Yes, Money Can Buy Happiness

By Mary Harrington (II), Contributing Writer

In a capitalistic society driven by wealth, money becomes a tool to make people happy. It can boost contentment by enabling people to obtain material goods, financial security and personal enjoyment. In fact, money is necessary in today’s world.

Money helps people feel secure by providing a basic means of survival. It can fulfill both fundamental necessities like food or water and material goods that supply dignity and comfort. In America and other capitalist societies, the availability of money can heavily impact lifestyle, and subsequently happiness.

In theory, money allows people to not feel unhappy, meaning that it leads to a certain level of contentment. It is the greatest enabler of choice in life, allowing for the pursuit of higher education, the chase of a dream career or job that may not make a lot of money, and so much more.

Education in the United States is incredibly expensive, and most people spend years paying off loans, which causes decades’ worth of stress. Not having the weight of this financial stress on one’s shoulders is a relief. People who enter college can choose a major that they enjoy, instead of having to worry about monetary return in the future.

Therapy, additionally, is an extremely helpful tool for many. It helps people heal, deal with trauma, control their emotions and provides many additional benefits. This service, however, is very expensive. People pay hundreds of dollars for therapy sessions in an effort to feel more content with their lives. Although money does not automatically bring happiness, it can help people not be unhappy.

Often, it is the little things in life that bring true enjoyment. For instance, having a vacation to look forward to brings people joy, and the holiday itself is often even more enjoyable. Being able to purchase gifts for friends and family, go on vacations and pursue hobbies are all genuine ways to relax and feel more content.

Some hobbies, however, can be expensive. Yes, there are hobbies that are not as costly. With money, however, you are given more freedom to do what you want and pursue pricier pastimes like skiing and photography. The point is that money grants you the choice to choose among a greater range of activities. Having the money to spend on these experiences is a great benefit to one’s happiness.

According to a Time article, one of the best ways to manage money is to invest in relationships. Money and effort can buy parties, dates and other experiences that can bring one closer to their loved ones. While money can’t buy friends, significant others or relationships, it can help people bond with others in unique ways, indirectly leading to contentment.

So what truly makes people happy? As cliché as it sounds, everyone is unique, and different things make different people happy. When people have more money, however, they have the freedom to choose how they spend it. It is not simply the act of possessing money that makes people happy, but being able to choose how they spend it is what truly brings people joy.