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They Say Money Can’t Buy Happiness, It Can Buy Something More Important Though

They Say Money Can’t Buy Happiness, It Can Buy Something More Important Though

Money is construed differently by different people to mean different things. Some see it as a piece of paper. To some, it is synonymous to wealth. But, regardless of the perspective, we have all come to agree that money is a resource that we can use to buy goods and services.

Can Money Buy Happiness?

They say money can’t buy happiness, and to a certain degree that’s true, but poverty doesn’t bring happiness either, does it? Does money bring happiness? Typically, people who say money doesn’t buy happiness are usually the ones who never had money. Hence, why they use the “money can’t buy happiness” motto to rationalize their inability to get out of their financial struggle.

This contradictory line is fast becoming a cliché that plagues our society today. While people seek solace in this line, some even infer that money is the root of all evil. This begs the question: what is poverty? The root of all goodness?

Tell that to a homeless beggar who struggles to have a meal a day or a promising chap who has just dropped out of school all because his parents couldn’t afford to further his education due to a lack of funds, thus, having his hope of a bright future dashed. After all, how many marriages and families have been destroyed due lack of money? How many lives have been lost as a result of abject penury? The answers are countless.

And talking about happiness, it is a myth that we’ve believed in. We are so attached to the idea that happiness is achieved when everything in our life seems perfect, so we actively pursue it every day.

The shocking truth is, the term “happiness” is relative, which makes it hard to define and achieve. What might be a source of happiness for Tom might not be the same for Jim.

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In other words, the nature of human needs presents the argument that money can buy happiness as quite a paradoxical one.

If Money Can’t Buy Happiness, It Can Buy Everything Else.

money can't buy happiness

    Food, shelter, health care, clothing, education, and to a certain degree, even relationships. If money can get you all of these things at your disposal, what more could you wish for?

    In their interesting research paper titled, “If Money Doesn’t Make You Happy, Then You Probably Aren’t Spending Right”, Elizabeth Dunn, Daniel Gilbert, and Timothy Wilson pointed out eight rules to help “buyers” achieve more happiness for their money. Find the summary of the rules below:

    Buy more experiences and fewer material goods

    Happiness derived from experiences is long-lived and tends to last a lifetime with us, unlike material things that we get used to or bored of quickly and want to replace.

    Use your money to benefit others rather than yourself

    As humans, our associations with our fellow beings is a contributing factor of our happiness. There is always this happy feeling and contentment that one gets after spending money on others. To help others, you can give back to charity, sponsor scholarship programs, or donate to NGOs.

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    Booker T. Washington said, “Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”

    Buy small pleasures rather than fewer large ones

    The degree that happiness is derived is not necessarily a function of the amount spent on big things. A suit might cost 10 times more than a shirt and a pair of pants, but that doesn’t mean the pleasure or utility derived from such a splurge will be 10 times more.

    So why spend so much on a big vacation once a year, when you can spend less on picnics every quarter of the year and get more experiences in the process?

    Eschew extended warranties and other forms of overpriced insurance

    Buying extended warranties and expensive insurance is a result of the fear of the unknown.

    In fact, people who buy too much insurance tend to be unhappier than those who don’t. Buy less, worry less!

    Delay consumption

    Anticipation of the consumption of a good or service alone can be a source of pleasure. As a matter of fact, this pleasure often overshadows the pleasure derived from the actual consumption.

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    Consider how peripheral features of your purchases may affect your day-to-day

    At times, it is better for consumers to be more realistic in their anticipation for a purchase. Looking beyond the fanciful features often helps prevent any unnecessary unhappiness that may arise in future.

    Beware of comparison shopping

    Comparison shopping can bring about a misconception in the actual intent of shopping. This is because consumers may get distracted from the qualities of the product that will bring them pleasure and settle for the wrong product. Technically, they end up buying unhappiness with their money.

