Does money really buy happiness?

Does money really buy happiness?

Author
Discussion

Djtemeka

1,528 posts

169 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
Fusion777 said:
Djtemeka said:
I’d rather cry in a Bentley than a corsa biggrin
But would you rather be happy in a Corsa than cry in a Bentley?

Money can also bring complications. Look at the number of threads we have on here analysing pension and investment strategies. If you have large amounts, some might feel or be pressured by obligations, or even guilt.

You could also fall into the Dan Bilzerian trap of becoming bored and numb because you have bought everything you ever wanted, and now there's nothing left for you to buy. You could argue he's just suffering from a lack of imagination though. He's probably also paranoid about whether people are hanging around with him just because he's rich. Do your friends like you for you, or for your money?
That’s based on being either happy or sad.
If I were going to be sad, I’d rather be rich at the same time. If I had a choice of happiness or sadness then I’d choose happiness both times… maybe biggrin

Muzzer79

6,343 posts

164 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
WonkeyDonkey said:
Of course it does.

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

I know lots of happy poor people. They may desire more material things, but they are happy.

I also know some unhappy rich people. Money cannot buy health or love or contentment.

Money makes life easier in many ways and it can make some people happy or happier but it irrefutably is not guaranteed to buy happiness.

OldSkoolRS

4,295 posts

156 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
All I can say is that some of the best times in my life didn't cost much, if anything. Memories of things we did when the kids were young and again now the grandkids. Meeting up with friends having not seen them in ages (OK, we probably did spend money on travel and on drink, but not lottery money style). Playing at open mics making a 'pop up' band that just 'clicks' straight away. Many other examples, but for me it's about the people and the events/memories rather than what flashy car (or not) I arrived in.

Now I'll admit that I have been guilty of buying 'toys' but I've (slowly) come to realise that after the brief elation at the new item (hifi, TV, guitar, amp, etc) it becomes 'normal' and then the realisation that I was just as happy with the other 'toys' I already had. It may also be age related too because I'm sure I was more ambitious when I was younger, which was driven by wanting to have 'lots of nice things'.

Perhaps I'm just trying to convince myself because I'm leaving a decently paid job that came with a nice company car (at least much nicer than I'd buy with my own money) to retire early, but on a shoe string budget. I'm doing this because the job was making me ill and miserable and even being relatively free to spend without having to think too much wasn't compensation for the dread I felt after each weekend, or at the end of each holiday.

So long as our basic bills are covered, with a modest amount left over for trips/very occasional holidays then we have everything else we really need...a £10,000 guitar isn't going to make me play any better than the ones I already have (though perhaps £10,000 worth of lessons might admitedly biggrin ). My wife has got all the art supplies she needs for years now and we try to refurbish things rather than replace with new.

To steal a line from a Sheryl Crow song; it's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.

The Rotrex Kid

26,712 posts

137 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
Mr Whippy said:
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.
This is the crux of having a large amount of money. Most people spend a very, very large amount of their relatively short lives working just to live.

Having vast sums of money should (in theory) remove this, also then having the means to literally go anywhere at any given time, that's what money gets you.

People who say things like 'I wouldn't let a big lottery win change my life' or (in the recent case of the £184m lottery UK winner) people said 'I wouldn;t want to win that much' obvously have no idea just what that gets you. You can go ANYWHERE, in the entire world, whenever you like, do anything at all, with minimal fuss, hassle or restrictions. It really is phenomenal when you really really think about it.


jimPH

3,776 posts

57 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
When you haven't got money, you worry how to get it.

When you have money, you worry about losing it.

gotoPzero

14,191 posts

166 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
IME the more money you have just scales the problems.

You have nice cars, they need insuring, looking after, service, mot etc etc. You quickly get used to the performance.
Houses, need cleaning, insuring, security, stocking up with food, repairs etc. The more houses the worse the problem.
It goes on, add in planes, helicopters etc.

