Sign up for our wealth-building newsletter and free Ikigai life planning template
Trigger warning! Money could make you happy, but what is important in life money or happiness?
Some people may say money doesn’t matter and that happiness comes from experiences. Those are the people without money, obviously.
Others may say how we spend our time and how we manage our finances has a huge impact on how happy we are.
Surely more money makes us happier?
This article explores the difference between what makes us happy and how money plays a role in this equation.
How can money make you happy
There’s no question that money can make your life a lot easier – it allows you to buy the things you need and want, provides security for yourself and your loved ones, and gives you more freedom to do what you please within the laws of the land.
But does having all of this mean that money will actually make you happy?
That’s a question that has been debated for centuries, with people on both sides of the argument making valid points.
Some say that money can’t buy happiness and that what’s really important in life is having good relationships, being healthy and enjoying experiences.
As if you don’t have these then can you really enjoy your money?
Others argue that financial wellbeing is key to happiness and that if you’re not content with your financial situation, you’re unlikely to be happy in other areas of your life.
So, which is it – money or happiness?
As with most things, the answer depends on you and your life and financial goals.
Some people are very content with having a lot of money and live very happy lives, while others find more fulfilment in experiences and relationships.
On the other side, some people have very little money and still enjoy their lives
And then there are those with and without money that are miserable.
Which would you prefer a huge bank balance or lots of great experiences or a bit of both?
The answer to this might be the key to your life and financial happiness.
How much money do you need to be happy?
Regardless of how content or fulfilled they are, it seems that most people only consider themselves rich once they have more than $750000 in the bank! An annual survey by PNC Wealth Management found that this is how much US residents think their neighbours will require before they can say that they’re wealthy.
Interestingly, when asked how much money they needed to be happy, respondents said that $500000 was the magic number.
So, it would appear that people in the US think you need a lot of money to be happy, but this may not be the case in other countries.
The amount of money all depends on what the money is for and what that costs where you live.
How does money affect happiness?
There’s no doubt that having a lot of money can make you more happy in some ways.
It’s likely to mean that you have better health and live longer, as well as giving you access to things like higher education and nutritious food.
Money also makes it easier for people to leave unhappy situations such as an abusive relationship or toxic friendships, so how much is enough really depends on the person.
However, there are also a few ways in which having too much money can negatively affect your happiness.
For example, if you’re not content with what you have and always want more, you’ll never be happy – no matter how much money you have.
Additionally, studies have shown that once people reach a certain level of wealth, their levels of happiness plateau and they don’t feel any happier than those who are less wealthy.
It just often feels like we haven’t yet hit our individual plateau and just keep wanting more.
Can money buy happiness?
No matter how much money you have, there are some things that it can’t buy.
For example, if people in your life don’t like you for who you are when they get to know the real ‘you’, then being rich won’t change their mind about how much they care about you or how important you are to them.
Similarly, experiences – whether it’s travelling, trying new things or simply spending time with loved ones – are something that money can’t buy, and they’re often what make us the happiest.
But without money, it might be difficult for them to take place in the first place!
So, while having a lot of money can certainly help to improve your happiness levels, it’s not the only thing that counts.
Is money the key to happiness?
There are countless examples of how money can improve your happiness, but it’s also important to consider what life would be like if you didn’t have any.
In general if you didn’t have any money it might be difficult to secure some of the elements of happiness.
For a start depending on where you are in the world without money it might be a struggle to secure the basics of life like food, water, shelter and medicines.
Above this it might be tricky to purchase additional needs never mind any wants.
If you had little or no money and no real way of creating more you might well find your access to improving your situation is also limited.
Being able to improve your situation through things like education, courses, training or books, whether self-study at a school or through social groups, is all part of how money can help you improve yourself and your happiness.
Money can be a key to accessing or making it possible to access lots of things that can make happiness a reality.
What are the three uses of money?
–Save it- for something
-Spend it – on something
-Give it away to people or causes that need it more than you
As we’ve seen, having a lot of money can positively and negatively affect your happiness.
