Can Money Buy Happiness?
* Can Money Buy Happiness? The world is filled with millions upon millions of unanswered questions. One of these questions just so happens to be, “Can money buy happiness?” This question has raised some eye opening discussions and force people to look deeper into what the meaning of happiness really is.
Although people believe that they can be content without money, it is actually true that money can create happiness because it provides freedom and financial stability. For years, the upper class have lived among the middle and lower classes to be understood as snobby and selfish. The middle and lower classes have been misunderstanding the wealthy; mistaking their money and happiness for selfishness. For when a rich person doesn’t give their money to the needy it is not acceptable, but when a middle class person doesn’t give their money to the needy it is acceptable. Why is this? Imagine a man on a private yacht bathing in the suns glorious rays. Can you envision this man being depressed? It is hard for people to picture a man with everything he could ever dream of being depressed.
This is because happiness is intertwined into everything that surrounds a person’s life. Whether it’s the size of their house or the person they marry, money is the main factor that decides how a person lives their life and how they choose to live. Philosopher Albert Camus states, “It’s a kind of spiritual snobbery that makes people think they can be happy without money,”(Brainyquote). Camus means in this quote that if people believe they can be happy without money is ridiculous. No one would be happy living off the streets off the pity in another man’s pockets.
Although, happiness is a state of mind and money can’t necessarily buy nonmaterialistic objects, some people argue that happiness lies under ones skin and not in the material that surrounds them. Writer Ellen states that “Money can’t acquire complete happiness because money alone is not a package deal including love, laughter, or any of the many other things that make us happy,”(Money). Yes, love and laughter are something that one cannot buy with money, but people can buy experiences and new things that create love and laughter. For example, marriage is a creation of love but to keep a long and happy marriage one must bring in a sustainable amount of income. Statistics have proven that 65% of couples argue about money (Finances).
Money, whether people like to believe it or not is the main factor of happiness. Studies have also shown that spending money on experiences instead of material objects can make a person happy. John Grohol Psy.D explains that there is “Confirmed previous research that we are also generally happier when we spend money on experiences — like a vacation — rather than material things,”(Phillips). One cause that can lead to depression is the inability to go on trips.
Even if it’s a trip to the zoo, families tend to be happier if they go out and do something together. Trips can lead to relieving stress and in the long run, prevent depression. Additionally, when one has enough money to be able to give away money to charity it usually causes the person giving money to feel good about what they are doing and give the person a sense of purpose. Most people that have enough money to give to others in need are much more likely to feel better about themselves. Happiness is mindset that is usually caused by self-perspective and relations to people around them.
Relationships and self-perspective improve with the amount of financial stability one has. John Grohol Psy.D also studied the happiness level of people before and after they received their annual bonus. He reports that “No matter what the size of the actual bonus, employees who spent more of their bonus money on others or charity reported greater general happiness levels than those who spent more of it on themselves,”(Phillips). Just knowing that they spent money in general increases their happiness.
Happiness is essentially linked to how much freedom you have and what you choose to spend your money on. No matter what people believe about the effects on happiness due to money, there is still the inevitable fact that financial issues strongly impact stress levels. Visualize a towering debt weighing on your shoulders, mocking your every move; reminding you of its existence every time you dream of something you would buy, if only you had the money. New bills spread over a desk mixing with overdue notices of prior bills, all with minimal amount of money in your bank account. Would you be happy? Stress over a lack of money affects all aspects of life and can a negative influence on relationships and even your health. Love fades quickly when all a couple is worried about is money.
Various studies have identified disagreements over finances as one of the top reasons couples seek marital counseling, as well as one of the top reasons for divorce. According to Jeffrey Dew of the National Marriage Project, “Couples who reported disagreeing about finances once a week were over 30 percent more likely to divorce over time than couples who reported disagreeing about finances a few times per month.” These couples may have been able to save their marriage if it weren’t for the financial issues they faced, and overall could be happier. Not only do money issues impact marriage but health as well. Stress is linked to many heath issues such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes etc. Financial stress is also found to be linked to suicide.
A report published in the American Journal of Public Health, found that suicide rates increased in times of economic crisis, for example the great depression in the 1930’s. It also found that there are more Americans committing suicide today then the Great Depression, the main reason being unemployment and foreclosure. (American) Money creates everything that is needed to sustain happiness. It is responsible for giving a person the freedom of being able to do things without looking at a price tag. Overall, money can decrease stress and stress related illnesses, increase chances for a happier marriage, and give families more opportunity. Money is the foundation of the world that surrounds us, as Philosopher Albert Camus puts it, it’s “a kind of spiritual snobbery” that makes people think they can be happy without money (Brainyquote). ?