Can money buy happiness?

Okay, so being a positive psychology student (someone who studies happiness and well being) this is the question I am really curious about.

When I was small, I used to think that “Hell yes! Money does buy happiness. I can buy teddy, candy and go to adventure parks with money and it makes me sooo happy!”

As I grew up, I learnt to examine the issue from different dimensions.

Turns out that the happiness I found in candies and teddies didn’t last that long. After some time I got used to it and it didn’t excite me as it did before.

And it was not like those things always made me happy.

When I was sad and feeling lonely, no matter how much money was spent on buying me teddies and candies, I didn’t feel happy.

All I needed was a warm embrace from my mom and endless talks with her.

So, did money bring happiness?

Yes, when it was spent on adventure parks and family dinners.

Even now I long for those happy times I had with my family. These memories, they are still fresh and those pictures still make me smile.

Money does bring happiness when spent on having experiences with loved ones.

But there is another perspective to it.

For the people who are poor, money does bring a lot of happiness.

But once your needs are fulfilled, money starts loosing it’s value.

When you are hungry and have your favorite cookie, your satisfaction level is 100.

When you have another cookie that satisfaction level drops to 98

When you have yet another cookie the satisfaction level drops to 92

And so on…

There is this concept of ‘hedonic treadmill’ in psychology.

The hedonic treadmill theory states that our circumstances, including extremes like winning the lottery or becoming a paraplegic, alter our happiness level temporarily, and we quickly adjust back to a fixed emotional set point.

It basically means we get used to the new things that we have in our life – the good ones as well as the bad ones.

Therefore, the “happiness” money buyes is not long lasting.

There is actually a threshold of the happiness money can buy. Up to a certain point, it can, but once it exceeds the threshold, it cannot “buy” happiness.

Experts say that happiness does increase with wealth. But the correlation peaks at earning 75000$ per year.

Money is important. No doubt. But it’s not a necessity to be happy.

Here are two simple ways you can use to slow down the hedonic treadmill –

1. Be mindful of what you have. Bring your attention to the present. Feel those moments when you enjoy what you have and don’t take that for granted.

2. Try for a while to imagine your life without the stuff you have now, the people in your life now.

How do you feel?

Lonely, sad…?

Feel grateful for their presence. For the joy they bring to you.

Think about the good stuff your friends and family members have done for you and still do.

And… don’t forget to thank them♥️

I think… More than money, gratitude brings joy. What do you think?

Lemme know in the comments!

Hope you all are having a great day!😊

44 thoughts on “Can money buy happiness?

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  1. Money does not bring happiness-no way! If one thinks by buying things…u can make oneself or another happy, they could not be more wrong.
    Instead buy a camera and create memories…
    Yes, money is essential but it only plays one part of our lives…to fulfill our daily needs. The rest is all love, affection, trust, praise and confidence….and sadly all this cannot be purchased with money.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I totally agree. “Money can buy happiness but it is not the only thing which can”. Many other things like being satisfied with life too brings us happiness. 💙💙

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I loved it. I felt so nice that you didn’t completely deny the fact that money can buy happiness. Good one Vruu 😁 As you might have observed until now, I am a mix of both optimism and pessimism so I strongly feel that we will always have more than 50% of chance to make into debate. Not this time though. Good day 👍

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 😂😂 yeah!
      I am also a practical person Pratik.. it’s just that sometimes the experiences I had give me a different mindset and you have different one. But that’s okay as we respect each other’s perspective.
      And thank God we agreed on the same thing this time!😄
      Thank you sooo much! Love hearing from you❤️
      Have a fantastic day ahead ❣️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. another beautifully and very thoughtfully written post, Vrunda. Very glad to know you are a positive psychology student. all your posts clearly indicates.it…so full of vibrance…as for my thoughts/comments almost my entire blog deals with this aspect and my tagline…Spirituality is the only way to solace..says it all…

    i am giving just few examples where i directly talk about money.

    1. Conversation 027 – Money, Lifestyle and Ultimate Purpose – https://rajinikanthv.wordpress.com/2019/04/08/conversation-027-money-lifestyle-and-ultimate-purpose/

    2. Money? – https://rajinikanthv.wordpress.com/2018/09/29/money/

    and this one…

    People on the Street – https://rajinikanthv.wordpress.com/2018/10/13/people-on-the-street/

    and

    Lemon-Water – https://rajinikanthv.wordpress.com/2018/10/10/lemon-water/

    Please check them in your available time and let me know what you think about it.

    Thanks for continuing to write excellent inspiring stuff.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you for sharing this Vrunda. I think also the research is biased – on how much money we need! 🙂 Maybe it is done in richer countries. I have met so many “poor” people in little villages, small towns and even in our big city in India who are so deprived materially speaking, but are so much more vibrant and content than middleclass and wealthy people. It amazes me and makes me realize a lot of things that i think i need – i don’t really need. I too can be happy with much less – as you said so rightly — fewer objects, more love! 🙂 Thank you for sharing these gems with us.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. For a short blog post, you went into some depth on this issue. That in itself is interesting. It’s always refreshing to discover someone who is not superficial, if I may be permitted to say so.
    Just out of curiosity, about what percentage of happiness do you think comes from the quality of our relationships with close friends and family? Please do not feel obligated to answer that if you don’t want to. I’m just curious about your opinion.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There was a study done in Harvard about this. Longest study about predicting the factor that brings happiness. And they found that single most important factor that predicted happiness long term in people is good satisfying relationships with others..
      It is said that 50% of our happiness range is genetically determined.. that is, set happiness range, we fall back into that range after major happiness events. 10% happiness is determined by life circumstances and 40% is in our control, it’s determined by our actions.
      But if you look closely, in my opinion good relationship with yourself and others brings happiness and joy like nothing else.

      Thank you for reading Paul! I appreciate your time and support ❤🙏

      Like

  7. What a lovely post! Im big on gratitude work, try do some evety night! Im gonna do some work around hlw i would feel without the things i have now! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

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