“Money DOES buy happiness”

December 14, 2011

Political Theory


Most people say “money doesn’t buy happiness.” Whether or not you believe this, I believe money leads to happiness. Many will say that people can be 100% happy with their job even if they do not make a high income, which I completely agree with too. They are happy with their location where they live or the car they drive, which all people should be. Nothing in life should be taken for granite. But I also believe that the statement “money doesn’t buy happiness” is a complete myth. Many say that money ruins marriages and friendships with others and that it also just makes people grumpy and unsatisfied. Well if the tables were turned the other way with someone who did not have the largest income, that person might also be grumpy, unsatisfied, and also not have a great marriage. It truly depends on the nature of the person. I believe that the main way money buys happiness is when people are involved by giving their service and time to those who are less fortunate. Whether it is making generous donation, or not having to worry about your needs because you are well off, this can make both sides happy, which is why money can lead to happiness.

Having a passion for something and not making a large income leads to happiness for many. If you had money and you could buy things without worrying wouldn’t that make you happy? Being able to not worry about a budget whether you go on vacation or worry about what size t.v. you can afford is a very fortunate. Having an extravagant life style by being able to build and design your own house, buying two or three cars, and many other everyday things to accommodate someone leads to happiness. Why wouldn’t it? People think that others that have a surplus of money are still unsatisfied with their lives. You have more resources to things and you are not worried about whether or not you can afford it. You are more of a powerful person towards others if you dress well, drive a nice car, and have a good character towards others while having a lot of money. Now even though all of that may seem like a bunch of snotty comments and that people with money are spoiled, I truly believe that money can buy happiness when dealing with helping others.

Many people who do not have large incomes and still do community service by helping others does lead to happiness, but there are certain situations where money does buy happiness for others. Take Oprah as an example, she is one of the richest women in the world today. She is respected by many for what she does for others. Even though she is busy a lot with her new network, she still finds the time to help others. Whether it is buying Christmas presents for multiple families or even sending families on vacations. In situations like these, money is able to buy happiness. Money from others is able to buy food for those less fortunate to make them happy. People like Oprah who have a lot of money are very happy with their life styles. Not only does money buy happiness for themselves but it buys happiness for others. Being able to help others with money is the true meaning of how money can lead to happiness.

There are many arguments that can go against what I say, whether it deals with people who have money and are stubborn and don’t care about others by only thinking of what they want, or that people can be happy without money and still help others. But can having no money buy vacations for others or buy food and other necessities for others? My main argument is that it depends on the situation of a person. “Money doesn’t buy happiness” is not always true. Money can buy happiness when you’re talking about helping others, and also not worrying about a budget in your own life. Does money really run our lives in the sense where it can make us truly happy? Or is happiness still based on your passion and whether or not you are following that in your life?

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7 Comments on ““Money DOES buy happiness””

  1. nnvirani Says:

    I think happiness differs from person to person. For some, the key to happiness is money. For others, popularity. More common answers include love, having a family, having kids, living a long life, etc. The point is that it differs from person to person. A major point you were making was that money can buy happiness in that you are able to donate money to help people. This is true for many but it is not conditional that you can help people only if you have money. Volunteering is a free activity that I think would make you feel better the poorer you are. If you are making $50,000/year, have a spouse and two children, being able to volunteer at a soup kitchen on a Sunday can be a very rewarding experience if helping others make you happy. On the flip side, if a man who earns $250,000/year donates $10,000 to the soup kitchen, I think the man volunteering will ultimately feel better than the man donating. I can go on and on with examples that help one side or another. The ultimate takeaway is that happiness is a matter of preference. Some people will never be happy no matter what they get. Some people will be happy with nothing. To achieve self happiness, money is not necessary. If you have a family and cannot afford to buy your spouse gifts, take your family on vacation or send your kids to summer camps while all their friends’ rich families are having the time of their life, this can be very heartbreaking for a parent. This is a case where money may be able to buy happiness. But then again, the money is not buying the happiness. It is your family’s well being that makes you happy. Wealth can help finance some of the things we buy/do but it is the significance of the things we buy or the actions we do that give us happiness; not the money itself.

  2. marydahm09 Says:

    “Wealth can help finance some of the things we buy/do but it is the significance of the things we buy or the actions we do that give us happiness; not the money itself.” Nnvirani, I completely agree with this statement. I think that this is an important point that the author may be missing. People with limited financial means who are unhappy are not unhappy just because they want money; they are unhappy because they feel limited by the things they cannot do without money. Another person in the same financial situation who has passions and interests that do not require a lot of money could be perfectly happy. I think it is our desires that make us happy or unhappy. If someone does not have the creativity to find ways to meet their desires in the situation they are in, then they will probably be destined to unhappiness until they can change their thinking. Or perhaps their desires are too unrealistic and they are unable to see that smaller pleasures can bring happiness. The problem is not money; the problem is that the latter is becoming a growing trend because we live in a society that perpetuates the idea that things which are worth doing require money.

    Oprah is a great example of this. People around the world look up to her because of her generosity. But do you really need to be a billionaire to be help others? I do not think so. It would be great if we could see more examples of people in the media who are helping others and achieving their dreams without money. But until that happens, it is likely that money will continue to be an issue that interferes with happiness.