However, that doesn’t mean that it’s not important – in fact, there are a few ways in which money is essential for a happy life.
Saving money can make you happy believe it or not.
Having savings means you have choices when opportunities come up. The more savings you have the more options you have.
- To take that trip
- Take that course
- Buy that gift
Having savings can also make it possible not to do somethings. I.e. when your boss says do X you can say no thanks I don’t need the money – I have savings.
Spending money can bring happiness if you spend it on things that last.
A restaurant meal, theatre tickets, round that world trip might not last that long but the memories of it will.
Spending money on things that bring joy to you and others can have a long lasting happiness effect on your life.
Giving money away to people and causes you support can also create immense happiness knowing that the people that need it more than you can make great use of it, feeding, sheltering and or educating themselves for the time they need it.
Can you survive without money?
Why do I worry about money I have enough?
While it might be possible for some people to give up money or at least most of their interactions with it, there are certain things that we simply couldn’t do without having a source of income or savings.
Going to the cinema or buying a coffee although may be low down on the survival needs they would be out of the question without money. Thus making a few of the comforts of life out of reach.
It is possible to live a monastic life style, going monk mode might remove a lot of the noise of life and take life back to its essential basics but unless that is your goal its probably not going to be that attractive to most people.
Concentrating on the essentials of life can help declutter the stuff of life and make a clearer path to the most important things in life but even that can be tricky without any money being involved.
So, while it’s possible to live without money, if taken to its extreme it’s not really living – at least not in the same way that we are used to.
Why is money a power?
Money is a power because it can make things happen and make them happen faster than without it.
It can also be used to get us what we want in life, whether that’s a new car, a better job or simply more time with our loved ones.
Money can be described as a stored power source waiting to be released when needed.
Your pension is a stored source of power, waiting to be utilised when you reach the right age. Then you release its power on your needs and wants at the time.
Saved money is stored spending/purchasing power
When you release the money/power things happen.
Why does money make us happy?
This is a question that many people have asked themselves at some point or another – especially when they don’t have much of it.
While some might argue that money can’t buy happiness, as we’ve seen there are many ways in which it benefits our lives and how we live them.
So how does money make us happy?
Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons:
– money can buy us experiences that make us happy.
– it’s how we pay for the things in life that are important to us, such as food and shelter.
– It allows people to do things they enjoy – whether it’s travelling somewhere new or buying a new car, money gives us the freedom to do the things we love.
– It helps us improve our quality of life – for example, by paying for healthcare and education.
– Money can be used to make us happy in the moment, such as by buying us food or drinks that we enjoy.
– It allows us to survive – in most countries, money plays a vital role when it comes to how we eat and live.
– Money can be used to get us what we want in life. For example, if you’re saving up for a house, that will make your future more secure and therefore happier.
So, the short answer is that money can make us happy in many different ways.
Is money more important than happiness?
When it comes to what’s more important – money or happiness – there isn’t really a right or wrong answer.
It depends on the person and their individual circumstances.
Some people might feel that having more money will bring them happiness, while others might believe that freedom is more important.
It’s also how we choose to use our money or what it enables us to do in life that can affect how happy it makes us feel.
Are you able to survive without money?
While some people are naturally good at surviving when they have less, others find themselves struggling even when they’re still earning an income.
The reason for this could be anything from not being able to live without a certain lifestyle, to not having any skills outside of the workforce. So in answer to the question: it really depends on the person and how they use their money.
What are five ways that money can make you happy?
Here are five examples of how money can make us happy:
– It’s how we pay for the things in life that are important to us, needs and wants.
– Money is how many people choose to live their lives – whether that’s travelling, going out to eat or just earning enough for a good quality of life.
– It can be used as a way of celebrating – how many people use money to reward themselves after a long hard week at work?
– Money is also how we pay others and show our gratitude towards them – think tipping in restaurants!