    Pay close attention to the happiness of others

    Sometimes, the true definition of our happiness may lie in the hands of other people. As stated by the authors, “Research suggests that the best way to predict how much we will enjoy an experience is to see how much someone else enjoyed it.”

    Money can at least buy us freedom, which is just as important as happiness.

    money can't buy happiness

      One of the most significant roles that money can play in one’s life is that it makes you less indebted to those who possess it – it brings about independence.

      This must be what William Faulkner saw when he decided to resign from the Oxford, Mississippi. With enough cash in hand, you can do what you want, get what you want, and go where you want. Yes, it sounds good, but there is a downside as well.

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      As much as money can bring liberation, people can still easily be enslaved to it. When people are slaves to their money, they tend to panic about losing their money. They start to worry about futuristic uncertainties (thus, creating problems where there are none). In fact, their relationships with their family and friends begin to go weary.

      This has led us to another pertinent question: Who is better between a well-fed slave and a hungry free man?

      Albert Camus gave his answer when he said, “It’s better to be a free pauper than a rich slave.” He went further to say, “People want to be rich and free and because of, that they become poor slaves.”

      The point is, freedom is not just free. It unavoidably has a price attached to it, but that doesn’t mean you’ll need a million dollars to acquire it. Having money doesn’t necessarily make you happy, but it increases the odds dramatically if you know how to use your money.

      With money comes freedom, and with freedom comes happiness.

      Before using the all too common line that money can’t buy happiness, you might want to give it a second thought.

      Featured photo credit: Getty Images via time.com

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      Damian "Pros" Prosalendis

      Entrepreneur, Business Owner

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      Last Updated on August 20, 2018

      35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

      35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

      Every mature relationship has had a less-than-memorable anniversary. Maybe one of you forgot, or both of you got busy with work, kids, family issues, or something else. Whatever happened, the day came and went without fanfare. And neither of you seemed to notice or much care.

      But for the health of any relationship, it’s important to make important days feel special. Anniversaries offer the wonderful opportunity to relive beautiful memories, practice gratefulness for your partner, and to show your love and strengthen your bond. Make this year’s anniversary with your significant other something special  — one that will bring you closer together.

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      The best way to create a memorable anniversary is to do something new and different together as a couple. Stretch yourselves a bit.

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      While boredom can silently kill a relationship, new experiences reinforce the shared bond you already have and create strong new memories. Just think back to the most significant memories you have right now with your spouse and imagine what new ones you can create!

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      While you enjoy your chosen anniversary activity, be sure to keep a positive attitude and make your partner happy too on that day. Leave all arguments and day to day detail behind. Just celebrate your relationship. Whether you’re going to spend the day together at home, getting away, or having a wild and crazy new experience together, you can have your best anniversary yet!

      If You’re Staying In

      1. Spend an evening with no technology, just the two of you and maybe a board game. It’s hard to keep ourselves away from our computers and smartphones long enough to have a meaningful conversation. Make a rule not to use your tech and you’ll rekindle your relationship!
      2. Make wine or beer together. If you enjoy drinking together, this is a fun activity to try together. Just remember to buy the necessary equipment ahead of time.
      3. Learn something new about each other. With an open mind, try asking some of the New York Times’ 36 questions that lead to love. They’ll help spark intimacy and will lead to some really honest moments.
      4. Have a lazy day. Breakfasts in bed, spend all day in bed talking and napping. Follow breakfast with champagne and dessert! If you feel like getting more active, cook together or play some games. Here’re some simple breakfast ideas for you.
        • Learn to dance at home. This is best for those active couples who work out together and also enjoy learning something new together. Just go on Youtube to find any music with dance tutorials and learn together.
        • Visit model homes or open houses and plan your dream home.
        • Have a special dessert – champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. Having an unusual treat makes a day feel extra special. If you want to make the dessert really special, try these tasty dessert recipes.
        • Create a playlist of your favorite songs as a couple. Choose songs that tell your story, and songs that you bonded over throughout your relationships. Here’re some love songs ideas for your inspirations.
          • Write your love story. Write it together or ave each of you write your own and then bring them together in an interesting, both sides of the story format.
          • Get a fondue pot. Fondue is a fun way to enjoy melted cheeses (for savory items) and melted chocolate (for sweeter treats).
          • Decorate! Turn your home into a dressed-up french cottage, a sophisticated restaurant, or simply with flowers. The different ambience will immediately change the feel of your home and make it feel like a staycation.
            • Talk about the future together. It might sound simple and everyday, but imagining how you want to spend your retirement together, or planning future trips can be exciting and romantic.

