The old expression goes, “Money can’t buy happiness but I’d rather cry in a Mercedes,” and that is a valid argument but can your happiness be bought? To some, money is life’s greatest treasure and to others, happiness is the best treasure. Our generation has this idea that if we aren’t millionaire stockbrokers on Wall Street like Jordan Belfort, we didn’t have a successful life. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having that kind of drive when looking for a job in this economy but if you work that long and that hard to achieve the financial success of your dreams there is a good chance you didn’t do anything to make yourself happy along the way.
According to Andrew Blackman of the Wall Street Journal, results of research done over years and years suggests, “people with higher incomes are, broadly speaking, happier than those who struggle to get by.” Obviously someone who doesn’t have to live paycheck-to-paycheck will be happier in life but that doesn’t mean that they are necessarily “happy with their life” their life is just easier than most. For example: in most movies involving a wealthy family, the father is never around to see his children and the mother is either shopping or laying by the pool where she “shouldn’t be disturbed.” Granted, they live in a huge mansion and vacation to Europe 6 times a year, but they are not a happy family.
In an interview with Susie Poppick of time.com, economist Justin Wolfers concluded after research on the issue that, “the relationship between income and happiness is extremely strong. When I say rich countries are happier than poor countries, I don’t know whether it’s the greater money that makes the average American happy or whether it’s the greater opportunities.” Wolfers’ argument is that greater income leads to greater opportunities which could possibly lead us to a happier life. The problem with answering the question, “can money buy happiness?” is that everyone’s definition of a happy life varies. There is no correct answer to the question, it must be answered by each and everyone of us if having more money makes us happier.
Money is coveted by everyone and having a lot of it is extremely nice, but on your journey to financial success make sure you don’t lose sight of the things that make you happy because once you achieve your goal you could be left alone with all that money and no one to spend it with.