Money Can Buy Happiness

This is a rewrite of a post that I improved and not want buried in archives. I hope you enjoy.

Today is a continuation of the discussion in Money is not the Root of all Evil nor by Itself Evil.
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At this point, you should no longer feel negative and apprenhensive about money, learning about money, talking about money, and having money.

Now that we treat money as tool, it follows that the value of money is entirely dependent on how we utilize it. As such, the responsibility becomes yours to decide what to do with your money.

While that mentality is sinking in your mind, let us talk about how money can buy happiness. You may ask, “What happen to the old saying of money cannot buy happiness?” I will clarify the fact remains that money cannot directly buy happiness; however, it is also a fact that money can buy a lot of things, which may or may not bring happiness. And certainly, we all know that money cannot get us everything we want.

Money cannot buy friends, real friends.
Money cannot find you love.
Money cannot magically give you new abilities.
Money cannot revive the dead.

So what then?

Money Means Survival

Remember in the old days our ancestors had to hunt for food and find shelter in caves or otherwise be dead… Well, earning money is a subsitutation for that. Money lets us buy food and a root above our heads. Money allows us to survive in this society. We are animals too, and survival is a priority, so let us be glad that each of us is surviving because we have some money, if not a lot.

Money Provides Sense of Security

Because our survival is linked to money, having more money allows us to thrive by reinforcing a sense of security. Having money saved up means less stress about survival.

How do I pay all the monthly bills?
What if I get laid off?
What if my car breaks down?
What if I have a health-related emergency?

If you have one or more of those scenario above, you can come out with no or less worries and stress if you have enough money. I can subscribe to that because I worried a lot about making it through my graduate school, paying tuition and living expense. Fortunately, I made it out alive in fair shape by taking leave of absense to work full-time and selecting only subsidized loans, along with some support from my dear sister.

Since I mentioned loan, let me add that lowering and eliminating debt has the same effect as having more money. That’s why we should also strive to be debt free.

Money Provides Flexibility

Laid off is mentioned above. If you have money saved up and not have to worry about financial burden such as mortgages, you have extra time to look for your next job. Laid-off aside, if you current job is unpleasant, you can choose to venture into starting your own business, or simply take some time off to find the right direction, or travel the world. By flexibility, we can also think of it as the next topic…

Money Lets Us Manifest Our Values

Despite not able to let you buy everything we desire, you can still put your money to good use toward the important things in your life, like:

  • Continuing education
    With money, you can go ahead and get the master, PhD, MBA, CPA, degree in whatever field you have always wanted
  • Assiting parents and family members
    Some of us have aging parents that could use our help financially. Actually, having money may also make it easier for you to help them out physically too, through flexibility in selecting schedule and location of the new job.
  • Hobbies
    Use money toward the classes and equipments for your favorite hobby. I do for lessons on singing and piano!
  • Buying things that you like
    Let’s be real. We all have things we like. Clothes? Shoes? Watches? Artwork? I love gadgets… A little indulgence can be constructive on our well being.
  • Vacation
    Travel the world. See other cultures and people. Build perception with extra experience. What great ideas!
  • Housing
    Having a comfortable, cozy place to call home lets us feel safe. Though I would say it is overkill where 2 people living in a 10,000 sq. ft. house. Oooooh, ain’t I sarcastic.

After all, it is not About Money…

Being rich does not automatically make you happy.
Nor can being poor make you happy either.

What money can do is… Money can contribute to your happiness depending on how you spend it. Therefore, it goes back to the general theme here that much like success, happiness has everything with knowing yourself and your values. So I suppose I should say that money can indirectly buy happiness, that is, only if you know what you want in life.

You can choose to spend all your money on materials, but that means you value materials above all else. If that makes you happy, be my guest. As Wolverine kindly said to Rogue in X-men: The Last Stand, “I’m not your father. I’m your friend.” I am not here to tell you what to do. I am here to get you to think for yourself.

Category: Personal Development, Personal Finance, Thoughts

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