Does Money Bring Happiness?Watch this thread
I came on TSR for the first time today to ask for advice not 'free help' as said by .
If you have any ideas do share
Enough money to meet your basic personal needs and expectations, will have an impact on your happiness.
Those needs are self-identified though, and not universal. They often come from your early childhoods perspective of what makes up a good life. They normally either match your parents wealth (if you were satisfied back then) or match the perceived wealth of other families around you (if you were not satisfied)
Above that level brings no more happiness. It may give a temporary boost for a while, but it won't change your long term happiness. (there are great studies about lottery winners which give good evidence to this)
So for example. A lower-middle class person from the UK may have their level of basic perceived needs at around £25k. Less then that will effect their happiness.. reach that and they have what they need.. more then that, and it won't effect their happiness.
An upper class person's basic perceived needs may be 200k per year. If you give them £50. they will be deeply unhappy and quickly get depressed and feel trapped. Give them 1 million, and they wont be happier then if they had 200k though.
Here in China where I live many families would be delighted with £6k a year, less then that would effect them. more would not. etc.
Its all about your perceived base requirements. the minimum you think that you need to live a 'comfortable' life on.
I would say that makes it a hard debate, if you are forced into a binary yes/no answer.. because neither side will be able to fully convince the other.
The 'yes it makes you happier' - will skew heavily towards focusing on peoples needs under my 'base level of happiness', looking at poverty/homelessness etc. and they will be right.
The 'no it does not make you happier' - will skew towards evidence that sudden increases in wealth do not bring long-term happiness, and over your basic needs, happiness is not more prevalent in the richer classes then the middle classes.
Aka, once you can pay all your bills, not sweat the price of everyday things, can take holidays/go on dates/pursue hobbies and buy the odd luxury/high quality thing every now and then anything else basically just goes to savings. Which, once you've become financially independent - where 3-4% of withdrawal on your savings can cover your expenses, the extra money is just to keep score.
So yes, money can lead to a strong foundation whereby you can then pursue happiness but it doesn't lead to happiness in and of itself. That, is more about how content you are in life and the strength of your relationships.
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There is a sweet spot, different for every individual, whilst i might wish each of my children to say inherit £1 million i am really not sure if I would say the same if it were £10 million and I can certainly say I would probably not wish them to be burdened with £100 million.
What I would say, as others have alluded to is that the correlation between money and happiness doesn't exist beyond a certain point, as demonstrated by the graph here:
Basically, once people have a certain amount of money to be comfortable, to not have to worry about unpayable debt or starving from lack of money etc... more money beyond that point doesn't' make them any happier.
When you think about what makes people happy, it'll differ per person, although the majority will probably say it involves spending time with loved ones and being able to do/buy what they want (e.g. go on holiday). If you have money, often, you can afford to work less, and do these sort of things more, and arguably, that should make you more happy.
BUT, if you look at it from an isolated perspective (does money make you happy) in a strict sense (money = happiness) - you could argue otherwise. If you don't have the pre-requisite things that people say make them happy (e.g. family, friends) then is it possible to buy happiness? You would probably argue not because material items will occupy us for a time, but only to a certain point, and then they will cease to make us happy, and greed may set in to make us want more (greater and better) things.
If you're well off and you don't have friends/family, you may find people form relationships with you simply because you have money, and the relationships aren't genuine and/or don't offer anything to you (i.e. somebody who cares/will help you) but merely is a face to access your wealth.
My previous post on this thread is the only answer to the OP.
Money buys choices and if you pick the right choices you can be content.
Happiness is a short term emotion.