Firstly, the belief that “Money can buy happiness” is a financial fallacy because while it’s true that money can buy comfort and security, it does not guarantee happiness. Happiness is a mental or emotional state, largely influenced by one’s perspective, relationships, and experiences, among other things. Money can certainly contribute to happiness by providing for basic needs and comfort but it becomes less influential once a certain level of wealth is attained.
We live in a society where media highlight the glitz and glam of wealth, linking it directly to happiness. It’s also rooted in our survival instincts, whereby wealth often equals security and freedom. But happiness is a multifaceted concept, reliant on emotional well-being, qualitative relationships, a sense of purpose in life, and personal growth, none of which can genuinely be bought.
An effective financial strategy involves budgeting, saving, investing, and making informed decisions about spending and wealth management. It’s about balancing present needs with future goals, understanding the value of money and using it as a tool to build a secure and comfortable life while also leaving room for personal enjoyment.
“Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending” by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton. Book Link. This book reveals how money can buy happiness, but only if used in certain ways.
Report: “World Happiness Report”. Report Link This annual report by the UN presents data on global happiness and discusses various factors influencing it, including income.
“Your Money or Your Life” by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. Book Link. This is a comprehensive work on personal finance, challenging the notion that greater wealth equals greater happiness.
“Happiness economics”. Wiki Link This page thoroughly covers various studies and perspectives on the association between money and happiness.
“The High Price of Materialism” by Tim Kasser. Book Link He explores how our current obsession with material wealth and consumerism undermines our well-being and personal relationships.