They say money cannot buy happiness. But everyone eventually comes to the realisation that in the world we live in, this is a lie. Who hasn’t felt the thrill of retail therapy – feeling joy from purchasing something they have always desired, from expensive clothes to delicious dessert? It is difficult to persuade a starving person that “money cannot buy happiness” when even a small donation could mean that person being happy from a full stomach.
Of course, this is a literal explanation of the saying. The lesson from the saying is more that money is not the only thing that can buy happiness. Some of the greatest joys a human being can experience – such as connection, love and humour – are virtually free.
That being so, having money gives you the luxury of being able to enjoy even the free things more, because there is one resource that money can buy and that is time. If you are spending less time having to earn a living, then you have more free time to enjoy hobbies and social activities that will bring you happiness. Ergo, money does not equal happiness, but it sure helps your happiness to have enough money.
As mentioned above, money can bring direct happiness as well from purchasing things. However, most of the “happiness” we receive from buying things is from dopamine, meaning it is short-lived and not sustainable.
A better use of your money is purchasing experiences. If you spend your money to go travelling or do an activity like skydiving, the happiness you feel will be linked to the memory and you will be able to reminisce about it in the future. And if you cannot afford an expensive adventure, you can still buy a cup of coffee and catch up with a friend.