Can Money Buy Happiness?

Money is a universal tool that we spend to purchase items in order to fulfill our needs or wants. It is not rare that our money is spent to bring enjoyment to ourselves. However we are aware that no matter how much money we spend on something, the satisfaction of having the item is not permanent. So the question is, can money really buy us happiness?

First of all, happiness can mean different thing depends on each individual or the context that is used. According to Mahatma Gandhi “happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony”. From my point of view, happiness is a temporary positive emotional state or experience that we felt after accomplishing or obtaining something that is in favor to us.

Referring back to the question, can money buy us happiness? It surely can buy us a short-term happiness. According to the law of diminishing marginal utility, the state of being happy itself is temporary and it will decrease over time.  As we can see from the diminishing marginal utility chart below, there is a peak to where our happiness reaches its optimum point after consuming a certain amount of goods or services before it decline due to overconsumption.

A study believed that most rich people spend their money on things to make themselves happy.  However the problem is that the things they spent on would only make them happy momentarily, and they need to spend more to maintain their happiness. While on the other hand, since there is families that are not financially well they certainly could not do the same thing as the rich. In result they seek for other things that could make them happy such as spending time with their family or hobbies. They also do not need to think about things that the rich may be worried about such as losing money (in business terms), etcetera. Nonetheless, this event may not always be true.

The happiness level of a group of people cannot be perfectly determined; rich people and the financially weak people. We cannot really say that the rich are less happy than the poor or vice versa because everything basically depends on each individuals or household. However, researcher believed that there is a possibility that the poor may be slightly happier than the rich.

In this modern era, it is true that money can buy happiness. The problem is that the happiness the money bought is not permanent. People that have income below the average level would not be able to spend money to achieve happiness like what the rich may do. However, from my perspective, happiness is not only obtained by spending money because there are other factors that could make us happy such as family, friends and our surroundings.

Reference List:

http://www.thehappinessbusiness.com/

http://www.lifeoptimizer.org/2008/07/03/what-is-happiness-10-definitions-of-happiness/

http://2disbetterthan3d.wordpress.com/2008/02/10/law-of-diminishing-marginal-utility-and-its-application-to-our-daily-consumption/

http://www.jdroth.com/GRS/fulfillmentcurve.jpg

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-henry-sterry/poor-people-happier-than_b_164772.html


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