Can Money Buy Happiness?

This is a really good question. Can money buy happiness? I think the answer to this question is going to vary depending on the age of the person you ask.

I really do feel when you’re young and in love, most people feel that “all you need is love.” As we age we learn very quickly that love doesn’t pay the rent or put food on your table. That if you don’t work for the things you want, you will have to go without. Unless you beg, borrow or steal them.

Paul and I have had many “lean” years where we really struggled to make our payments. When you have orthodontist bills and glasses to buy. Two kids playing sports and eating us out of house and home. For many years we lived payday to payday. I would much rather be able to pay my bills than not. If you’re afraid to answer the phone thinking it’s a bill collector, that’s not much fun and I think that “crankiness” can bleed over into your love of your mate.

I’m not saying you need to be a millionaire but for me, I’ve been on both sides of this fence and I’m much happier and my emotional well being is best when the house payment has been made, my car runs and my fridge is full and I have a little stash in the bank.

No, maybe money can’t buy happiness but without it, life can be pretty miserable.

How about you?

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16 Responses to Can Money Buy Happiness?

  1. LVISS says:


  2. Jenny says:

    I don’t need a ton of money, but a little would make life seem a bit simpler. Times like today it’s really hard just to get ahead or get even!! Money definitley makes me happy but like Joy said you don’t have to be a millionare to be happy. Just be happy that you’re able to pay the bills.

  3. Jason says:

    I would have to say that money doesn’t buy happiness, but it does buy relief.

  4. SKL says:

    Well, this is a topic I have thought long and hard about for decades. I was raised with very little (by US standards) and learned the difference between “needs” and “wants.” Even today, what many people consider necessities, I tend to consider luxuries. Yes, I do indulge in some luxuries nowadays, but if money got tight, I would not have a hard time giving most of them up.

    In my view, happiness comes from being the captain of your own ship. Being a slave to anyone or anything – including costly desires – is a drag. You can lighten things up by throwing stuff (desires, habits, costy delays) overboard. Then do an inventory, re-examine your needs and wants, and throw more stuff overboard. Eventually your debt goes down, your savings go up, and you find yourself in a position where you can pretty much do what you want. Whether it’s give to charity, buy your kid a bike, get a massage, or save for a less stressful retirement. It will increase your happiness. Not because you “have” the money, but because you “don’t need” the money.

    A lot of people think the Bible says “money is the root of all evil.” No. It says “the LOVE of money is the root of all evil.” I would twist that to say: the bondage of money is the root of much unhappiness.

    Another thing I have learned is that while you need to be careful with your money, it is very important to give some of it away. And if you aren’t financially solvent, give something else away, but never feel like you’ll be better off keeping it all to yourself. The more you give (wholeheartedly), the more room you have to receive. And you’ll receive more than you give. Try it and see.

  5. shanef says:

    Money can’t make people happy, but it sure as hell would make things easier and more stress free.

  6. A few years ago, business was BOOMING. I’ve got to say, having all that money was a ton of fun. We took vacations, bought a few extravagant items, and made some home improvements.
    Now that times are tough, it still looks like we are doing well. Hubby tried to get sympathy recently, and his friends just shook their heads, not wanting to hear it.

  7. Karen Joy says:

    You put it well Joy.I lived pay day to pay day most of my working life and its very stressful.I watched my parents struggle too growing up and it took a toll on them.So in a way money does buy happiness.In saying that I do not mean material things make me happy,they dont.I always say as long as the bills are paid life is good.Anything we can afford above and beyond the bills I am so very grateful to be able to have and feel blessed by.

  8. Laura says:

    I agree with you, Joy, and also with SKL, that the LOVE of money is the root of all evil. There’s nothing wrong with (and in fact, it’s extremely responsible and necessary) living within your means. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have little luxuries or go on vacations, either. It just means that you have to do them within your budget. You don’t need to go to Hawaii… you can recreate a beach vacation by getting away to a local lake. Sure, there are no palm trees, but you can make your own leis out of wildflowers, and they sell Pina Colada mix in the freezer section!

    It’s when you start letting the money – or the pursuit of the money – control your life. That’s when the misery happens. Suddenly, you’re looking around you at what everyone else has, and wondering “why don’t I have that? Life is so unfair!” and then you grab the credit cards and start throwing them around like the money is free. That’s when you get into the trouble. But if you can figure out how to get rid of that debt, get some in the savings, and start saving for the trip to Bora Bora, that’s when you’ve made room to be happy and not envious.

  9. Sanity says:

    I have been on both sides and happiness comes from the lack of worry, I couldn’t agree more with you – having none and not being able to pay for things can drain you to the point that you are 90 before your time, relationships and friendship suffer and so do you.

    • Joy says:

      Wow. What a sight for sore eyes. It’s GREAT to see you here.

      • DM says:

        I’m with Joy- it is good to hear from you Sanity. Feels like a mini reunion. You’ve all pretty much expressed my thoughts on the money issue. For me contentment is the prize I’m after instead of a certain dollar amount.

  10. kweenmama says:

    I am in agreement with those above. We do need a certain amount of money to take care of ourselves–shelter, food, healthcare, etc. A little extra socked away for emergencies, and then some for a few “niceties” is good to have as well. When you don’t have to worry about making ends meet, you are much more able to relax and serve others. It is when one starts to compete with the proverbial Joneses that unhappiness sets in. It should never be a competition.

  11. starlaschat says:

    Great picture. Great Post, I sure do like to read your writing Joy. Let see….. Yes I agree life is easier and a lot more pleasant when basic bills are met. And Yes again that money troubles can put a strain on love. I do realize for myself after surviving a lot of lean times. That I can be happy regardless of the amount in my bank account. Stress is another thing, no money equals lots of stress for Navar and myself. I am more comfortable emotionally with more zero’s than a 0 in my bank account, but happy can be for me without much in the bank. I have had to struggle a fair amount in the last few years. Changing careers has been very very difficult financially. Also chronic pain has been an eye opener, realizing I can be happy even being in pain. That is a surprise to me, after 2+years I’ve had to make changes like being happy regardless of a few things. Or maybe in spite of a few things not sure. :+)

  12. Nikki says:

    Without money to pay bills you worry. And with worry, comes frustration and with all that it becomes hard to be happy with your life in general and the ones you love. I think Jason said it best, it gives you relief. Having bills and rent payed, and fridge full of food, allows you to focus on life, and love. With that said, I’d never pick money over love, I’d live in a cardboard box if it meant me being with the ones I love.

  13. Ellen says:

    Money is a thing you need, otherwise life will not work, it is as it is. So money is also related to happiness. Money is not the reason for being happy, that is how you stand in life, but it adds to the state of happiness you are in.

  14. Sue says:

    No, money can’t buy happiness. Material things can’t buy happiness. Money makes life easier for those things that require money, but when it comes to personal relationships that’s all up to you.

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