  3. mcdonmeg Says:

    I think you are right, it is different for every person how they feel about this. However, I don’t think money can truly buy happiness. I grew up with out much money. My family could only go camping for vacations, and we lived very simplistic. My father now owns his own company and our family is well off. Don’t get me wrong, having money does have its perks but I can assure you that it has not made any of us more happy. If anything our family isn’t as happy, and there are many times that I wish we could go back to the simplistic lifestyle. I think money can buy security. If you have money you can buy a house, and food and you don’t have to worry about supply the necessities of life to your family. However, having money to just buy things does not create happiness. It can create short term happiness, however its not long term. Think about something that you really wanted for Christmas one year and you got it. I bet you were really excited , but that happiness didn’t last forever. What does make people happy are relationships. You can have all the things in the world, but you don’t have someone you love to share it with or people to be there for you then its all worthless. This is just my opinion though. Thanks for sharing this post, I found it very interesting.

  4. asgersh Says:

    I agree that each person has different things that make them happy. I don’t believe that money can buy happiness, but i do believe that it in many cases can help you be happy. When money is not an issue for someone they are able to not only give back to their community and causes that they feel are important(such as cancer research), but they are also able to provide for people they love. I would argue that what makes most people happy is seeing their friends and family be successful and happy. When a person has enough money to do these things for their loved ones it can be very fulfilling. Also, many stresses and problems people and couples have is over money or things related to money. When a person is able to live comfortably provide for the people around them to not only have what they need, but some luxuries, many of the stresses and problems normal people have would not exist. In addition being able to provide for the less fortunate or to contribute to research that will save countless people from suffering can bring happiness. I agree with the statement that money cannot buy happiness, but in most cases having money allows for normal stresses to be non existent as well as giving people the chance to help so many.

  5. abswang Says:

    This actually makes a lot of sense. Honestly i think money and happiness are not related. The problems that “poor” families suffer from are from money issues. The problems that well off families have seem a lot more shallow because they are related to things that seem really petty compared to those families that need to scramble to put food on the table. I think money definitely makes life easier for some people, but in the end, happiness depends on the person and their take on life.

  6. marydahm08 Says:

    ***Very sorry – I accidentally created 2 wordpress accounts at the beginning of the year (marydahm08 and marydahm09) – accidentally logged into the wrong one. This was my post:

    “Wealth can help finance some of the things we buy/do but it is the significance of the things we buy or the actions we do that give us happiness; not the money itself.” Nnvirani, I completely agree with this statement. I think that this is an important point that the author may be missing. People with limited financial means who are unhappy are not unhappy just because they want money; they are unhappy because they feel limited by the things they cannot do without money. Another person in the same financial situation who has passions and interests that do not require a lot of money could be perfectly happy. I think it is our desires that make us happy or unhappy. If someone does not have the creativity to find ways to meet their desires in the situation they are in, then they will probably be destined to unhappiness until they can change their thinking. Or perhaps their desires are too unrealistic and they are unable to see that smaller pleasures can bring happiness. The problem is not money; the problem is that the latter is becoming a growing trend because we live in a society that perpetuates the idea that things which are worth doing require money.

    Oprah is a great example of this. People around the world look up to her because of her generosity. But do you really need to be a billionaire to be help others? I do not think so. It would be great if we could see more examples of people in the media who are helping others and achieving their dreams without money. But until that happens, it is likely that money will continue to be an issue that interferes with happiness.

  7. jps3520 Says:

    As you said at the end, there are many ways of looking at this topic. Money doesn’t buy happiness, more money more problems, and my personal favorite (something my cousin told me before college): “they say don’t follow the money, but I’ve been on both sides of it, and I’ve never been unhappy about having more money.”

    One thing that I think is interesting is that all of these are about money, but they’re all saying different things. “Money doesn’t buy happiness” is supposed to be a cautionary tale to people not to just go after money because all the money in the world can’t get you everything. It doesn’t say that people will be much happier when they’re poor. In my opinion it means that if you have a choice between doing something you love while making enough money and doing something you don’t enjoy but make a lot of money, you should choose the thing that you like to do. If you find something that you can make a lot of money on and you enjoy doing it, I don’t think this phrase necessarily applies to you.

    Let’s look at this from a different angle. I think that the amount of money you have, along with other factors, changes how you view situations regarding money. While money may not necessarily buy happiness, but not having money can lead to unhappiness. If just knowing that I don’t have any money doesn’t make me a little unhappy, the thought that I might be left out of some opportunity because of that can make me unhappy.

    One more angle: the people who have a lot of money. Is the whole “more money more problems” thing true? Or is it now that they have money they have lost their bigger problem and have now focused on many problems that are much smaller? Take the Real Housewives for example. I have seen that show before. And though I haven’t seen all of them, if that is any example of what having money is like, they may have more “problems” but they don’t have any real problems. More like the first world problems you may read on the internet.

    To conclude, at this point I’m not even sure if in the end we agree or disagree. I just thought I would bring in a couple different ways of looking at the situation. I do agree that you can’t really judge the situation on the whole, many things need to be taken into account.

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