Only The Poor or Super Rich Say “Money Can’t Buy Happiness”

Money can’t buy happiness? That’s just wishful thinking. ~ Ruth Whippman

Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness, But…

It’s a saying that comes up time and time again. So many people will continue to tell you that money doesn’t buy happiness. They’ll tell you stories of all the people who won the lottery, only to be miserable a few short years later. They’ll tell you tales of humble folks who couldn’t be more satisfied with their lives.

Neither Doesn’t Being Poor

So, money can’t buy happiness, right? Well, that’s only part of the picture. Another way to think about it is that poverty isn’t going to bring you happiness either. In fact, poverty is much more likely to make you pretty darn miserable.

A number of studies have indicated that there is a certain level of diminishing returns when it comes to wealth and income. After you make enough to take care of your family’s basic needs — housing, food, clothing, etc. — more money won’t necessarily make you any happier. You might be able to buy nice things, but that 3BHK house isn’t going to make you much happier than a 5BHK house.

That’s one way that most people incorrectly approached this “problem” of being wealthy. They think that they can just buy nice things, throw extravagant parties and be happy. It doesn’t work that way. Money is a means, not an end.

It Can Buy Freedom

And that’s really what it comes down to. Money, in and of itself, probably can’t buy you happiness. But if you use it correctly, it can be an invaluable tool that can provide greater flexibility, incredible freedom, and a much improved sense of self-worth.

Money isn’t evil. Money doesn’t equal happiness. Money is neutral and it’s what you make of it that counts.

Closing Remark

When people start telling you money can’t buy happiness, take a good hard look at their finances. They are likely telling you this because they don’t have much money themselves. They haven’t tasted the freedom money buys. If they are super rich, then you know they are just trying to blend in and not look selfish.

Money can buy happiness because money buys peace of mind and opportunities for great experiences. Don’t be fooled by ego-consoling research and those who espouse! They are just trying to keep you from achieving your financial goals so they can feel better about themselves.

 

Wise and Witty Quotes About Money and Happiness

Looking back at the quotes about money that have survived through the generations, it’s apparent that thoughts about money and happiness have not changed all that much over the ages.

Money Can’t Buy Happiness

Several historical characters extol on the virtues of living simply and of the importance of faith, friendship, creativity and achievement over the pursuit of greater wealth.

  • “Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.” And, “By desiring little, a poor man makes himself rich.” — Democritus, pre-Socratic philosopher (circa 460 B.C. to circa 370 B.C.)
  • “Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has, the more one wants.” — Benjamin Franklin, author, polymath and printer (1706-1790)
  • “It is my opinion that a man’s soul may be buried and perish under a dung-heap, or in a furrow field, just as well as under a pile of money.” — Nathaniel Hawthorne, American novelist (1804-1864)
  • “He who loses money, loses much; he who loses a friend, loses much more; he who loses faith, loses all.” — Eleanor Roosevelt, author and first lady (1884-1962)
  • “Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” — President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945)

A Philosophical Disagreement

  • “It’s a kind of spiritual snobbery that makes people think they can be happy without money.” — Albert Camus, philosopher (1913-1960)

It Might Not Buy Happiness, but It Sure Is Nice to Have

  • “I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.” — Mark Twain, American author and humorist (1835-1910)
  • “I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money.” — Pablo Picasso, artist (1881-1973)
  • “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.” — Woody Allen, director, actor and comedian (1935- )

Money Equals Happiness

  • “When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old, I know that it is.” And: “Anyone who lives within their means suffers from imagination.” — Oscar Wilde, Irish poet and writer (1854-1900)

My Favorite Quotes

  • “Wealth is the ability to truly experience life.” — Henry David Thoreau, author, poet and philosopher (1817-1862)
  • “There are people who have money, and there are people who are rich.” — Coco Chanel, fashion designer and businesswoman (1883-1971)

I want to be one of the “rich” ones. What do you believe about money and happiness?