"Money can't buy happiness"

It seems like you could get that kind of “vacation” for a lot less money without going as far as Paris, particularly in the part of town where you live.

:wink: :smiley:

Money can’t buy happiness, but at least it lets you be miserable in comfort. And it won’t buy friends, but you do get a better class of enemy.

“You’re dead for a real long time
You just can’t prevent it
But if money can’t buy happiness
I guess I’ll have to rent it”

– “Weird Al” Yankovic

But it can buy me a boat.

It can insulate you from some things. It can’t guarantee you health, nor that your friends and family will be safe and will keep loving you. But yeah, there are a lot of things that I don’t worry about because I have enough money to deal with it, if necessary.

Talk to me when you don’t have enough to buy food. Hunger has no pride, and when you don’t have enough to eat, you are not happy.

Money buys a lot of things:


So yeah it may not buy ‘happiness’ but you can get a lot of other things with it. If the worst aspects of climate change happen, it will be the poor who suffer the most.

But it won’t protect you from health problems, interpersonal problems, etc.

“People who say money can’t buy happiness just don’t know where to shop.”

another version:
“Money can’t buy love…But it can buy a lot of like.”

Well phrased. When I talk about this with my adult kids, I stress the difference between money and wealth. Wealth (in my simple definition) is money you haven’t spent. Money won’t make you happy, but wealth will put a buffer between you and most* of life’s problems. You’re not going to be happier in a BMW than in a Corolla, but you will be a LOT less worried when the Corolla needs repaired.

Once sufficient wealth is laid by (savings, etc.), most of life’s worries disappear. There are many who must consume all their earnings for basic needs, but most of us (middle class and up) can manage on a lot less. The missus and I have lived well below our means for a long time and have a nearly stress free life. Job loss? No problem, less than 3% of our income goes to housing anyway (due to modest house and accelerated payments years ago). Car breakdowns? No problem, there’s plenty to repair it (due to basic cars and decades without payments). Ditto for furnaces, roofs, and college tuition.

I preach to my kids that money is not happiness or status. But accumulated, it becomes a shield against life’s difficulties. And living behind that shield allows you to be much, much happier.

*health is one exception, although wealth helps up to a point.

Humans don’t work that way. It turns out, individuals have a natural set point for how happy they are, and it’s hard to change that: You could win the lottery or lose the use of your legs, and a few years later, you’re back where you were, emotionally. Some things can knock you down and keep you there, like being in prison, but getting richer isn’t going to permanently elevate your happiness.

Lotta folks seem to confuse “happiness” with “having fun”. A much increased budget can buy a bunch more “fun” and if the extra money isn’t tied to a job, a bunch more free time in which to have that fun.

But as said by so many above, more fun doesn’t translate into more happiness in the privacy of your own mind late at night.

It’s essentially a leftover attitude from childhood. Unless we’re poverty-stricken, any of us adults here can easily afford that shiny toy we each didn’t get for Christmas when we each were 6 or 8. But how much fun will you get from it today? Same toy. In some sense same you. But not at all the same experience. But the thought persists down in the child-core of our mind: more toys = more happiness.

Said another way, “fun” is a juvenile sort of positive emotion. There’s nothing wrong with adults continuing to enjoy it (in fact it’s very healthy for everyone, even the elderly, to have some fun) but it’s still their child-mind being tickled. “Happiness” is a different emotion, a more sophisticated or complicated or grown up one. Like fun it’s a positive and healthy emotion. But it’s not very directly connected with fun.

An interesting topic to read about…

I’ve read about this before, and I wonder if **Robert163 *is asking the question backwards here. Perhaps a default setting of “happy” leads to wealth? Maybe a person who’s preset to contentment is less likely to seek it via drugs or debt (and ends up better off in the long run)? Just a thought.
*no offense intended to OP, this is a very interesting topic.

The best thing that money buys is time.

My wife and i spent 15 years putting ourselves in the position that we’re in right now, which is pretty comfortable. But, during those 15 years, we scrimped and saved, and worked. But most of all, we didn’t get to spend our down time relaxing. It’s laundry, scrubbing the floors and running errands.

Once we started having some spare change, we could afford to pay people to do these things, and thus our time is a bit more leisurely than it once was. We could still do these things ourselves, but we choose to spend the money to get the time back.

Not everyone agrees:


I agree and disagree. Lots of poor people struggle and work hard. Lots/most of them have a bad attitude. Sometimes they had it to start, sometimes it is a result of the struggle. But some poor people keep a good attitude and still stay poor.

So attitude helps but we can not completely rule out circumstance.

I think this is generally what is meant when people say “money can’t buy happiness”. People think that having nicer things makes life better, and in some cases it can, but it’s not fulfilling. I think that’s really the better way to put it though. If I have effectively unlimited funds, I can literally buy happiness, cool toys, trips, but there’s nothing fulfilling about having an expensive yacht or owning an expensive sports car. At least, it’s not fulfilling in the same sense of doing work that feeds one’s passion, having good relationships, having amazing experiences. Some of that stuff a certain amount of money can make easier, but it’s not going to introduce you to an amazing woman/man or help you enjoy raising kids, but it might give you a little more free time away from other obligations to invest in those things or whatever else feeds your soul.

Up to a point. I recall reading a study where the conclusion was basically that money buys one happiness to around $70k (I think it was based on median income in the US). That is, there’s a point above which worrying about bills, savings, emergencies, retirement, and some minimum amount of wants stops being a burden, at least in the sense that it keeps one awake or worrying about whether paying the power or the water or living on Ramen until the next paycheck. It’s a fundamentally different problem to be worrying about paying bills and worrying about whether one can afford a vacation this year or not. Sure, everyone ought to have some sort of vacation at some minimal periodicity, but even that, it could still be done on minimal funds, rather than flying to the Bahamas a week, one takes a long weekend to go camping or visit family or just a few days off work to stay home and focus on a hobby.

And I think that’s where the whole thing that Joe Rogan was on about. Having enough money where a dent in the car is more of a “Well, shoot, I gotta take it to the shop to get it fixed” or “WTF!? I can’t afford this!” is what money does. After that, it seems to me, that any contribution to happiness money has drops sharply.
Even after that point, I think it can still be flexed some. Do you spend a lot of time in your car? Maybe a slightly nicer car would be worth it. If not, take a cheaper option and spend that extra cash on something that matters to you, whether it’s somewhat nicer clothes or a trip or a night out with friends or whatever. The people who have a lot of money and still stress about it are ones not prioritizing how they’re spending it right.

You missed the point. Money can make you temporarily happy and provide relief from the unhappiness in your life whether it’s innate or has external causes. No, you can’t use money to change your personality, but you better believe that money does make people happy for a while.

Money doesn’t buy happiness? Well it buys a jet ski. Have you ever seen a sad person on a jet ski? It’s impossible to be sad on a jet ski.