives. Few things can drag you down faster than bills that go unpaid and into default.

partyparty's avatar

Money doesn’t bring me happiness. The simple things of life make me happy, nature, walks with my dogs and my SO.
However £250,000 would help me buy a house I have seen. That would take me closer to where I would like to live, and make my life more comfortable… not necessarily any happier.

Coloma's avatar


Right, easier but not necessarily happier.
I’m with you, nature, peace, pets, simple pleasures are the best!

daytonamisticrip's avatar

I don’t really care for money so the minimal amount to make me happy is 0 dollars and 0 cents. As long as I can just keep living in this world I’m happy!

Coloma's avatar


With that attitude you’re gonna have a great life kiddo! :-)

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

A salary of about $200,000 a year would be good, but minimum is $60,000

Seaofclouds's avatar

I nice chunk of money to pay off my student loans (our only debt) and buy a vehicle for my husband when he gets home would be nice, but it really wouldn’t change our level of happiness.

Cruiser's avatar

@ZEPHYRA “Happiness is another story certainly not connected with money.”
I completely agree! GA!

Aster's avatar

What @wilma said . (-:

HungryGuy's avatar

Enough principal that the interest would be equivalent to a salary to allow me to live a normal comfortable middle-class lifestyle without having to work for a living.

Pandora's avatar

Happiness is a whimsical feeling that comes and goes. Money can help one to feel happier by taking away debt that may cause sadness. But if the feeling of happiness wasn’t their to begin with than no amount of money will make you happy.
Its like the person who believes being skinny will bring happiness or just being in a relationship with someone will make them happy.
If you are not happy with yourself than you will never be happy. Its impossible to bribe yourself to happiness.

Coloma's avatar



That’s why I won’t date anyone that has never been alone by choice for lengthy periods.

If you cannot embrace solitude without anxiety that tells me you have some work to do and I am not interested in being a diversion to anothers fears.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

No amount of money will buy what I want.

daytonamisticrip's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille and what is it that you want?

partyparty's avatar

@Coloma No amount of money would buy what I think we both have. I am with you about the simple pleasures

Coloma's avatar


Cut from the same cloth of simplicity, that’s a good thing! :-)

Right now it is a great rainy morning sitting at my front window looking out on the trees and colors and the ‘ravine of death’. lol

I deliberatly plied the coyotes with old pepperoni last night, to hopefully give them the screaming runs and dampen their appetite for cat meat. hahahaha

Yeah, I have the ability to endlessy amuse myself.

HungryGuy's avatar

Well, that and my own slave girl. Money can’t buy that…

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

In my opinion to me money can’t buy me happiness, but to others it may be possible. I think money can’t buy happiness because having too much money can get you into a lot of trouble/s. And when you are in trouble or have problems you can’t be happy.

HungryGuy's avatar

It’s not the money, per se, that causes the happiness. It’s not having to work for a living, and being free to enjoy your life, learn to play music, write, pursue art, travel, etc., that causes the happiness.

rooeytoo's avatar

I am a realist, I know that money cannot buy happiness. But I have been poor often enough to know that lack of it doesn’t is by no means a guarantee of happiness either. Because it is a fact, to live in this world, you need money. I don’t want to grow all of my own food, I like my little veggie garden but it is for fun more than sustenance. I don’t want to rely on solar energy to keep my laptop going. And I want to buy a new MacPro when this one dies. I don’t want to ride my bicycle through the rain. I like sleeping on a good mattress. It sounds lofty and wonderful to say I don’t like money, I don’t need money, but living without it is just not fun.

Coloma's avatar


I agree.

Enjoy having stuff, comforts, celebrate, there is no shame in desiring comfort of being.

It’s only a ‘problem’ when you absolutely cannot muster the will to be happy and appriciative if you are in a place or situation that demands some creativity.

The biggest thing I have found is that it is more often about lack of creativity than actual lack of money that makes people unhappy.

I could go out today and spend basically whatever I wanted but I am staying home on this rainy afternoon in favor of playing with some clay on my living room floor.

