Money vs Happiness: the debate

The older I get, the more I’ve noticed how much so many people talk about monetary wealth like it’s the only thing worth living for. The days of rolling around in the grass and skipping in the sunshine seems  mediocre in comparison to the desire to own a Hermes bag or be earning a six figure sum. So I would like to make the case for why money doesn’t equal happiness and why we are delving into a dangerous vicious cycle where the younger generation will think it’s normal to care about money over the simple gifts in life.

The case for money = happiness

Money moneyFor those where a relationship with money has meant heartbreak or physical/mental abuse, I get it, money is your driver. Money is what, to some people, says ‘If I had money, I wouldn’t be in this situation’. To this group, having money means that life is cushier and yes to some degree I completely agree.

The case for why money ≠ happiness

This is where my personal viewpoint comes in. I think no matter what type of relationship you’ve had with money, be it not enough, be it too much, if your state of mind is based around wealth, you will NEVER be happy. If what drives you is just money, you might be able to buy yourself all the cars, all the luxury in the world, but deep down, facts show that those who often have the most, often don’t realise this and don’t feel grateful/thereby aren’t happy with what they have. Chasing happiness through money, can never in my opinion bring you true happiness. I’m not saying money isn’t important, ofcourse it is, but surely, instead of constantly thinking of how to earn a six figure sum, why can’t we be more interested in learning how to help those who can’t even afford to clothe themselves? Why should we wait til we are ‘comfortable’ to help someone else?REASONS TO BE HAPPY

I’m not saying at all that it isn’t great to have some luxury and to enjoy what you have, but I also do believe in the old age saying of ‘cut your coat according to your cloth’. With the rise in pay day loans and a recent discussion on LBC radio on this matter of ‘What brought the UK to this state?’, it’s only worth thinking about how if we had a better relationship with our finances, we would be able to live within our means AND retain fulfillment and happiness.  Money comes and goes, so is it really worth the time and energy some spend convincing people of it’s importance and the pedestal it’s given?

If you don’t agree or if you do, leave your comments below.

20 thoughts on “Money vs Happiness: the debate

  1. Anonymous says:

    I don’t totally agree with everything you’ve said, although I do agree money does not equal happiness – it can make you happier. Money gives you options to do the things you want to do in life, buy a nice car, a nice house, travel the world, give to charity, retire your parents… Most things in life take money. Now, its not the money that’s it important, it’s the time freedom money can buy. Having an abundance of money can allow you to focus on whatever you want to do in life. Why not work hard to achieve your dreams; it’s hard to exist in the western world without money. I have to say the lack of money can cause far greater misery than an abundance of it. I understand that money does not equal happiness, but strive for excellence and usually money follows. “Cut your coat according to your coat” – I don’t like that phase. It adds some sort of limiting belief on your abilities, I believe in pushing yourself to achieve whatever you can and stepping out of your comfort zone to continually better yourself as a person. It’s sad to say, but the majority of our generation are apathetic and almost go through life wanting more but never really striving to achieve it. People seem to be content with existing through life rather than living it and I guess this is where the obsession of acquiring wealth can mislead an individual to go through life chasing money only to realise that their life has gone by. The importance of money will never cease to exist (in the near future anyway), but like you say money comes and goes, time however, is ticking and is the most valuable commodity we own. Don’t waste time chasing money, instead chase your dreams, strive for success and I’m sure money will be one of the many by-products of that success.

  2. Mathurini says:

    Hi anonymous, thanks for stopping by and for your detailed comment. I think we’re going to be on a lengthy discussion here on this front! I haven’t said that money isn’t important but what I’m saying is to when we (the world) keep saying or thinking or aspiring to wanting more money, it’s very rare for us to realise how much we already have even if it isn’t in monetary terms. The ‘cut your coat’ phrase is more something I think applies to big spenders that perhaps spend before they realise they needed that for something else. There’s a reason why pay day loans are getting heaps of customers and if you really think all of those cases are for those who can’t afford to pay things, it’s too much of sweeping generalisation. I agree with you re, not chasing money, I think if your background is steeped in spirituality or once you experience what it’s like to lose something or someone we take for granted, it makes you think. All the money in the world can’t bring it back. Thanks for commenting and feel free to follow my blog. Mathurini

  3. Thooyavan says:

    The gist of your argument, I agree with. In the end however, an individual’s view of monetary wealth is there’s and there’s alone. That doesn’t mean to say money equals success..doing a job that you truly love and are passionate about is far more important than accumulating wealth. If you’re happiness comes from accumulating it, there’s nothing wrong in that either. If every single person who lived on earth cared purely about money, it’d make for a pretty boring place…thankfully it’s not the case! In the Western world, material wealth is what governs society to an extent unfortunately…looking past that however, if you’re happy doing what you love, if you can make a small difference in the lives of those that surround you everyday…those factors to me personally are far more important than your bank balance, but again that’s just my view. Treat money sensibly, take care of those that you love, give to people who are in need and save a bit for a rainy day…money will invariably find a way of looking after you and your happiness.

  4. Mathurini says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately there’s a large proportion of people who forget the importance of friendship health and family in the quest for financial freedom. Money is just another material attachment is it not? Thanks for the comment..

  5. Thooyavan says:

    No problem! I say that purely from my own personal experience. Yes, to me money is a material attachment but who am I to extrapolate that comment and generalise it to a population. Reality bites somewhere along the line, there are thousands who die in poverty every day across the world…I can’t ever tell a man or a woman who has to put food on the table for their family by working day and night that money isn’t important. It is. People go to extraordinary lengths to look after their loved ones and its not because of a greed for money, moreso the value they place on their loved ones being healthy and being alive. Happiness and money are intrinsically linked in the Western world, or so we’re led to believe by the media…broadening one’s life experience, visiting parts of the world where families earn the equivalent of 2 pounds per day and live in happiness because they’re well and alive makes you look at monetary wealth completely differently. In the end it’s a means to an end, it is by no means an end!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Good article and view point.Good debate, as my Guru said “Money comes and goes…Morality Come and Grows” at least it god some people thinking about it.

  7. Amit says:

    Great debate. I too have noticed that these days a disproportionate amount of time and importance is given to money, the pursuit of it and idolising those people with a lot of it.

    If only we spent this much time and energy on actually being happy and living in the moment we’d probably BE a lot happier!

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