Does having or making more money mean that you’ll be happier? This seems like an easy one to answer. Most people would probably say “No, of course not”.
Try not having any money and you may change your tune.
I haven’t done any detailed research or conducted any focus groups, but based on personal experience, money hasn’t bought me happiness. It does give you options, and having options can improve your happiness.
Imagine you’re in a job you despise, having money gives you the option to find something else or start a side business.
Your car breaks down. Having money turns an emergency into an inconvenience.
“Mo Money, Mo Problems”
On the flip side, everyone has probably heard “Mo Money, Mo Problems“. I think these problems are usually self-inflicted. It happens when we start to grow our expenditures faster than our income grows.
I recently started thinking about this. Over the past 5 years, our household income has more than doubled. I don’t say that to brag, but more to express that during this entire time I thought to myself “a bit more will make life easier.” Surprise! It hasn’t worked out that way.
Are we able to make faster progress on our goals? Yes.
Have we went on any fancy vacations as a result? No.
Have we made any major purchases that changed our life? No.
Do we have the same things break around the house that need to be fixed as we did before? Yes.
Our life has not fundamentally changed, because we didn’t let it change. We have more peace (which can contribute to happiness) than we did before. We can also give more freely when we see a need arise. This is because we have options.
If you’re interested, I write a blog about saving money (Planning To Save). It might give a peak into how my crazy mind works.