How Money Can Buy Happiness

Ultimately, the true value of wealth you create lies not in its accumulation but in its ability to enrich your life in meaningful ways.

Can money buy happiness?

It can.

There is a big misconception about the relationship between money and happiness.

In my first book, You Only Live Once, I briefly discussed the concept that money can buy happiness. This section lasted one and a half pages but sparked a heated discussion.

To clarify, I’ve been going around the country explaining how money can enable happiness. Money, surely, isn’t everything, but it can help you afford the things you need that can put a smile on your face.

I want to first explain that money is a tool and happiness is an emotional state of being.

Money results from work, investments, or creation. Happiness is an emotional state experienced at any given moment for any reason. But you can actually choose to be happy.

I further expanded on the relationship between money and happiness in my second book, Happy Money Happy Life. In it, I shared how you can buy happiness by spending on wellness.

Let’s go a bit deeper.

Money isn’t happiness

Some believe money is the ultimate indicator of success. Thus, achieving financial success will always result in more happiness. That is not the case.

Most people experience just a short moment of joy at achieving something. What enables happiness is the feeling of fulfillment by having gone through the journey.

Money can buy happiness, but money isn’t happiness.

Happiness isn’t a destination. You’re not going to be happy because you have money, but you may become happy because money has enabled you to do or acquire certain things.

Money can buy happiness

The old saying that “money can’t buy happiness” has often been repeated. Although there is some truth to this, it’s not quite correct.

If money can’t buy happiness, why do we spend so much time making it?

Money isn’t happiness, but money can buy happiness. You need money to buy food, a roof over your head, and clothes to wear. Those things do enable happiness in your life. You’re not starving, you have protection from the elements, and you have a place to lay your head.

Believing money can’t buy happiness impacts your relationship with money.

Our relationship with money influences our spending behaviors and informs our financial habits.

Happy Money and Happy Life

Happy money is about managing your finances in accordance with your values–what matters most to you.

When you manage your money well, you’re in the zone of what I call happy money. In this zone, you have a healthy relationship with money, understand personal finance concepts, and are equipped to ask for professional financial advice.

The Happy Money Zone is a stage where you’re saving purposefully, spending mindfully, investing intentionally, and using financial tools to achieve your goals.

The next stage is what I call Happy Life. When your money is aligned with your values and you are working to support your dreams, you’re in the Happy Life Zone. You are living in the present moment and moving towards a brighter future that gives you joy in everyday life.

Money is meant to be used, and when used effectively, it can foster an environment where one can thrive in life.

Happy Money and a Happy Life is about finding the intersection of money and living so that you can enjoy your life today while working to create a better future.

Essentially, you’re not postponing your happiness for some time that’ll never come.

Can Money Buy Happiness?

“It’s a question central to daily life: Do you spend money to save time or spend time to save money? Well, if happiness is the goal, you might consider opening that wallet.” – New York Times

In my second book, Happy Money Happy Life, I explore how money can buy happiness by spending on wellness.

The 8 wellness dimensions encompass various aspects of our overall well-being, including physical, emotional, social, intellectual, occupational, environmental, spiritual, and financial wellness. Each dimension contributes to a balanced and fulfilling life.

When you spend on these wellness dimensions, you can buy some happiness.

True happiness lies beyond the realm of materialism.

It’s an undeniable truth that material possessions provide fleeting moments of joy. The thrill of a new gadget or the luxury of a lavish vacation can elicit happiness. However, these experiences are often short-lived, leaving us yearning for more in a cycle of diminishing returns.

Yet, money possesses the remarkable ability to unlock doors to wellness, supporting holistic well-being across various dimensions of life.

The concept of wellness extends far beyond physical health, encompassing emotional, social, intellectual, occupational, environmental, spiritual, and financial aspects of our existence.

By investing in these dimensions, you can cultivate enduring sources of happiness.

Consider, for instance, physical wellness.

A gym membership, nutritious food, and access to quality healthcare are all within reach for those with financial means.

Regular exercise boosts physical health and releases endorphins, the body’s natural mood enhancers.

Social connections are fundamental to happiness.

Investing in experiences that nurture relationships—whether hosting gatherings with loved ones or traveling to reconnect with friends—can foster a sense of belonging and deepen emotional bonds.

Occupational wellness plays a role in happiness, too.

While money may not directly buy job satisfaction, it can afford career development and personal growth opportunities. Pursuing meaningful work aligned with one’s values and interests can instill a sense of purpose and fulfillment that transcends financial gain.

Financial stability itself is a crucial component of well-being.

While wealth does not equate to happiness, freedom from financial stress allows you to focus on what truly matters. Effective money management, including budgeting and saving for the future, can provide peace of mind and lay the groundwork for fulfillment.

While money may not be synonymous with happiness, it is a powerful tool for investing in wellness.

By directing financial resources toward activities and experiences that nourish the mind, body, and spirit, you can buy some happiness.

Ultimately, the true value of wealth you create lies not in its accumulation but in its ability to enrich your life in meaningful ways.

Want to learn more about the connection between money and happiness? Read my book, Happy Money Happy Life.

Jason Vitug

Jason Vitug is a bestselling author, entrepreneur, and founder of phroogal.com and thesmilelifestyle.com. His purpose to help others live their best lives through experiential and purposeful living. Jason is also a certified yoga teacher and breathwork specialist and has traveled to over 40 countries.

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