I have set up a plastic table cloth with my sculpting board and tools and my fun is going to be enjoying a little smok’em peace pipe moment and sculpting. lol

Cruiser's avatar

@Coloma I agree with you there! Money cannot buy those wonderful rain showers that are a pure delight to sit on the porch with a good book and sipping a bev. That is pure happiness and for “free”!

Cruiser's avatar

@Pandora “if the feeling of happiness wasn’t their to begin with than no amount of money will make you happy.”

Enormous statement there!! GA!!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Yes, money can buy me a degree of hapiness I’ve not ever had and here’s how:

Money enough to fix & attend to lingering health issues.
Money enough to secure my food, shelter and clothing.
Money enough to have safe, reliable transportation to a job.
Money enough so I don’t have to work more than 5 days or 40 hours a week.
Money enough to take a 1 week vacation once a year.

I have been happy and am happy in other ways that don’t cost, kinda along the lines of what @Pandora wrote.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Coloma – I agree but you have to have the money to buy the retreat in the woods, the table to sit at, the sculpting tools, the material to sculpt and last but not least whatever you are smoking in your pipe.

So money is necessary to survive and lots of money makes my survival a lot more palatable.

downtide's avatar

Money doesn’t buy happiness but being in poverty doesn’t make people happy either. I would like to have enough to be able to save some, and have a half-decent pension for when I retire. That would make me happy.

Coloma's avatar


Of course, but…what I was trying to express is creative factor.
Even when I was poor and broke I retained a great creative resiliency that allowed me to not only make the best of things but to never be at a loss for simple creative pleasures.

Actually I have had my sculpting tools for a long time, the clay is on hand for a day just such as this and whats smoking in my pipe was a gift from a friend, soooo, only using resources already stockpiled.

Creative convergence. lol

rooeytoo's avatar

@Coloma okay you win, that must be good stuff in the pipe, you are lol-ing all over the place.
Have fun and post a pic of what you sculpt.

Pandora's avatar

@Cruiser Thanks
I remember when my husband and I first started our life together. We were broke as can be, married and no real place to live and living with friends. It was a strenuous time. We bearly had two pennies to rub together. But we found a way out of our dilema and we didn’t let the bad times take our happiness away. I remember my husband appologizing for taking me away from a home with heat and food. I remember thinking what an idiot he was. I never had a life of wealth. At least not the green kind. But my life has always been wealthy in love. I still consider myself the luckiest person in the world. I’ve had a life time of love. Never noticed the many frozen nights or nights without food. Its the good times I remember best. And none of those memories were ever obtained with cash.

YARNLADY's avatar

No, happiness has to come from within, but money can make it a whole lot more comfortable.

Joybird's avatar

My school loan debt made someone rethink a life with me and then opt out. I am literally drowning in school loan debt. I keep my low paying job because if I didn’t I wouldn’t be able to make ends meet as it keeps one part of the debt in continual deferment.
So for me if you gave me a lump sum of 150 grand and then enabled me to make between 50 and 75 grand a year I would be pretty much set. I have the ability to find a job or two that would earn me that.
And I’m not someone who lives beyond my means….but I would like to unload the partner who does that.

BoBo1946's avatar

Money can buy temporary happiness! As @YARNLADY said, happiness comes from within one’s self. External things are always temporary!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@Joybird writes about being passed over by a partner who didn’t want to be involved in debt, this is pretty common and I’ve experienced it too. How horrible a feeling when many of us are raised with the belief that “money doesn’t buy happiness” and “Love trumps over all”. I had a partner unload me because I was the main support for my mother’s mortgage and I needed steady work, couldn’t be traveling about state-to-state with him. He now seems to live the lifestyle (we had planned to live together) with someone else.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, when the money finds cures for malaria and AIDS. I think Bill Gates is a lot happier now than when we was running Microsoft.

HungryGuy's avatar

Maybe money can’t buy happiness, but the lack of money sure “buys” a load of misery…

lonelydragon's avatar

Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it can buy security, which will certainly help lead to happiness. It is difficult to be happy when one is too poor to pay the bills, go to the doctor, eat, and put a roof over one’s head.

josie's avatar

No. But it can deflect a lot of misery

Blackberry's avatar

50,000 a year would suffice. I make less than that, and I’m already somewhat happy, but a little more would give me a little more security.

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