Does money really buy happiness?

Does money really buy happiness?

Author
Discussion

Thin White Duke

2,124 posts

137 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
Money can't buy friends, but you get a better class of enemy.

RDMcG

17,314 posts

184 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
Having enough to give you the lifestyle you wish and the security for the future is a contributor to happiness, and each of us defines that differently.
However there are other key items that money will not solve:

Health without which money is much less important.

Sustaining relationships which last -often spouse / partner/kids but might be good friends.

(In my case)- interesting work and the sense of being productive.

I have sufficient money to pursue my interests so I think of that as necessary but not sufficient.

fb2

151 posts

179 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
Daniel Kahneman talks about this in a TED Talk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgRlrBl-7Yg - watch from 17 mins but the rest of it is worth a watch). He says above $60,000 (in the US) it doesn't change happiness.

bigpriest

831 posts

107 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
Money gives you the luxury of perspective - the opportunuty to assess what truly makes you happy.

WonkeyDonkey

1,872 posts

80 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
Of course it does.

It's a bit like attractive people saying looks aren't everything.

Try being ugly and poor for a day and see how miserable life can be!

Hang On

458 posts

57 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
Derek Chevalier said:
Hang On said:
Yes it does. If you enjoy the freedom to do what you want where and whenever you wish. If you appreciate nice stuff and it makes you smile to surround yourself with it. If you appreciate fine food and fine wines. If your mind, freed up from the stress and clutter that worrying about money brings, can focus on creative and intellectual pursuits and enjoying friends and family. If you get happiness from helping people out and contributing to charity regularly. Yes, money is the driving force behind happiness.

You’d have to be a sad sort to have wealth and not find happiness. And for that sort, even if life is a st sandwich, the more bread you have the less st you have to taste.

Edited by Hang On on Saturday 14th May 09:32
But for me this can be achieved with a decent level of wealth (being "well off" in old terms). Potentially a couple of magnitudes different to genuine FU money which comes with very different challenges.
Agreed. I guess we should define ‘having money’. A few millions is one thing. Managing billions could seem like a full time job.

The Rotrex Kid

26,784 posts

137 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
I think people get too hung up on 'happiness', it's more about 'contentedness'

If you keep chasing being 'happy' then it's likely that lots of money wouldn't ever get you there.

Being content and comfortable is what wealth gives people. If that's what you're after anyway.

Monkeylegend

23,561 posts

208 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
The Rotrex Kid said:
Being content and comfortable is what wealth gives people. If that's what you're after anyway.
yes

Wealth is not just about how much money you have, it can be measured in non financial terms as well.

av185

15,914 posts

104 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
Wealth is relative.

Just like the bigger boat or expensive car thing.

An analogy would be as much pleasure can be derived from driving a snotter as an expensive car. But its great to have both or experience both at least.

Contentment is key.

dmahon

2,250 posts

41 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
I made a lot of money through 2 business sales then an inheritance.

I have to say on balance it’s made me more unhappy, though trending back to my long term happiness/grumpiness level.

A few reasons:

It’s cratered my motivation with my career / business interests as it doesn’t seem worth it when you don’t need the money.

All of the material goals such as houses, cars, pensions, setting up the kids have already been achieved then seem boring. To not have those goals leaves a gap.

Instead of worrying about not having enough money, you worry about losing it. Stock market swings, inflation, property market declines etc, you don’t know what to do for the best.

It does drive a wedge between you and other people. I am really careful with this, but people do treat you differently when they work out your lifestyle. Even good friends can get jealous when they see you dossing around “writing a book” then taking your fifth holiday that year.

Despite having the money, life isn’t that different when you have a family. I still do school runs, taking out the rubbish, shopping in Tescos. There’s a feeling that you should be doing more and real life is mundane.

The more stuff you buy, the more problems you have. I bought extra cars and a holiday home but it’s all more trouble than it’s worth. I prefer to live minimalist and simple now which I could have done from the start!

I’m glad I have the money and it does give you choices, but if you come into money, you need to be either motivated enough to go out and continue doing something with your life, or happy to relax and do fun things all day. Sitting in between those two is fatal.

It’s taken 4 or 5 years for me to get to a comfortable place with all of the above. It has been quite tough mentally (worlds smallest violin) but think I’m in a good place now with life setup in the right way.





Edited by dmahon on Saturday 14th May 11:57


Edited by dmahon on Saturday 14th May 11:58

Evoluzione

8,379 posts

220 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
This same topic comes up every few months.
With the same replies.