            If You Want to Get Away

            1. Take a day trip together to your favorite spot. If you live in a city, it can be incredibly refreshing to get away for an afternoon and drink in the outdoors.
            2. Go on a scenic drive and stop at a wine and cheese bar. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have lots of options where you live, try a brewpub. There are tons of small craft breweries with fantastic food options too.
            3. Go camping. Relatively affordable and, if the weather’s right, beautiful and romantic.
              • Take an overnight backpacking trip. For the more adventurous couples, backpacking is an even more intense way to challenge yourself physically while becoming one with nature.
              • Take a wine tasting tour. If you live on the West Coast or in the Northeast, take a drive to the nearest winery. Many offer relatively inexpensive tastings and deals if you purchase a certain amount.
              • Take a scenic train trip. Taking the train means less stress traveling: nobody has to drive, you don’t have to stop for breaks every few hours, and you can sleep if you need to!
              • Save up for a destination vacation. What better time than your anniversary to enjoy the beach at a beautiful resort?
              • Explore a new city. Whether you’re on a budget or have a lot saved up, you can have a great time just exploring an unfamiliar town.
              • Rent a cabin for a weekend away, in the woods or next to a lake or ocean. If you like the outdoors but can only take so much nature, try glamping.
                • Go on a retreat. Yoga retreats, meditation retreats, beautiful natural surroundings … they’re all the rage. Search for centeredness and calm with your partner.
                • Spend a day at a food festival. Many cities have fun and affordable food festivals, occasionally based on a theme. Check out your town’s (or a nearby city) calendar for inspiration!

                New & Exciting Experiences

                1. Go spelunking. Dark, damp, and utterly exciting!
                2. Go on a hot air balloon ride. Because the basket is relatively small, this can be a romantic and deeply personal – and yet thrilling –
                  experience.
                  • Try sky diving. If you and you S.O. are real thrill-seekers, sky diving can really push you to the edge!
                  • Explore the underwater world by snorkeling or scuba diving. This may take you far away from where you normally live and work, which is an added bonus.
                  • Experience white water rafting.
                  • Drive or hike to the highest spot nearby for a new view of the world. America has tons of beautiful mountains where challenging hikes (or drives) can deliver breathtaking views.
                  • Take a craft or cooking class. Up your craft skills or food  making skills, and enjoy something new!
                    • Take a wine and painting class today. These classes are easily found these days and even a beginning painter can create a nice painting. Challenging but relaxing, fun, and you get to go home with some artwork!
                    • Learn to salsa dance. Dancing is a fantastic way to actively get closer and coordinate physically with one another.
                      • Visit a nearby festival you’ve always wanted to go to. Have fun and let go with fellow audience-members!
                      • Spend the day at an amusement park together. Laugh and carry on like teenagers.
                      • Meet new people! At a restaurant, concert, or class, make it a point to meet new friends. Striking up conversation with someone you don’t know – but with whom you have shared interests – can be an adventurous and rewarding experience.

                      Whether your budget is big or small, and whether you have a little or a ton of time together, focus on each other. There are tons of options, in terms of location, level of physical activity, and cost. You can make the day special in a way that’s right for you!

                      Featured photo credit: Photo by Taylor L. Spurgeon on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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