Money and happiness can be fairly closely aligned. You can be happy without money and you can have a lot of money and not be happy.
But having money can make being happy easier as you can do, have or be the things that help make you happy much simpler with at least a little money.
How does money affect happiness
There is a lot of debate surrounding how money affects happiness.
Some people believe that having money can make you happy, while others think that it’s experiences and contentment that are more important in life.
In order to figure out what really matters, we need to take a look at both sides of the argument.
On one side, how money makes you happy has to do with how it can improve your life.
If you don’t have enough money to meet all of your needs and expectations, then this will affect how satisfied or contented you are with living.
On the other hand, some people feel that what is important in life is happiness itself which may be quite different than how much money you have.
Happiness is subjective, and what makes one person happy may not do the same for another.
For example, most people consider experiences to be more important than things when it comes to happiness; however, some individuals believe that material items are what they value most in life.
Figuring out how money or the lack of it affects your happiness in the short, medium and long term might be the key to tapping into the ingredients of what makes you happy and how much money you need to do it.
How to use your finances to improve your happiness
–Security: Using your money to provide more security is a way to become happier – ensuring you have an emergency fund, insurances in place can help you feel a lot more secure in rough seas.
–Peace of mind – being able to sleep at night without worry about money, or how you will afford the essential and some luxury things in life.
– Options – more money can give you more options, to work full time or part-time or not at all. To take that trip, start that course, or make a career pivot without fear of money. Savings, assets and investments are highly likely to increase your short- and long-term options.
–Dignity: this might be a personal perspective but having money allows you to maintain your dignity however you want to define this.
Being able to work in the way you want, live in the style you like, and buy the things you need and want that meet your needs might be part of living a dignified life.
–Create experiences and memories: Time with friends and family that create long-lasting memories will be a great way to use your money, making you smile every time you think of them. Priceless.
Notice this list doesn’t mention stuff!! Is it missing??
Can money make you happy?
It’s a question that has been asked for centuries – can money make you happy?
And, while there is no definitive answer, the general consensus seems to be that, yes, money can make us happy but not the zeros in a bank account.
But using money as a tool to do be and have the things that make us happy, not the money itself.
But how does it work?
What are the reasons behind this link between wealth and happiness?
There are many different theories out there as to why money and happiness are linked.
Some say that it’s because having money gives us a sense of control over our lives, while others argue that it’s because money can buy us experiences and memories which make us happy.
And then there are those who believe that, once we have enough money to meet our basic needs, any additional wealth beyond that doesn’t actually bring us any extra happiness.
So, which of these theories is correct?
The answer is, probably a bit of all of them.
Money gives us a sense of control and can buy us experiences that make us happy, but beyond a certain point, additional wealth doesn’t impact our overall level of contentment.
Why is money important for happiness?
Money is important for happiness because it can buy you things that make you happy.
Money can buy happiness because it can help buy you things that make you happy.
Money can also help you do things that make you happy, like travel, enjoy a good meal, pay for self-development, support the causes and people you love or spend time with your family.
Money plays an important role in our happiness because it provides us with the means to acquire and do things that make us happy.
While money cannot buy love, it can help make our lives a lot easier and happier.
And that’s why money is important for happiness even if we would like to think it isn’t.
FAQ: Money and happiness
The level of happiness that money brings depends on a variety of factors, including your income level, debt level, spending habits, and overall financial stability. However, research shows that people who are financially secure and have enough money to cover their expenses are generally happier than those who are struggling to make ends meet. So, while money doesn’t necessarily buy happiness, it can help improve your overall sense of wellbeing.
What is the relationship between money and happiness?
The relationship between money and happiness is complex. While it’s true that people who are financially secure and have enough money to cover their expenses are generally happier than those who are struggling to make ends meet, research shows that money alone doesn’t buy happiness. In other words, having a lot of money doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be happy.
There are a number of factors that contribute to happiness, including your income level, debt level, spending habits, and overall financial stability.
