Whoever says money can’t buy happiness…doesn’t know where to shop.
While the quote above may sound sarcastic, there is some to truth to it — truth that is now backed by scientific studies.
Yes, money can buy happiness. Unfortunately, a store that sells happiness in pills or packages doesn’t exist. You have to use your money in some ways for it to work.
If you want to be happy, don’t be chronically broke. You might just find use for cash when you’re feeling down.
So how can money buy happiness? Let us count the ways.
Can Money Buy You Happiness?
Money can buy experience
Experiences make us happy that’s why we love to travel, to try a new restaurant, or to watch our favorite artist perform. Whatever that is, it’s hard to deny that experiences do give us joy. It’s not experience that is bought; rather, the plane tickets, the hotel accommodation, the exotic food and so on. These cost money but if you do have it, then happiness is within your reach.
Money can buy stuff
Previous research claimed that buying experience makes people happier than buying material things.
A new study from San Francisco State University, however, debunks that idea. Buying experience doesn’t necessarily beat buying stuff. The study found out that as long as what you spend for jibes with your sense of self, they can make you happy.
That means if you love a fast car, you’d be happy spending on parts and accessories to soup up your American muscle, rather than buy a world tour ticket of some popular teen band. If it’s something that matters to you, spending for it actually makes you happy, whether it’s a material thing or an experience.
Spending on others make you happy
What do you feel when you give to the less fortunate? You feel good. You feel happy and blessed about your life that you are able to give. Research on the science of charity actually proves that giving fires feel-good hormones to your brain. And it doesn’t stop there, because by giving, you also make other people happy. Money, then, can buy happiness for you and for others.
Spending with people you love makes you happy
As we become more connected through the Web, we are becoming more alienated at the same time. We have far less time in building face-to-face interactions. Touch, which builds deep connections between warm human beings has come to mean the contact between fingers and cellphone screens. This makes real-life interactions more meaningful. After all, scarcity makes something more precious.
Instead of doing things on your own, spend on activities that foster deeper bond or sense of togetherness. Hang out with friends like the good old times. Date your spouse and kids. All these will pay off dividends in your relationships which also lead to more happiness.
Money can fund your passion
And living your passion makes you happy. Love entrepreneurship? You need capital to launch that game-changer start-up idea. Want to publish your own book? Without enough savings, you can’t lock the door behind you and write the next big thing after Harry Potter. Want to spend more time with your kids? That would require you to reduce your office hours. But you can’t do that if money were a serious concern.
Money can’t buy happiness but it can buy experiences, things, and most importantly time for yourself and the people you love. All these result in happiness.
Money can’t make you happy…
When you compare yourself to others
There will always be someone who has more money, who owns more expensive stuff than you do – comparing will lead you to an endless and empty pursuit that will drive you nuts, not to mention make you a slave of money. Instead, set your own terms and pursue that which is true to yourself, not what you envy in others.
When you reach a certain money threshold
If you were born from a poor family, it’s almost certain that you will pursue wealth for the sake of happiness. It’s true that wealth makes you happy, but when you reach a certain money threshold, it makes no difference if you earn more. In such case, giving makes the difference.
When you use it to fill a void within
Some people chase money only to realize they were actually searching for something else, a sense of purpose, or to cover a sense insecurity. Truth is, there is not enough money in the world to fill a void within you. No matter how rich you are, money will never make you feel whole and complete.
Money can make us happy but we subconsciously push it aside. You might have been taught that more money means more problems. Money invites misery.
If you have this mentality hard-coded in your mind, you will always find ways to push money out of your life. You will always be a spender. You won’t seek ways to improve your finances and debt will be your comfort zone. From now on, think that money can bring you happiness. Because the truth is, it will if you use it correctly.