Can Money Really Buy Happiness?

by Karen Keller, Ph.D.



When you get money, then will you be able to find happiness?

Throughout our lives, we have different relationships with money. When we’re a teen, we don’t quite understand it. We know it buys things, but we don’t understand the value of it. In college, some of us are introduced to credit. Yikes. Then as we enter our adult lives, we really start to understand what the true value of money is.  

It’s rent and groceries, it’s paying off our student loans or credit card debt. Sometimes it’s hours spent awake at night trying to figure out how on earth you’re going to pay all your bills next month. As we get older, though, and start to find monetary success in our professions, the bills can become less worrisome and you start thinking about the fun things you can do with your money that you used to dream about when you were younger. Or, at least that’s how you would imagine it goes. 

In fact, many times, the more money we have, the more problems can arise. I’m not going to say that’s the case all of the time, but just because you have money doesn’t mean you’re going to be happy. I’m big on making sure I lead a fulfilling life, because I think that’s what makes people truly happy 

The point I’m getting at here is that it’s what you do with your money that will make you happy. Simply having it doesn’t really accomplish much at all. For example, Bill and Melinda Gates use much of their wealth to fund their charitable organization. They have all the money they could ever dream of, so they give back to those less fortunate. 

Charity is something I always recommend considering, but why not look at other options such as travel or adventure. Perhaps it’s important that you take time each month to take care of yourself, whether that’s a spa day or a personal trainer, use the money you’re making to add to your life. Make smart buying decisions, but don’t ferret your money away like Scrooge.  

In short, money on its own never amounts to happiness. But what you choose to do with your money can lead to a much more fulfilled life.

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