The Pursuit Of Happiness: Can Money Buy Happiness?

1762 Words 8 Pages
We have all heard the saying, “Money can’t buy happiness.” But if this is true, why do we devote our lives to the pursuit of wealth? Psychologists, philosophers, and countless others have proposed numerous theories for what factors actually lead to happiness, and whether or not material wealth generates happiness. For example, some believe happiness comes purely from one’s mindset, while others believe behaviors and actions bring about happiness, and some believe a significant portion of happiness is genetic. Nevertheless, experts and ordinary people alike continue to debate the question of how much material wealth contributes to happiness. Everyone wants to become happy, but not everyone views happiness the same way; we all have our own unique …show more content…
However, having lots of wealth is not at all necessary for happiness. In “Living with Less. A Lot Less,” entrepreneur and journalist Graham Hill tells the story of how he changed from excessively spending to minimal consumption (308). Hill’s tale illustrates that it is possible to attain happiness without enormous amounts of money. In addition, psychologists Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener present evidence in “Can Money Buy Happiness?” showing that after people reach an income level, increases in income provide minimal benefit toward happiness levels (163). The concept of diminishing marginal utility also illustrates how people do not benefit much from additional amounts of goods after they have a sufficient amount. Studies have shown that after people have attained financial stability, a large increase in wealth does not translate to a large increase in happiness. In this case, once someone has a sufficient amount of income, they do not need the additional income, and although they could definitely use it, the increase in happiness from luxuries becomes relatively …show more content…
Contrary to the popular belief that money can’t buy happiness, money does in fact contribute to happiness. First, researchers have found that wealthier nations reported overall higher life satisfaction than poorer nations. Psychologists Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener present evidence showing that “the correlation between income and happiness is .82,” revealing that the two are obviously linked (163). Also, money undeniably allows people to satisfy their basic needs, which is imperative to attaining happiness. Although we often take our security for granted, living with a lack of money would adversely affect our current lives. Psychologist Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs shows that for someone to achieve life satisfaction, they first need to have basic physiological needs (water, food, air), and then safety, which includes health, shelter, and financial security. Evidently, money becomes necessary for happiness, because we first need to feel safe and secure in our current living situation to be content. As a result, having money is crucial to becoming happy, because a lack of financial power means instability and vulnerability. But as stated earlier, extravagant wealth does not directly translate into

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