I think for your average Euro Millions winner it would all just be too much. You would end up rolling down the steps of your local country club smacked off your head on ludes within a year.

I think in reality the only way to take the pressure off is to get someone in to run your life for you. Tell them when / what / where / how you want everything and let them sort it out. Would cost a fortune but would keep you out of rehab / local nut house.

On the smaller scale, your average businessman might have more money for holidays and investing but they might also be working 80+hours a week. Then in their down time having to do the rounds at the golf / country club to keep up appearances.

I can see how a lot of people struggle with it.

Pit Pony

5,743 posts

98 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
I think there's some corelation between stupidity and happiness.
The more stupid you are, the happier you are.
So I guess that being rich and stupid, would be really joyous.

Mr Whippy

25,461 posts

218 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
No matter how rich I was, I wouldn’t play flipping golf.

What is it with men playing with balls hehe

Hitting balls with bats. Kicking balls. Rolling balls. Balls balls balls.


If golf is the free-time highlight of making it big, then I think I’ll remain averagely wealthy hehe

alock

4,036 posts

188 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
Mr Whippy said:
No matter how rich I was, I wouldn’t play flipping golf.

What is it with men playing with balls hehe

Hitting balls with bats. Kicking balls. Rolling balls. Balls balls balls.


If golf is the free-time highlight of making it big, then I think I’ll remain averagely wealthy hehe
Golf, just like fishing, cycling and many other activities, are an excuse to get out the house and away from the wife/family for 4+ hours on a Saturday morning.

Huge numbers of middle-aged men doing these activities are doing so to escape from a fairly miserable home life.

And I say this as someone who only fully realised what a positive thing cycling was for me after I separated from my wife.

Thankyou4calling

10,051 posts

150 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
I’ve been a rich man and I’ve been a poor man

And I choose rich every fking time.

Because when I have to face my problems I show up in the back of a limo wearing a $2000 suit and a $40,000 gold watch.

Leo DC Wolf of Wall Street.

And I agree.


Hugo Stiglitz

33,331 posts

188 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
roadsmash said:
Money gives you options.

Sometimes the options can be bad.
Definitely agree. It gives you the tools. If, in your life so far you have never had diverse interests or options you'll default to your current comfort zones sadly.

That means if your fun times are drink and food. You'll just do the same, more to excess in a different sunny location.

Jaguar steve

8,311 posts

187 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
Simpo Two said:
I think contentment is more important.
Way more important. yes

Once you've got Maslow's bottom couple of rungs of life's essentials covered then it's much better to keep materialism at arms length and learn to be content with what you do have rather than discontent about what you don't have.

Life is far more enriching and rewarding when it's focused around enjoyable experiences rather than buying evermore stuff.

21ATS

675 posts

49 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
dmahon said:
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.
This is (to me) the most interesting post on this thread so far.

I'm not at this point but I'm not a huge way from it (mentally), I have a good income from my business. It doesn't matter when I'm paid - in so much as I've not spent the previous months in full by the time the next one is being paid. So by definition (my definition) I'm more than comfortable.

I'm about to put my business up for sale, but I've already come to the same conclusions as dmahon about "stuff".

I started thinking about why I'd actually bought something (recently) that I thought I wanted but once it arrived I wasn't interested in at all. Had I actually bought it for me? Was I buying it to impress others without even realising it? It was quite an unnerving existential thought pattern I went through (and am currently still going through).

All this stuff and all these things I wanted I've suddenly found hold very little interest now that I have attained the ability to have them if I wish.

I'm 52 so this could be a full on mid life crisis. Plus I'm relatively newly single after my partners long term illness accelerated rapidly to a degree that she now requires 24 hour live in care (she no longer has mental capacity and I'm now a figure of hate so better off out of the way).