So, while money is important, it’s not the only thing that matters when it comes to your happiness and wellbeing.
While it’s true that money can’t buy happiness, research shows that there is a strong correlation between financial stability and happiness. In other words, financially secure people with enough money to cover their expenses are generally happier than those struggling to make ends meet.
However, there are a number of other factors that contribute to happiness, such as your personal relationships, health, and overall sense of wellbeing.
So, while money is important, it’s not the only thing that matters when it comes to your happiness.
What’s the importance of money?
Money is important because it allows you to buy the things that you need and occasionally want. It also allows you to save for the future and to invest in things that will help you make more money. Money allows you to enjoy the good and ride out the bad times of life. Money is also important as it can help you support the poepls and casueis that you love.
How much money do you need to be happy?
There is no specific amount of money that you need to be happy. However, having enough money to cover your basic needs will make you happier than if you are struggling to make ends meet. In addition, being able to save for the future and invest in yourself will also make you happier. It all depends what good looks like for you.
Conclusion: What is important in life money or happiness?
Your answer to this question may be influenced by how much money you have or what your financial situation is.
If there’s one thing that can’t satisfy our desires, it’s not having enough of something else.
So, the question is how much money do you need to be happy?
It is hard to say unequivocally what is more important in life: money or happiness.
However, from what we have seen, it seems that having money does not automatically equate to being happy and that being happy does not require having a lot of money.
Rather, it seems that how much money one has matters less than how content one is with what they have.
What this means is that how much happiness you can get out of life depends on how content you are, regardless of how much money you’ve got in the bank or how many material things surround yourself with.
Financial security is important in life, meeting your basic needs, being able to sleep at night not worrying about money is all part of financial happiness.
Without it, it might be difficult to be money happy.
Money can make you happy, you just have to understand what your happiness goals are, the actions you need to get you there and what role money will play in that journey.
If you want to learn more about how to be financially happy set up your own clarity call and start your journey to life and financial happiness.
What is more important to you money or happiness? ›
If you can focus on a balance of happiness in your life rather than only on your monetary possessions, you are more likely to achieve better physical and mental health. That balance comes with less stress and will be better for you long term. On top of that, having that balance will be better for your finances.What matters most in life money or happiness? ›
Putting happiness before money transforms you into a better person and keeps you from succumbing to greed or selfishness. You'll feel more accomplished for pursuing the best parts of life rather than following the humdrum of the daily grind.What is the most important thing in life money? ›
Money allows us to meet our basic needs—to buy food and shelter and pay for healthcare. Meeting these needs is essential, and if we don't have enough money to do so, our personal wellbeing and the wellbeing of the community as a whole suffers greatly.What is important between life and money? ›
Human beings need money to pay for all the things that make your life possible, such as shelter, food, healthcare bills, and a good education. You don't necessarily need to be Bill Gates or have a lot of money to pay for these things, but you will need some money until the day you die.Which comes first money or happiness? ›
If you really think about it, happiness comes before money. Although money can bring happiness, the happiness brought only remains temporarily. After this happiness is gone, it can leave people feeling empty again. For example, if one wins the lottery, they will be extremely happy.Should you chase money or happiness? ›
Money can line your pockets, but it can't enrich your life. Without actively pursuing the activities that give you mental peace, you will have a gaping hole in your life. Feeling fulfilled comes from cutting out what doesn't contribute to your overall life goals. Actively chasing your goals will give you purpose.What is one thing more important than money? ›
#1 Thing More Valuable Than Money – Time
– Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace. No matter what you do, you can never get more time.
Time is Money, Time makes money. You can make more money but you cannot buy more time. Thus, time is more valuable than money.What makes us happy? ›
From a physiological standpoint, chemicals in your brain are what cause you to feel the sensations of happiness. There are many chemicals, primarily neurotransmitters, and hormones and each plays an important role on the happiness scale, according to a 2014 research review . Examples include: dopamine.What matters most in my life? ›
Friendships, relationships, time, memories, and experiences are what truly matters in life. It's those people and things that can never be replaced, even if you try. Purpose is another important aspect of life because, without purpose, you'd feel empty and void of everything.
