I want money lots and lots of money
I want the pie in the sky
I want money lots and lots of money
So don’t be asking me why
I wanna be rich oh
Most people think that if they had more money, their happiness would increase accordingly. Unfortunately, much like “Waiting for the future”, the illusion that more money will solve all your problems and make you happy is nothing more than just that, an illusion.
So many of us work long, hard hours to provide for our families and children-often long hours away from home, maybe taking on extra jobs at times or hoping to get a raise in an effort to make our lives richer financially – working harder at the expense of sleeping and taking good care of ourselves in order to have extra money. It seems so many of us just aren’t content with what we have now. But is there a point at which striving to earn or acquire extra money can be counterproductive? Or, in other words, when having extra money just doesn’t make us “happy” anymore?
In an article last year in Forbes Magazine, writer Robert Glatter, MD. talked about “How Much Money Do You Really Need To Be Happy?
But the irony is that earning additional income will actually not lead to extra happiness, once you have already attained a “comfortable standard” where you have what you need to function and be content. The “comfortable standard” can be quite variable based on the city, state or country you live in. Here in the US, according to Dunn and Norton, the standard falls around $75,000. Researchers at Princeton examined Gallup poll data from nearly 500,000 US households and found that higher family incomes were related to better moods on a day to day basis. However, the positive effects of money had no effect on people’s happiness and moods after a level of $ 75,000.00 was attained.
There is no question that money plays an important role in our lives. The fact is we spend a big portion of our waking hours working. But make no mistake: what people actually want is not the money itself; it’s the happiness that money can bring. Do the things that make you happy have a price tag tied to them?
There is a common misconception here: many people assume that the more money they make, the happier they will become. To an extent, that’s true. When you have no house to live in and no warm food on the table, making more money does increase your happiness. But beyond a certain point, studies find that additional income brings no increase in happiness.
If happiness is what you’re after, consider how you make your money rather than how much money you make.
There is nothing wrong with making more money. But to put a focus more on how you make money rather than on how much. What’s the use of making a lot of money if your work makes you stressful and unhappy? Isn’t it better to earn a decent income in a way that makes you happy?
Really this is the same as simplicity, but I wanted to show it from a financial angle. The reason we get into financial trouble, oftentimes, is that we buy more than we can afford. And the root of that buying is buying things we want instead of only things we need, and the root of that is not being content with what we already have.
From Zenhabits and The Incredible Power of Contentment:
Finding contentment with the stuff you have and with a simpler life can lead to buying less, to buying things we need instead of want, and to only spending what we can afford. I know this first-hand, as uncontrolled spending led to debt for me, and contentedness led to me getting out of debt.
Although it’s a fun song to sing (and walk) to…having this “life philosophy” isn’t going to make you happy in the long run.