Can Money Buy Happiness?

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Clara Cavallini, Writer

Some people find happiness where they can buy things and I think in that sense money can buy happiness,” said Emily Bethmann, a Sophomore at Pentucket Regional Middle High School. “It all depends on the person,” she adds. Many people believe that money is the root of all evil, and others see it as a way to survive. The equilibrium between money and happiness is a fine line that people have varying opinions on. 


Money Can Buy Happiness


Numerous people say money can buy happiness. They say having money decreases stress, as “someone who lives in poverty will not be as happy as a wealthy person,” says Helen Burke, a Junior at Pentucket.

In a study done by Matthew Killingsworth, a researcher in this field, he found the more money people make, the fewer negative feelings they will have.

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Killingsworth also said someone who makes more than $80,000 a year will have better well-being and greater life satisfaction.

People say money can buy happiness, but in unexpected ways. Money can buy happiness in the way it can buy experience. 

Today’s world requires money, without it, it can become difficult to survive. Money can provide people with opportunities that will then make them happy.

An anonymous student says, “I think in an ideal world money wouldn’t be an issue, but I believe that we need a base rate to survive and meet our needs, allowing us to be happy in our everyday lives; especially without the stress of constant bills.”

Everything in life needs money such as taxes, food, and entertainment, someone needs more than a small salary to achieve happiness. The world is money driven, and as many people say, money can make people happy. 


Money Can’t Buy Happiness


There are several reasons why money cannot buy happiness.

People can gain happiness from religion or memories made with friends and family. Happiness comes from experiences, not material goods.

Emily Bethmann says, “It is required to have money to live …. However, once you have enough money to survive, happiness doesn’t require having more.”

Money is necessary for basic human needs, but after creating a stable life, happiness is found in many things other than money.

Ms. Costello, the librarian at Pentucket, says, “I think if once people aren’t worried about money [….] they then have time and a little expendable income to do things that add happiness to their life: gardening, enjoying family life, or reading, crafting, etc.”

Having a stable income is important, but once people aren’t as concerned about their salary, they will find time for new hobbies. People can find amusement in other activities than surviving.

Money can buy people objects, but the activities someone does actually bring people joy.

Ms. Costello says that “once a person’s salary reaches 75,000 for a year, they are comfortable enough [….] that more money is nice but doesn’t make one happier.”

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Sarah Grevis, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said, “Buying things does make us happy, at least in the short term. [….] Eventually, the item becomes the new normal and fades into the background.”

The significance of money fades, unlike the experiences and memories someone can make. After someone buys new shoes, they wear those every day until they find new shoes that are better than the shoes they already own. 

Money is necessary for survival but doesn’t provide people with happiness. Having a constant salary lowers stress, but the memories made from the money are what brings happiness.


Final Answer


So, can money truly buy happiness? Technically, yes, money buys experiences that bring happiness, however, the memories made can never be bought.

People will always have different answers to this question. It all depends on the person and how they will balance their money and happiness.