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Sean08's avatar

Does Money Make You Happy?

Asked by Sean08 (2points) August 28th, 2008


Guys I really want to know what every one thinks.

Because the old people like parents keep saying money don’t make any one happy. I SAY how the hell!! If you own a big house, a nice fancy car, you can do what ever you want, eat what ever you like without thinking on the bill, Have the top line computer, Can have fun in any place, Have holiday in very nice place and you sleep well because you don’t think how you will spent the rest of the month without money. etc… How this don’t make me happy?!

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26 Answers

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

Money makes things easier, but it doesn’t make you happy. A recent study was done to find the happiest group of people and guess where they were found? In the Sudan, where life is tough. But if they had enough to eat and their family was healthy—they were happy.

I know happy rich folk and miserable rich folk who think everyone is out to get them _because_of their money. I know poor folk who are happy and some who are miserable. It’s an attitude really….a point of view….

I think gratitude for whatever you have makes one more likely to be happy.

Lightlyseared's avatar

If money doesn’t make you happy you don’t know where to spend it.

Maverick's avatar

Stuff, like all the things you mentioned (house, car, computer, etc), will never make you happy. I think the main reason that people grow to understand this realization is that all those things have hidden hooks that place a further burden on you (“will your trophey wife leave you if you lose your job”, “will you make your mortgage payment”, etc) and they all kinds pile on top of you to put even more pressure on you, which makes it hard to enjoy anything at all. Anyway, I’ve travelled a fair amount and I’ve noticed that the places where the people have the least, they also tend to be the happiest.. It goes against what we’re led to believe in Western society, but it’s true – at least in my experience.

SuperMouse's avatar

When I had money I was pretty sure it was making me happy. Now that I don’t have near as much money as I once did, I realize it wasn’t the money. Frankly, I wasn’t even that happy. When I had the money to buy it, I thought stuff that was making me happy. Now I realize it wasn’t the stuff that was making me happy. Frankly I wasn’t that happy.

Now I don’t have much money. I have some of the stuff I spent all that money on, and it kind of mocks me at this point. I’m happier than I have been in a long, long time. I am close to family, I have wonderful children, I’m working hard for a goal that I am really focused on, and I feel like I am accomplishing something every day.

So, no, it is not money that makes one happy, although it ridiculously easy to get caught in that mind set, it just isn’t reality.

tinyfaery's avatar

I always say that money doesn’t buy you happiness, but it can sure help you distract from the pain. If all someone needs are material goods to he happy, than sure, money=happiness. However most people also need love, understanding, and a sense of purpose to feel happy. And while money can increase opportunities, it cannot say I love you or hold your hand if you are frightened.

wundayatta's avatar

I always like to remind all of us that money isn’t anything on it’s own. It stands for what humans find valuable, and it only works as long as we agree to let it work. It also works imperfectly. Money measures the value of things well, but not the value of relationships. For all intents and purposes, money equals stuff.

What is the importance of stuff to humans? I would say there are two main values to stuff. The first is stuff that makes our lives possible (food, shelter, etc.) and then building on that stuff makes our lives more comfortable. However, it is the second main purpose that I think creates a lot of confusion in us. As throughout history, stuff is a symbol of status.

Throughout history, we honored our leaders by giving them stuff. Religions have always given stuff to their gods (sacrifices, prayers, honor, etc). Village headman would be given stuff by members of the village, but they would also become the headman by being more successful at farming or hunting or fishing or whatever. People would often display stuff on their house, or on their body (rings and jewelry) to show how successful and how high status they are. Jewelry also had the advantage of being portable, so if you had to suddenly leave, you could carry your wealth and status with you, to some degree.

But…. and there’s always a but, isn’t there? Status also comes in another way. It comes through human relationships, as other people have pointed out in this discussion. Some of the most revered people in the world haven’t had that much stuff (Mother Theresa), although, now that I think about it, other religious figures have managed to acquire a lot of stuff (the Pope, Evangelical Priests, Martin Luther King did well, too), but in many communities there are people who work to help others, instead of to make money. They often are loved for it, and become very important voices in the community.

Well, what works in these extreme examples also works for all of us. A form of wealth that is not measured by stuff is our relationships; our social network. Family, friends, acquaintances, business connections, etc, etc. What most people really enjoy is feeling loved, and you can’t get love from stuff. Sometimes, I think, people who aren’t love, sublimate the need by focussing on acquiring stuff.

Of course, it isn’t as simple as this, either. Businesses measure profits in terms of stuff, but the business itself is dependent on relationships. People join businesses both for stuff, and working environment. When businesses create value, it is important, I think, to remember they are creating it because people want the stuff they create, so they are providing a service to those folks, as well as stuff. Service is a relationship kind of thing, although a business service is kind of a stuffized relationship. Or social networking stuff.

Nowadays we are seeing the commodification of relationships. This very site on which I write is part of that trend. Fluther, MySpace, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Askville, Second Life, etc, etc, are all different business models that are trying to figure out how to make money off of what people truly value: relationships. So they design virtual spaces to facilitate building of relationships. The stuffization of relationships. Don’t ask me if it is good or bad. It is some of each, but I don’t know how the balance turns out.

EmpressPixie's avatar

To me, money is a way of making me feel safe. If I have enough to survive if I lose my job today or next week, I feel safer. It doesn’t make me happy though. The things that make me happy are mostly free – my boyfriend, my friends, gifts that touch my heart (okay, the ice cream costs money, but other than that…).