What are 5 things you value most in life? ›
- Your Health. Treat your body with the respect it deserves. ...
- Your Friends. Spending time with friends is key to our emotional wellbeing. ...
- Gratitude. Appreciate the miracle of life. ...
- Your Reputation. ...
- Your Family. ...
- Your Education. ...
- Giving To Others. ...
- Life Experiences.
- #2. Money can lead to better goods and services. ...
- #3. Money is linked to happiness. ...
- #4. Money frees you from working to survive. ...
- #5. Money pays for more life experiences. ...
- #7. Money reduces financial stress. ...
- #8. Money can strengthen communities. ...
- #9. Having money helps you make money.
“In the simplest terms, this suggests that for most people larger incomes are associated with greater happiness,” Killingsworth said in a statement about the study. “The exception is people who are financially well-off but unhappy. For instance, if you're rich and miserable, more money won't help.Can money bring peace and happiness in life? ›
Money is unlikely to buy happiness, but it may help you achieve happiness to an extent. Look for purchases that will help you feel fulfilled. And beyond that, you can find happiness through other nonfinancial means, like spending time with people you enjoy or thinking about the good things in your life.Does money make people happy? ›
The group that got $10,000 reported higher levels of happiness than those who did not after their three months of spending. Then, after three more months had passed, the recipients still reported levels of happiness higher than when the experiment started.What is the first rule of happiness? ›
Rule #1 – Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself!
Self-pity is the very worst kind of emotion. It destroys everything around itself, and leaves you feeling powerless. Stop being the victim, stop feeling sorry for yourself – and be happy.
The relationship between money and happiness is complex. Some studies have found that having more money is associated with a greater sense of well-being and fulfillment. This makes sense. Money provides greater security against the unknown, more options and opportunities, and a greater sense of control over our lives.How can I be happy without money? ›
- Strengthen Bonds With Family and Friends. ...
- Create a Gratitude Journal. ...
- Go for a Walk. ...
- Define 'Fun' for You. ...
- Start a Pay-It-Forward Line. ...
- Say 'No' ...
- Smile Even If You Don't Feel Like It. ...
- Strive for Serenity and Security.
Money does NOT stay with you because you fear losing it. It is associated with Lakshmi which leads to 'Lakshya' meaning 'goal'; fulfillment of your goal.Why doesn't money give you happiness? ›
Money won't make you feel fulfilled.
No matter how much money you make, it won't necessarily lead to true fulfillment in your life. Fulfillment comes from reaching goals that fulfill the purpose of your existence – and these are things that cannot be bought or sold for any price on this Earth.
Should I save money to be happy? ›
The majority of savers feel more optimistic, hopeful, calm and confident than non-savers, according to Standard Life Saving in Mind, so if you can manage to make a few cut backs and start saving regularly, you could be well on your way to happiness.What four things are better than money? ›
- Life. It's easy to forget that the mere fact of conscious existence--that you are alive--is itself a miracle. ...
- Health. ...
- Purpose. ...
- Friendship. ...
- Family. ...
- Self-reliance. ...
- Community. ...
Money is a medium of exchange, which is legally enforced by Government. Money is a medium of exchange that is accepted by the People. Money only has value as a medium of exchange because it is accepted by the People and is legally enforced by Government acting on behalf of the People.What do we value in life? ›
To most Americans, the most important values are having a happy relationship, an honest and respectable life, and safety and security. Understanding your own values is a fundamental part of self-awareness and getting to know yourself as a human being.What is more powerful than money? ›
American Entrepreneur and acclaimed motivational speaker and author Jim Rohn once said: “Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” This is a concept that I feel many people would agree with.Does money bring peace of mind? ›
Money gives you the opportunity to solve critical problems. It also secures your future so that you do not have to worry about your well-being as you get older. So, money also seeks your attention. Feel the Spirit of Dhanteras!Does money give you power? ›
Money is power because it gives you the ability to buy a lot of things, from retirement security to health in some cases. While being wealthy doesn't mean you'll automatically be happy, money can solve a lot of issues that women face.What keeps us happy in life? ›
Contrary to what you might think, it's not career achievement, money, exercise, or a healthy diet. The most consistent finding we've learned through 85 years of study is: Positive relationships keep us happier, healthier, and help us live longer.What are 3 things that make you happy? ›
- Practice Daily Gratitude. Expressing gratitude has been shown to do more than improve your mood. ...
