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Can Money Buy Happiness?

Can Money Buy Happiness?

January 30, 2024

Recently, my 18 year old daughter (pictured above) and I were having a discussion about whether or not money can buy happiness.  Most of us probably feel like the morally right thing to say is "money can't buy happiness".  But if pressed, how many would agree that a bit more money for that one "thing" in your life would provide some fun or even relief and as a result bring some happiness, even if it's just temporary?  

I think the answer to this debate lies somewhere in the middle.  

Money can certainly provide some temporary happiness whether through enjoyable experiences (hot Starbucks on a cold day, a family vacation to Cabo) or even through relieving burdens (a new car to replace a broken down one, enough funds for college instead of needing a loan).  But when we look at the long term, money alone cannot buy happiness.  If it could then how are people in 3rd world countries and living in shacks often found to be some of the most content and happy?  

At the end of our life, we will care most about the state of our relationships with our family and friends than we will about all of the "things" we have accumulated or experienced. Ultimately, money can provide a shot of temporary happiness to an already content life and it can enhance the relationships we have with others through fun experiences and purchase, but it cannot stand alone on its own merit.