Can money buy you happiness?

Johanna Gornitzki's picture

Money can’t buy you happiness, according to recent research. Two professors of economics, Curtis Eaton and Mukesh Eswaran, have found that as we become richer we become less happy.

They even go as far as to suggest that greater affluence can seriously damage a nation’s health as the stress of keeping up with the Joneses takes its toll on those who cannot afford the latest ‘must have’ product even if their wealth has increased.

But while I agree that our never-ending desire for new gadgets and fashion fixes could easily plunge anyone into misery, having enough money to achieve specific goals could help improve our general well-being and make us happier too.

There’s nothing more distressing than seeing your debts escalating out of control, not knowing how you’re going to make ends meet, or never being able to reach that special goal you’re dreaming of – and having a bit of extra cash would certainly help to ameliorate this situation for most people.

So yes, money may not make us happier but being able to buy your first home, having that dream wedding or taking your whole family on a nice holiday definitely will. 

Luckily, you don’t have to be a millionaire to realise your goals. For most people this can be achievable by simply setting out a budget and learning how to prioritise goals.

In this Moneywise article we explain out the five steps you need to take in order to hit your targets – all without breaking the bank.


Your Comments

This is such an old debate for which we will never really have the answer but it is nevertheless a very interesting debate. It is a fact that kids laugh way more than adults and I think this is because they have so many more new experiences. Not many would argue that we are not happy when we travel to new parts of the world and experience different cultures etc. Thus, if becoming richer allows us to experience new things then I think it can make us happier. Wealth can make you happier depending on what you do with that wealth.

I really hope so otherwise we may as well cut back on working right now. Maybe it isn't money that makes us happy but rather the process of making money? This will also depend on if we like our jobs of course!

A Texas oil billionaire once said 'money can't buy you happiness,but with my kind of cash you can rent it'.

LIving acording to your means is a notion that way too many people have forgotten or just choose to ignore!

I don't mean pay for everything in cash etc. but just learn to be responsible for what you spend - if you don't earn much, don't spend much. Or get a new job that pays better so you can spend more. Its not rocket science.

People are just too greedy for the 'stuff' they think will make them happier and all too willing to cane credit cards etc. that offer cheap and easy credit but these always need to be paid back somehow.

I am constantly amazed by people who max out credit cards then just pay off the minimum each month - these people need locking up for being insane!! If you can't afford it, even on a credit card, then DON'T BUY IT!!!

I have always been a great believer in that Money cannot buy either health or happiness.

I do not mean being unable to keep up a reasonable standard of living, I am refering to those who have so much money that they don't know what to do with it.  I don't think for one moment that they are happy.

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