It depends.
I'd like to give it a go one day though.

carreauchompeur

17,275 posts

181 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
Interesting one. I probably worry about money more than I should do, not in an aspirational sense, more that I’m not using mine wisely.

I have a friend who by every metric is very well off. He describes it as ‘light and dark’…you have to have some hard work in your life to appreciate the rest of it otherwise it blurs into one. He and his husband own a fabulous property outright, and could probably do nothing, but he works a few days a week to keep active.

bloomen

5,078 posts

136 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
Not for me.

There've been periods where for many years I had less than £100 in the back. These days there's... a great deal of it.

My happiness didn't waver. There was always somewhere to sleep and something to eat.

It does not make you - healthier, cleverer, more attractive to anyone you'd want to be attracted to you.

And being skint for so long means my acquisitiveness dwindled to nil long before I had any money so wasn't yearning for what I couldn't have. I don't see the point in laying out for a new car when my 15 yr old poobox gets me around in the exact same manner.

My life is a bit different to many in that I have no obligations to anyone and never have.

If I had 19 kids and 4 ex wives to fund then an excess of money would lift a lot of problems, but those problems don't exist for me.


funinhounslow

1,117 posts

119 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
Lots of studies have found that after a relatively modest level more money doesn’t make you happier.

I think it’s called “hedonistic adaptation” where you get used to to an increased standard of living very fast and view it as “normal”.

With lottery winners, after the initial spike of exuberance, their happiness level reverts to what it was before the win.

Blowing money must get boring very fast, look how many have gone off the rails after a big win. The only exception I can think of is that Scottish couple who do spend their time giving their winnings to deserving causes.

CubanPete

3,358 posts

165 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
Does it buy happiness. No.

Can it make you happier. Yes

Money gives choice.

To me, money would give me more time to do what I wanted, rather that material stuff per se.

Though a lot of things I want, and want to do in my free time I can't afford at the moment!


GT03ROB

11,600 posts

198 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
funinhounslow said:
Lots of studies have found that after a relatively modest level more money doesn’t make you happier.

I think it’s called “hedonistic adaptation” where you get used to to an increased standard of living very fast and view it as “normal”.
It's like many things in time you get used to them. Then it's not exciting or special, so the happiness that came from something being exciting or special is gone. when you first drive a car that does 0-60 in 8 seconds it feels fast, when you drive one that does it in 4 seconds it still feels fast but you get used to it & it no longer feels quick after a while.

Happiness ultimately comes from wanting what you have, not having what you want.

CrgT16

1,273 posts

85 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
It may not bring happiness but the fact that gives you options and, most importantly time to actually do what you really want.

Time for me is the best measure of wealth.

On the 2 extremes I certainly would prefer to have options.

Mr Whippy

25,489 posts

218 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
Same stuff, just more expensive versions of it.

More pontificating over what you spend money on, so no real saving in time.

One set of my grandparents had lots of money and seemed just as happy as the others with not much.


Happiness is ultimately a state of mind and any state of mind can be achieved by the proper thought processes and outlook on life generally.


So no it doesn’t buy happiness.

At best it can buy artificial sense of happiness, or buy time if you’re wise enough to trade money for time when time is valuable to you, and have happier times with stuff like kids etc when they’re younger, vs working for more money.

J6542

911 posts

21 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
funinhounslow said:
Lots of studies have found that after a relatively modest level more money doesn’t make you happier.

I think it’s called “hedonistic adaptation” where you get used to to an increased standard of living very fast and view it as “normal”.

With lottery winners, after the initial spike of exuberance, their happiness level reverts to what it was before the win.

Blowing money must get boring very fast, look how many have gone off the rails after a big win. The only exception I can think of is that Scottish couple who do spend their time giving their winnings to deserving causes.
They got divorced, then the husband died after spending 40 million of his share.

funinhounslow

1,117 posts

119 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
J6542 said:
funinhounslow said:
Lots of studies have found that after a relatively modest level more money doesn’t make you happier.

I think it’s called “hedonistic adaptation” where you get used to to an increased standard of living very fast and view it as “normal”.

With lottery winners, after the initial spike of exuberance, their happiness level reverts to what it was before the win.

Blowing money must get boring very fast, look how many have gone off the rails after a big win. The only exception I can think of is that Scottish couple who do spend their time giving their winnings to deserving causes.
They got divorced, then the husband died after spending 40 million of his share.
Ah…