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Can money buy happiness?

“I need to go shopping. I am planning to get the latest iPhone and a few clothes from Zara”

“Do you really like shopping that much?”

“Yeah, it makes me happy.”

“Money can’t buy happiness, you know.”

“I know people say that at times, but I think in reality, money can buy happiness.”

What do you think?

Can money really buy happiness?

Everyone will have their own opinion. Some will say “yes, it definitely can” and some will be like “no, it can never.”

The average amount of money earned by a person in the 21st century is significantly more than the average money earned by someone in the 20th century. Along with this rise in monthly incomes, we also see a rise in mental disorders and an increasing number of people committing suicide. 

People now are more unhappy than they were in earlier times, even though they seem to be earning more. How can we explain this irony?

Let us see if research conducted in this field can give us an objective answer. 

The psychologist Daniel Kahneman and economist Angus Deaton conducted a study where they measured the emotional well-being of participants and the amount of money they earned. They found that there was a tipping point to happiness resulting from more income. 

In their research, they found no significant hike in emotional well-being after the annual income of the individual increases beyond 75,000$. It means that until a person earns this amount, more money does equal more happiness, but beyond this tipping point, more money does not necessarily mean more happiness.

They found that for lower income groups, more money does mean more happiness. But once your physiological needs and needs of safety are met, more money does not always mean more happiness. 

Another research found that money can make you happy when you spend it on others. In an experiment, researchers gave the participants some amount of money and they were provided with a choice, they could either keep the money for themselves or they could donate it to a charity. The results showed that the people who chose to donate the money to the charity experienced greater positive emotions. 

It has also been said that money spent on travelling or having different experiences does result in more happiness. If you spend money on a vacation with your family, it makes you happy because it gives you wonderful memories to cherish.

Here is another reason why you should spend money on having experiences. Money spent on goods (beyond what you need) does not make you happy. Once you buy that shiny watch you wanted, you will appreciate it for a week or so. There will come a time when you will get used to it and it won’t feel as new or exciting as it did once upon a time. 

This is why if you just rely on money to make you happy, that can be harmful.

Key Takeaways -

  • Money does make you happy until a certain point.
  • Money spent on experiences results in long-lasting happiness than money spent on goods.
  • Relying only on money for happiness is detrimental. 

So what do you think?

Can money buy happiness?

Tell us your opinions!