Can Money Buy Happiness?

Money can buy a degree of security, but no, it can’t buy happiness. If you’re the type of person who spends, if you make more, you just spend more. If you’re the type of person who saves, you’ll just save more. You are who you are regardless of how much you make. Money generally changes people for the worse and rarely for the better.

Material possessions do not provide lasting happiness. In fact, as the movie Fight Club so eloquently put it, “the things you own, end up owning you.” Stuff is just stuff. Possessions may provide momentary thrills, but they don’t inspire lasting happiness.

However, money can buy a degree of security. Knowing that you have enough money to pay all your bills must be a nice feeling. Not cringing every time you check the mail nor obsessively checking your bank balance is really beyond my powers of imagination. Having enough money to buy health care and maybe even a yard might be nice. To save for retirement or put money aside for a rainy day would be the height of luxury. Knowing that everything is paid and that I still have enough money left over for groceries and maybe even a new pair of shoes would allow me to sleep like a baby. I think it would anyway, but I really wouldn’t know. I’ve been treading water for many years.

If you ask me whether I’d like to be rich, my answer would be no. I don’t want to be rich. I don’t need mansion in the south of France and tax shelters in Switzerland. I simply aspire to be middle class. I’d like to have enough money to pay everything and still have some left over for once. That is my idea of happiness.

Money cannot buy happiness, but it is my greatest worry. I fret about it constantly because I don’t have nearly enough. If you took away the incessant worry about money, I’d probably just find something else to worry about, but I might feel a little bit more secure. I might not feel quite so much like I was drowning.