It's quite humbling actually, the whole thing, and I'm starting to very quickly find I'm a lot happier with who I am, less tolerant of idiots, far more tolerant of people that genuinely need help and are nice. If I'm honest I'm probably being less of dick myself. I'm happy just mooching around doing normal things from day to day.

Dating again at 52 though - that's a real wake up call!

OldSkoolRS

4,295 posts

156 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
21ATS sorry to hear about your wife; it has probably made you rethink a lot of things and put a different perspective on things. I do know what you mean about buying something and then going cold on it when it arrives: Sometimes it's more the fun of the chase and the research; these days I'll often do all the research and then decide not to buy in the end.

I think some forums tend to be enablers of buying more gear and it can become a case of trying to impress strangers on the Internet as well. I often see it on guitar forums and people buying mulitple versions of essentially the same thing, just a different colour or some minor detail. I wonder how many times they end up put in their cases and not played after that initial rush of showing those strangers pictures of their recent purchase...

21ATS

675 posts

49 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
OldSkoolRS said:
21ATS sorry to hear about your wife; it has probably made you rethink a lot of things and put a different perspective on things. I do know what you mean about buying something and then going cold on it when it arrives: Sometimes it's more the fun of the chase and the research; these days I'll often do all the research and then decide not to buy in the end.

I think some forums tend to be enablers of buying more gear and it can become a case of trying to impress strangers on the Internet as well. I often see it on guitar forums and people buying mulitple versions of essentially the same thing, just a different colour or some minor detail. I wonder how many times they end up put in their cases and not played after that initial rush of showing those strangers pictures of their recent purchase...
Thank you, it's appreciated. It's not a surprise, it was an inevitability given the "disease" she has, it just all happened rather quickly when it started. So mentally I was prepared for it to a degree.

You're right though, in combination with other factors it puts perspective on life in a way that's very difficult to describe to others.

I'm also a cancer survivor (at 46). There's very little life could throw at me now that would knock me. With that comes a strange peace and contentment.

Mr Whippy

25,461 posts

218 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
I don’t get how some people justify all the stuff they buy.

In most cases you could spend half as much, get something almost as good, and over 10 years probably save enough to pay off your mortgage early.


Some people are just fully signed up materialism addicts.

Freshprince

211 posts

32 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
You can either do things or have things, only the 1% get to do both.

OldSkoolRS

4,295 posts

156 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
21ATS said:
Thank you, it's appreciated. It's not a surprise, it was an inevitability given the "disease" she has, it just all happened rather quickly when it started. So mentally I was prepared for it to a degree.

You're right though, in combination with other factors it puts perspective on life in a way that's very difficult to describe to others.

I'm also a cancer survivor (at 46). There's very little life could throw at me now that would knock me. With that comes a strange peace and contentment.
Wow; I guess that puts things even more in perspective.

Cancer and dementia are two things that conspired to convince me to finish work early: I lost a good friend/colleague this year to cancer who was younger than me and my Dad had dementia, which in hindsight was kicking in when he was about 20 years older than I am now. I didn't want to wait another 11 years to hit state pension age and build up a bigger private pension only to find I'm going downhill (and my wife is older than me too so her health by then might limit what we could do). Even if it means doing things on a budget because I've finished early. Retiring with more money, but with failing health/faculties doesn't seem to be a path to happiness for me anyway.

Edited by OldSkoolRS on Saturday 14th May 20:41

Ouroboros

1,214 posts

16 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
Mr Whippy said:
I don’t get how some people justify all the stuff they buy.

In most cases you could spend half as much, get something almost as good, and over 10 years probably save enough to pay off your mortgage early.


Some people are just fully signed up materialism addicts.
We are all consumers though, like cattle grazing on the teets of brands and mass corporations.

I bet a lot on PH are branded up to the eyeballs, it makes them feel worthy.

Wacky Racer

35,592 posts

224 months

Saturday 14th May
quotequote all
Michael Caine:-

"I've been rich, and I've been poor.....rich is better"