How money can buy happiness


Photo Credit: Rebecca Podd

Different ways spending money can cause happiness.

by Rebecca Podd, Staff Writer

Money can’t buy happiness’ is a common expression. It means that you can’t get true happiness from possessions and that material things don’t really matter. What really matters is living a fulfilled life with good friends, family, and good health. But, the reality is that money is needed in order to have these things.

More money doesn’t directly mean more happiness, but money does create the environment that allows people to be happy. In the song “As Long as You Love Me,” by Justin Bieber he says, “As long as you love me, we could be starving, we could be homeless, we could be broke.” Whenever this song came on the radio, my mom would roll her eyes, and not just because it was by Justin Bieber. She would say that if he was really homeless and starving he would not really be able to be happy. Under those circumstances, he and his love interest would be sick and under immense stress, leaving no room for them to have a healthy relationship. I agree with this. Without money, they wouldn’t be able to focus on love, they would be too worried about how they were going to survive. Money gives people security, so that they can have the freedom to focus on things such as having a happy relationship with loved ones, instead of wondering when their next meal is.

My argument is not that being rich automatically makes someone happy. Without family or purpose, being rich doesn’t directly result in a fulfilled life. Researchers, from Purdue University, found that being wealthy past the point of the daily comfort of the ability to buy food and paying a mortgage, can actually lead to unhealthy social comparisons and unfulfilling material pursuits. The same researches found used data from a survey of more than 1.7 million people from 164 countries, found that people are happiest when making between $60,000 and $75,000 a year. People don’t need to have millions of dollars, but do need enough money to be able to live a stable life.

Another factor of happiness is heath, and heath is expensive. Doctor appointments add up. Not to mentions the bills from countless visits to the dentist,  the orthodontist, dermatologist, eye doctor, and any other bill from a specialized medical office. Then on top of all the scheduled appointments, there are the inevitable surprise visits to the hospital.  Money is the resource that gives people the ability to get their broken arm fixed, or to get their appendix removed. If people didn’t have the capability to get medicine attention, would they be able to be happy?

Money keeps your family healthy and creates more possibilities for a happy future. Money pays for education. With education a person will have more options of jobs to choose from, which makes it more likely that they will be able to get a job that they love and that they can make a comfortable living from.

Money buys freedom from financial stress and meaningless tasks. It allows free time that can be spent learning new things.  Those new things also cost money, like musical instruments and paying for instructors. Free time can also be spent doing things you already love. Money pays for experiences. It is why we can go on vacations with family or go to a concert with friends, where we create happy memories to look back on. It also pays for things like plane tickets and cell phones, that keep us connected to our loved ones.  

But spending money on yourself isn’t the only way it can create happiness. Donating money to help others or to help loved ones causes us to feel good. Through charity, money allows people to leave a positive impact by doing something selfless in order to better improve other’s lives.

Money can buy happiness, if you use it the right way. We need money in our everyday lives, and it is also what pays for once in a lifetime experiences. Money buys a warm home, trips around the world, and keeps you and your loved ones in good health. All of these things cause happiness, but they could not happen without money. People don’t need to have millions of dollars, but they still need enough money to make achieving happiness possible.