- Surround Yourself with Positive People. ...
- Do Regular Acts of Kindness. ...
- Spend More Time with Family and Friends. ...
- Spend Money on Experiences Instead of Things.
Scientists have found that the three things that make people most happy are PLEASURE (doing things you enjoy), ENGAGEMENT (feeling interested in your activities and connected to others), and MEANING (feeling like what you do matters).
What is the only thing that matters in life? ›
“The only thing that really matters in life is to love and be loved.”What is the most important thing in life quotes? ›
Quotes The Three most important things in life, the first one is your Dignity, the second is your - Quotes. Family Quotes, Dignity Quotes, Sacrifice Quotes, The Three most important things in life, the first one is your Dignity, the second is your heart, and the third is your family.What are the 3 most important things in life? ›
- Health. People who have it all tend to focus on the basics of their lives rather than focusing on having a great life. ...
- Family. ...
- Love. ...
- Purpose. ...
- Mindfulness. Take a moment to relax. ...
- Follow your Passion. Make sure you're doing what you love. ...
- Self-Care. Treat yourself well, feel beautiful, be powerful. ...
- Be Self-Aware. ...
- Simplify your Life. ...
- Have Daily Goals. ...
- Live a Healthy Lifestyle. ...
- Be Open to Change.
The Four Values Framework: Fairness, Respect, Care and Honesty.What is more important morals or money? ›
So, morale excels over money. One can survive without money but never without morals to lead a life of a human being.What are the three principles of money? ›
- Cash Flow. Cash flow—the broad term for the net balance of money moving into and out of a business at a specific point in time—is a key financial principle to understand. ...
- Time Value of Money. ...
- Risk and Return.
The Scripture is consistent in presenting wealth as a blessing in God's sovereignty towards those who are faithful and obedient, and as such our material blessings are merely resources to equip us, as stewards, to advance God's Kingdom.How much money is enough to be happy? ›
The study from 1.7 million people showed that life satisfaction peaked at around $95,000 (USD) but emotional well-being was also satisfied at $60,000 to $75,000.How much money brings happiness? ›
Yet new findings suggest that, for most people, happiness does improve with higher earnings — up to $500,000 a year.
Is money important for happiness or not? ›
Money contributes to happiness when it helps us make basic needs but the research tells us that above a certain level more money doesn't actually yield more happiness. Not only did earning more money make participants happier, but it also protected them from things which might make them unhappier.Does money matter for happiness? ›
“Although money might be good for happiness, I found that people who equated money and success were less happy than those who didn't. I also found that people who earned more money worked longer hours and felt more pressed for time.”What gives people happiness? ›
Among 31 potential sources of happiness, people across the world are most likely to say they derive “the greatest happiness” from: My physical health and well-being (cited by 54%) My mental health and well-being (cited by 53%) My relationship with their partner/spouse (49%)What makes you happy in life? ›
Feeling some positive emotions every day has a big effect on our happiness and well-being. That's why it's so important to do things that give us positive feelings. Even simple actions like playing with a child or a pet or going for a walk outdoors can inspire these feelings.Why is happiness so important? ›
Experiencing happiness is important for our emotional and physical health. A stronger sense of happiness and wellbeing has been shown to lead to better relationships, increase social connection and contribution to the lives of others, as well as contributing to healthier physical wellbeing.