Do You Need Money to Be Happy?

As the saying goes, “Money can’t buy you happiness.” Or can it? Having a sufficient amount of money can certainly lower stress, but having an excess of it will not make you more happy than anyone else. So can money buy you happiness or not? Here are a few thoughts to ponder on the subject.

Money Can Buy You a Limited Amount of Happiness

Studies have shown that yes, having enough money to meet your needs and those of your family does bring happiness. People living in poverty are generally less happy than those whose needs are met. Being able to pay for your bills and having enough to get by financially will help you succeed in feeling happy.

Excess Money Doesn’t Equal Excess Happiness

Having more money than you need, however, will not bring you extra happiness. Money and happiness are not proportional. Someone with enough money to buy a large house and several cars will not necessarily have more happiness than another individual with exactly what they need.

Money Brings Stresses of Its Own

There is stress that goes along with having money. Whether you have a little or a lot, you likely know about this stress. There is the stress of knowing you need to spend what you have wisely, as well as the fact that people with ulterior motives are drawn to those who are financially wealthy.

Not About What Comes in But What Goes Out

It is not so much the amount of money that you make that ensures your happiness, but about what you are spending it on and where it is going on the way out. There are some principles for using money that can help you to feel more satisfied. Where you put your money and who receives it can make a difference as to whether you gained something by having had it.

Spend on Experiences, Not Things

Buying more things is not proven to make a person happy. Although investing in items that will last seems like a wise move, studies show that we tend to adjust to what we obtain. Having these things doesn’t continue bringing unlimited happiness. We are more likely to have long-term happiness when money is spent on experiences which will give us lasting memories. Whether this means going on vacation by yourself or with your family, or making time to do something fun every now and then be sure to create experiences rather than purchasing something that will simply fade away over time.

Give It Away

Giving is one of the most satisfying things you can do with your money. Whether it is to charity or a friend in need, find a way to give back and share what you have. This is a way to spend that will bring long-term personal rewards.

Sometimes we make dramatic plans that are expected to bring happiness into our lives, whether it be a vacation, graduation or wedding. But if we don't have a lot of money in our lives, the simple pleasures in life are what we can count on to give us continuous joy. When we appreciate and enjoy the simple things, the gratitude we feel will extend to other areas as well. Here are some of the simple pleasures that are worth making an effort to experience often.

Freshly Cut Grass

Freshly cut grass is enjoyable in every way. The smell and feel of it under your bare feet are fresh, and invigorate the senses. Try to experience this at least a few times each year, as the weather allows it.

Giving and Receiving Smiles

What a better way to experience a simple pleasure for free? Give smiles. Give them not only to your friends, but also to random strangers you pass on the street. You will be amazed at how good it feels to see first the surprise of others, and then their own smile in return.

The Endorphin Rush after Working Out

When you work out in a strenuous manner, you will get an endorphin rush as a reward. These natural, feel-good chemicals are sure to brighten your day. Work out in the morning in order to use this endorphin rush to help you be especially productive throughout the rest of your day.

Enjoying Your Favorite Food

Even if your favorite food is not especially healthy, allow yourself to have it every now and then. The feeling of your much-loved food will bring you a little boost of pleasure. Studies have shown that if you refrain from a particular food for a certain time, it will be even more enjoyable the next time you try it, so use this trick to make your favorite meal taste even better than usual.

Hot Cup of Tea

Some of us survive on our daily coffee but try drinking a cup of green or camomile tea. Making this a daily habit can bring much joy since the calming, subtle scent will calm you. As you sip on your beverage of choice, take some quiet time to enjoy every bit.

Making Snow Angels

This is not only for kids! Put on some warm clothes and simply fall into the snow. Feeling silly about this will not ruin the experience, just embrace the feeling of innocent fun that making snow angels can bring.

Laughing until It Hurts

Laughter is like medicine. Everyone should have an opportunity to laugh until it hurts at least once a day. Whether it is with a friend who could write comedy, or watching a good movie, take some time to laugh away your stress.

Getting a Massage

If you have never had a massage, give it a try. This hour of total relaxation will make your troubles feel as though they are melting away. Many individuals are even entitled to massages through employee benefits.

Walking in the Rain

Walking in the rain is one of life’s amazing simple pleasures. Dress warm, and go outside with or without an umbrella. Let the rain splash over your face as you stroll along, and be sure to jump in at least one puddle for old time’s sake.

The short answer is no; you do not need money to be happy. Money can be useful, however, it won't prevent stress that can diminish the happiness that you do have. And expensive fun is great, but can be hard to come by. Instead of waiting for your next vacation, indulge in one of these simple pleasures. By learning to appreciate the little things right next to you, you will find great fulfillment each and every day.