Does Money Buy Happiness?

I’m sure this has been done in some thread before but I couldn’t find any, though I admit I only did one search. :wink:

I don’t really believe money buys happiness in the sense that it will help you find the one you love or give you friends that like you for who you are, but having money takes away so many of life’s stresses about paying the rent every month and putting food on the table. Money also lets you enjoy more leisure activities, go on vacations, enjoy more expensive hobbies, enjoy life in ways that others cannot afford.

Is there anybody who really believes that money does not help buy happiness at all?

Yes, it can, if you’re relatively happy except for money stuff. I think David Lee Roth once said something to the effect of “Money can’t buy you love, but you can sure park your yacht right next to it and walk on over”.

Some people will never be happy, but if you have to be unhappy, it’s better to be rich and unhappy.

Can money buy happiness? You betcha. It can also keep you healthier and is more likely to keep you from being impriisoned.

If you’re dirt poor, money can make a difference. If you are financially stable, able to keep a roof over your head, clothes on your back and food in your belly, the only thing making you unhappy is you.

There are more than enough miserable rich people to dispel the notion that money makes you happy. The best it can do is prevent certain money issues from making you unhappy. Of course, with wealth comes a whole new set of money issues, that can make you stressed out and pissed off all on their own.

Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it allows you to rent an awful lot of pleasure… :slight_smile:

No, but I’d rather be rich and unhappy than poor and unhappy.

I think there’s a very strong sense in which we wish it were true that money cannot buy happiness (and by ‘we’, I mean those of us who are not fabulously wealthy); I suppose that might be a form of jealousy, or it might in fact be that we want to be happy, we inwardly realise that a bit more money might make that happiness more likely and that are therefore trying to hope one of the major obstacles to our happiness out of existence.

Money can’t necessarily buy happiness, but it can buy freedom from some of the things that make us unhappy - disease, hunger, thirst, cold, physical danger, even to an extent, loneliness (since you can surround yourself with people who will pay you attention if you keep buying them drinks).

But money can also stifle happiness; instant gratification of your every whim can make everything seem just a bit bland and uninteresting; what’s the point of Christmas presents, when you can buy anything you want anyway? Where’s the sense of achievement in splashing out an entirely dispensible wad of cash for something that many people would have to sweat and toil to be able to afford? Where’s the joy in getting something if you only just started wanting it three minutes ago? The anticipation is half the feast.

So I think money can buy a degree of happiness, or it can diminish it. Of the people I know who are very comfortably wealthy, there seems about a similar level of happiness as those I know who are just scraping by.

Lack of money is a major source of stress and stress-related health problems. To the extent money can relieve at least that one large source of stress, yes, money can buy happiness. A few extra dollars in your pocket can do wonders to improve your mood.

Of course, lack of money is not the only possible source of stress, and I can think of several other sources (divorce, loss of a loved one, inability to find a good mate) which can make even a wealthy person miserable. But having money at least eliminates one item from the list.

Money can’t keep tragedy away - which is how I’ve always read it. Money can’t keep you from getting cancer, having a child die tragically, or losing your home in an earthquake. It can make it easier to get treatment for cancer, keep your kids safer, and replace your stuff.

And there are some issues it makes it easier to have. Poor people don’t worry that their friends are only their friends because of the money, or their wife is only there for the money. And I think there is a wealthy subculture of alcohol and drug abuse that is really different for the middle class and poor. Poor and middle class people abuse drugs, but its a different sort of abuse.

Nope. But lack of money can cause unhappiness.

Don’t have a cite, but I remember a commentator on NPR citing a big study saying that, yes, to a point, money does buy happines. That point is located somewhere in the lower-middle-class income bracket, where one is comfortable enough that day-to-day expenses aren’t a struggle to meet, and minor calamities like the need for a major car repair or common medical expenses don’t threaten to bankrupt you. After that, the marginal returns diminish rapidly, to the point that the average guy making $10 million really isn’t any happier than the guy making $100,000. Once you remove constant anxiety over finances, money does surprisingly little for your state of mental well-being. People tend to gauge their sense of self-worth in very immediately-relative terms, and since they don’t associate all that much with others greatly out of their tax bracket, each individual usually feels they’re doing pretty OK in life, all things considered.

Money buys you a better class of problems. Also, money buys mobility, something that shouldn’t be scoffed at.

It is easier to find happiness with money. But you can have it and not find happiness and you can be poor and still find it. But I maintain that having it makes it easier to find.

There was a 2 hr program on lotto winners this week. The ones that couldnt handle life before they won got worse. Several said they were happier before.
The two that didnt blow a bunch ,but used it to make life more secure and comfortable did fine.
People without the ability to handle money suffered. Some actually sold several years of lotto payments at a dractically reduced price to try to bail themdelves out.

I forgot which person said this when asked if money buys happiness:

“I’ve been both filty rich and dirt poor. Rich is better.”

A rich woman once said: Money does not make you happy. But it’s a whole lot easier crying in a Limo.

Money can turn a black man white. Look at Michael Jackson. So, yeah, money can buy pretty much anything. It may not buy your life, but it sure as shit can sustain it with better quality healthcare and drugs.

Mo money more problems.

Money can lead to “friends”, family and other mooches coming around constantly bugging you for stuff. It can become difficult to trust people that they like you for who you are and not what you have. A little bit of money can put you in with people who are very status conscious so you never feel you have enough. Since you don’t have to work for anything, money can lead to boredom which can lead to an empty hedonistic lifestyle of alchohol, drugs and high priced hookers.

It depends where the money comes from. If it’s a result of years of hard work and success, it might not be that big a deal. You would have built relationships with people along the way so you know who you can trust and who your real friends are. You would feel you earned it. Or you might become one of those striped shirt assholes who thinks he’s better than the world while secretly feels like he’s an imposter.

If your born into it, you might become kind of bored and directionless or you might use it to pursue your interests.

I guess it’s all dependent on the person. That said, I’d rather have a rich man’s problems than a poor man’s.

Money can’t buy happiness…

But, being poor can’t buy you S#@*.