It is the things I choose to do and my outlook on life that make me happy. Would I be any happier if I had more money? Honestly, I love my apartment, boyfriend, circumstances. Even if I were making more, I doubt I would want to change them. Any of them. Even taking the bus (I really enjoy doing it). I make me happy. Money can help sometimes, but it can’t provide the emotion.

mzgator's avatar

Some of the happiest times in my life were when I had very little money. During those times I never went without a place to live or food to eat, but money was very tight. My husband and I had three small children. We had to be creative in finding ways to entertain ourselves and our children. We spent an a lot of time together, doing the simple things like playing in the back yard and picnics and going to the park.

Money does make life easier, but not necessarily happy. It’s the little things in life that will bring you the most happiness. Your family is the most valuable thing you have. It’s worth more than any amount of money your possess or anything you could own. All of the other stuff can be gone tom.

In south Louisiana, we are awaiting another horrible storm which may hit our state. During this storm, my husband will be riding a fire truck, performing medical calls and other emergency help. He will be out in that horrible storm and its aftermath with no sleep and little food for the duration of the storm and possibly many days afterwards. My daughter and I will be together riding the storm out at home. If the storm comes, and we lose all of our possessions, we will be fine. We will be happy again, because we will have each other.

I know a lot of you are not religious, but to those that are….Please pray for the people of our state if this storm comes our way. Three years ago we all lost so much. We have just started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you.

lapilofu's avatar

For me money is freedom. It’s not the having money or being rich that I desire, but the freedom to be myself without limits. Having money removes a great many of the limits that the world places on you. So in that sense, money makes me (and I suspect most people) happier.

hammer43's avatar

well all I can say is look at famous people, they have it all, the money the big houses the cars they can go anywhere they want and yet some of them are killing themselves, doing drugs, and are unhappy people, look at the president of the usa when they first become president for the most part they have black hair what color is thier hair after thier term? gray and they have the same as famous people but more and yet they are not happy, even the blibe says the more you have the more you have to worry about so think about it money alone doesn’t make you happy you have to be happy with true friends and family to start and money can make life a little easier but you can’t depend on money fix all problems

flameboi's avatar

I agree with lapi, money means freedom to me, I’m free to do the things I love.

That makes me happy

Jim Young: “They say money can’t buy happiness? Look at the fucking smile on my face. Ear to ear, baby.” Boiler Room (2000)

Jake (a friend of mine): “People think money is not important, that money can’t actually buy happiness. Until someone close to you gets cancer and they have no money to pay for the treatment, then you realize how happy you would be if you have the money to keep that person with you.

jlm11f's avatar

I’ve used this quote on fluther before, but i think it works for this Q too “Money can’t buy you happiness, but it sure can rent it for a long long time” ;)

2late2be's avatar

Well I’m Mexican and I’m away from my family for 4 years now, hubby buys me everything I want, I can’t complaint, I have more things and expensive things that I couldve dreamt about living in Mexico (apple MacBook, 2 big HD Tv’s, iPod touch, PS3, wii, my digital camera, movies, video camera) not to mention all the things that I had and sold on eBay, anyways, I have lots of stuff that could make everyone happy, but I’ll still give up everything to be closer to my family, visit them, but my baby has a better future here, everyone knows that…

Judi's avatar

Money makes life easier, but not always happier. I’ve lived in both worlds and I have known just as many happy and miserable people in both.
Philippians’s 4:12–13 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

loser's avatar

Well, having some does put me in a better mood! But does it truly make one happy? I don’t believe so. True happiness comes from more important things than money.

wildflower's avatar

It allows me to acquire, do and/or experience things that make me happy, so by proxy, it does!

tWrex's avatar

Happiness cannot come from money, but a lack of money can cause unhappiness. Being broke, losing your home, filing for bankruptcy. Those things don’t make you happy. So in a roundabout way, without enough money you will be unhappy, but with the right amount you can focus on finding the happiness around you. I hope that makes some sense.

Judi's avatar

some of the most miserable people I know are the wealthiest. They are always worried that people are only out to get their money. It’s really sad.

emilyrose's avatar

I have heard of studies that money DOES make people happier, but only to a certain point. I have also heard that rick people are constantly worrying about money. They get used to having it and having their lifestyle a certain way and enter a new social realm where it may be hard to keep up. Money will make people happier when it can help provide them with their needs. I believe in the study it was a very low threshold. I guess it depends on the cost of living where you are, but it may have even been as little as making $60k a year. That seems really low though. I would think maybe over $100k.

Anyone know of where to find this study? It is often cited.

ninjaxmarc's avatar

I built my car with money, everytime I get behind the wheel all my troubles and stress seem to go away. I guess you can say I’m happy.

I agree with everyone else it makes life easier but I’m happy with what I have. Live life comfortably and don’t stress off the little things. I’m in good health, not stressed, not worrying about stuff, etc.

At the end of the day. It’s just me and my bed. I paid good money for that bed.

siddesh's avatar

I agree – Money makes things easier, but it doesn’t make you happy.

Knotmyday's avatar

I find that the more wealth I accumulate, the more freaking ecstatic I am that I can afford to do and buy all the things I ever wanted to do. Does that mean money makes me happier?

Ultimately: Heck yeah. It would be extremely backward and fake-altruistic to assert otherwise.

MrBlogger's avatar

If this is friends or money I would have to say friends. But if you already have friends of course! It really makes me happy! Haha im kind of a show off. Well anyways people are different. I feel as if I was born to have lots of cash, and live in Los Angeles. sadly I live in Toronto.

Maverick's avatar

The only people that think that money can make you happy, are people without it.

MrBlogger's avatar

@Maverick Haha are you joking?

wildflower's avatar

@Maverick: Would have to disagree on that. I go periodically through both (having, not having – depending on how close to pay-day!) and am clearly having more fun and happier when I have the means to do the things I want. Admittedly not everything I want to do costs money, but most things will involve a cost, whether it’s a one off or ongoing.

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