‘Can Money Buy Happiness?’ When Living Comes with a Price

by | May 1, 2024 | Social Issues, socioeconomic, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Photo by Karolina Grabowska

Money alone may not make us happy – but everything we do in this life comes with a price. So if we ask ourselves, “Can money buy happiness?” we might figure it out.

Can money actually buy happiness? Who really wants money? It may not be life’s ultimate goal, but it can solve many problems. After all, financial stability and material comforts contribute to a certain level of contentment. Humans have been wired to live in a capitalist society for centuries, and we can do nothing to change that.

However, exploring our complex relationship with money and happiness might make us think about life in general. Moreover, these dark realities might even force us to contemplate how humans are commodified and exploited. We should learn about the importance of human dignity, even in the face of money.

Basic Needs and Financial Security

Money can significantly contribute to happiness, especially when it meets basic needs such as food, shelter, and healthcare. Not worrying about them these days is a luxury, with the rising costs of living that chokes people up to the core. That’s why we shouldn’t buy into the baseless ideas of privileged people trying to tell us that money won’t make us happy. It will. After all, if we’re not one hospital bill away from poverty and homelessness, the question ‘Can money buy happiness’ will truly apply.

Material Comforts and Experiences

Money allows people to enjoy material comforts and experiences that enhance their quality of life. Whether it’s travel, leisure activities, or access to resources and opportunities, having sufficient money can impact a person’s capacity to enjoy a happy life. Moreover, these material comforts and experiences are not usually bad, no matter how excessive, as long as they don’t harm anyone.

However, human nature dictates the feeling of jealousy toward it, especially when we see someone living a better life than others. That’s why we should constantly check how we feel about others’ success. We are allowed to feel a good amount of jealousy over others’ material successes. But it becomes unhealthy when it consumes us to the point of greed.

Adaptation and the Hedonic Treadmill

Humans tend to adapt to new circumstances and possessions over time. This phenomenon, known as the Hedonic Treadmill, suggests that the initial boost in happiness from acquiring material goods or wealth will fade over time. As a result, the pursuit of more money and possessions may not lead to long-lasting happiness.

Furthermore, this is a dangerous path to greed since human nature is prone to it. Dissatisfaction with what one has, coupled with the insatiable desire to want more than needed, is lethal.

Values and Priorities

Happiness is deeply influenced by individual values and priorities. Some people find fulfillment in advancing their careers, while others want to do their part and serve the community. Others might want to focus on their personal relationships or pursue other passions. However, some might want to heal their “inner child” and satisfy themselves as much as possible.

What do they have in common?

They all need money to work; that’s right. Our financial capacity ultimately determines what and who comes first in our lives. We can’t simply live by the delusion that it doesn’t matter. Money built and destroyed many human relationships, a glaring fact that some still deny. It’s never wrong to acknowledge that either; it may give us more insight into what we should prioritize to be happy.

So Can Money Buy Happiness? Rediscovering Human Nature Might Answer That.

Humans are fascinating creatures, with their large mix of morals and standards of living, or a lack of them. Moreover, we are driven by many things in more ways than one. In Chet Shupe’s book Rediscovering the Wisdom of Human Nature, we discover how evolution programmed us all to live the way we are. Furthermore, exploring ancient wisdom in human nature has been a centuries-long constant pursuit that still presents many questions.

Given our means of living, we may always have different ways of looking at it. Asking ourselves, “Can money buy happiness?” is already a reflective step toward rediscovering human nature. Furthermore, how we view material happiness can reveal our identity. That’s why Chet Shupe’s book on human nature is highly recommended for those seeking what they want in life.

So, can money buy happiness? It’s up to you to find out. 

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