Can Money Buy Happiness

The money-happiness relationship should be evaluated over an entire lifetime. Philosophers believe that happiness is not reaching your goal; happiness is being on the way. This makes us analyze that being rich does not necessarily lead to the path to happiness; pursuit and accumulation of money help to meet our basic needs for food, health care, safety, and shelter.

A study from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences stated that people who earn more money increase their sense of well-being. Overall life satisfaction and well-being continue to rise with income, indicating that people tend to feel happier the more money they make. High-yearners feel delighted because they feel more control over life and have been protected from hardships. Consequently, money helps create the conditions for being happy.

Some people find material possession as a source of providing satisfaction.  Michael Norton, a co-author of Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending, states that bank transactions,  material objects like a car, iPad, smartwatch, or new pair of shoes may satisfy us. Moreover, money helps to buy your dream home. Overall, it is assumed that people with more money are generally happier than people with less money. But research has shown that this relationship is weaker since buying things does give us everlasting happiness.

Achieving Long-Lasting Happiness

So how does one acquire everlasting happiness? Purchasing physical objects such as owning a helicopter, buying a house or car, or wearing designer clothes does not give us a lasting sense of pleasure and contentment. Long-lasting happiness doesn’t come from more money; it comes from the simple things in life. It could be time spent with family. Sharing with friends and memories of past old days that were pleasant and better than the present gives us real happiness.

  • Satisfying relationships make us happy, allowing us to influence our long-term health.

Research studies show that satisfying relationships provide us with better health, greater happiness, and longer life.  A supportive relationship motivates us to live healthier by eating healthy food exercise and quit unhealthy habits. Their sense of well-being was less influenced by wealth than close relations with their parents and friends. This demonstrates that spending quality time with loved ones is the most significant source of being rich.

  • Helping people in need brings greater happiness than spending money on themselves.

 Most people think that spending money on themselves makes them happy, but spending on other people gives real happiness and contentment. This comes in various forms; people can either pay an annual bonus or donate or offer an amount as charity. It is not how much we give but how much love we put into giving. It is simply a matter of making the right choice to share. People give for a cause that leads to happiness. Besides money, the gift of time is more valuable to the receiver and more satisfying for the giver. For instance, we don’t all have the same amount of money, but we all do have time on our hands and can give some of this time to help others whether we devote our lifetimes to service or provide a few hours each day or a few days a year means a lot to those who need moral support, care and love. Hence, consider spending money on others to attain true happiness.

  • Kind acts give real happiness.

Some overwhelming moments bring perpetual happiness. These moments include buying a present for a stranger or taking a friend to lunch boost happiness for each other. Helping a neighbor or an older adult with groceries lift their spirits or pay for someone who stands helplessly but cannot ask for assistance. Offer our seat to an older person or a lady in busy public transport. A smile or a striking conversation with a stranger initiates positive interaction. Similarly, an unexpected hand-written note or email from a friend with a thoughtful gesture of love and friendship enhances a joyful moment.

  • Changing  spending habits

Spending money wisely can lead to happiness if we spend on experiences rather than buying material goods. For instance, being super materialistic and stocking up on fancy kitchen gadgets for yourself might not give you real happiness; instead, if we put the same amount of money towards an exciting trip or watching a night movie at the theatre with the family could have a real payoff.

  • Saving and spending maximize happiness.

Manging money helps you understand how much money you need for monthly expenditures and savings. You learn to monitor your spending patterns and expenses; consequently,  it helps to change spending habits and bring happiness. People who spend money in ways that match their personalities and values feel contented and satisfied.


Money is essential, but it doesn’t come with the guarantee of happiness. Money can buy happiness as we have to fulfill our basic needs for food, health care, safety, and shelter. People want money to feel in more control over life and better protected from hardships. Spending on materialistic things only gives temporary happiness. True happiness can be gained when money is used wisely; it contributes to a happy, fulfilled life.

To further know can money buy happiness, read the book, The Four Essential Pillars of Your Life (Mind, Soul, Body, Finance) by Mary Davalos. She is a Mexican author who had the privilege of experiencing two distinct cultures, spending her life traveling between the United States and Mexico, celebrating the different lives each country has to offer. Mary is a successful entrepreneur, running three companies simultaneously. She is an educator, teaches finances, and has found several groups to help the community grow.

Writing this book aims to help readers understand striking a balance between the mind, soul, body, and finances. People learn how to cater to these aspects of life and know that joy doesn’t always come from wealth but rather a balance in life.  

Reading the book helps you know that money can buy happiness up to a point; the emotional well-being rises with income. Spending our money on others makes us happier than spending on ourselves, but buying experiences makes us much more comfortable than buying stuff. Consuming money on occasions aligned with your values can increase your potential for happiness. Experiences make people happier as they enhance social relationships and become a part of memories and identity. Long-lasting happiness comes from the simple things in life. Spending time with loved ones is a huge happiness booster. Helping people in need, laughs shared with friends, and memories from the good old days bring perpetual happiness.

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