24 December 2008

Can Money Buy You Happiness? | Learn From What Experts Say

They say "money can't buy you happiness" but researchers have proved otherwise. In fact, this is what the lead researcher from the University of Warwick in England, Professor Andrew Oswald, has to say, "The more you get...the cheerier you'll become. Large sums are better than small sums."

Here are some highlights he found out from his study among 9,000 families in Britain throughout a ten-year period.

A small amount of money is not going to solve a major health problem or solve a major psychological problem, but will somehow improve one’s psychological well-being. This assumption was based on the findings they gathered throughout the decade from a number of people that had windfall of cash. His team used this to measure individuals' psychological health using standard strain indicators to gauge their levels of happiness.

The survey also suggested that women tended to be happier than men and that happiness followed a U-shaped pattern in our lives. From birth, happiness slopes downwards to a lowest point in our 30s, then things start to improve from our forties and continue to recover and increasing steadily up to retirement.

While it was evident in the study that money in a way could provide happiness, Oswald was keen to stress that money was not the only factor affecting good mental health or it was necessarily the easiest route to contentment.

Glenn Firebaugh, a sociological researcher at Pennsylvania State University, found similar findings and elaborated in his work that money through income was important in determining happiness. However, physical health was the best single predictor of happiness, followed by income, education, and marital status. His team also found a relative income effect, and that is, the richer you are relative to your age peers, the happier you will tend to be.

Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project has a different point of view. “The secret to using money to buy happiness,” she declares, “is to spend money in ways that support your happiness goals.” “There are ways to spend money that are likely to help give you enduring happiness,” she explains further.

I know we have been told differently but these views and findings will certainly make us think twice.

I am not trying to say only the rich are happy or you can only be happy if you have tons of money. Many people are happy. But, if you have lots of bucks, it’s likely that you’re going to be even happier. Why? Because money breeds optimistic attitude and optimism is a major factor in happiness.

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Photo Credits: Money

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27 comments:

  1. I believe that money can make you happy. The main thing money does is to help make your decisions
    easier. Therefore, you are less stressed when you have money.

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  2. I believe money can make you happy. It's short-lived though.

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  3. Happy Healthy Holidays to you and your family!!!

    ish

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  4. Well of course money is only a means to achieving happiness, and I hope we use it to help make others happy, too. Merry Christmas!

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  5. Rick Warren in his book The Purpose Driven Life mentioned that possessions will only give us temporary happiness. Real security is that which can never be taken from you. And that is your relationship with God.
    For me, even if u have money but does not get CONTENTED in life, u r such a looooser.

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  6. I like that, Cheryl Sills.

    Money helps you in making decisions easier.

    Thanks!

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  7. Certainly, Jacqueline. There are other aspects of life that can provide guaranteed or enduring happiness.

    Money is just an instrument to help us ease some of the pains we get to encounter along the way.

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  8. Joyous holidays to You and Your Family, "Health Assistant"

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  9. Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project” discloses the “Joy of Giving” as one of the many ways to achieve happiness.

    “Spend the money on someone else. One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make someone else happy. Think about ways you could spend the money that would make a big difference to someone else -- whether someone you know, or a cause you support. How many new books could the library's children's room add to the shelves?”

    What do you think of this, Keith?

    Happy Holidays!

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  10. Money helps life easier, when you are living for others and you are finding yourself responsible. But it is not required when you are alone, as happiness is a matter of Internal Peace.

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  11. That sounds so wrong. I believe happiness can't be bought. You may gain some happiness through money, but it's probably not a genuine joy :)

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  12. Thanks for coming by, Ritesh.

    Happy New Year!

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  13. We do not seek right or wrong answers here, Michael. Your opinion counts, the experts’ points are taken and everybody’s point of view is welcome.

    The topic is rather subjective because people from all walks of life view it in different perspectives. What may appear agreeable to a selected group of individuals may in one way or another sound objectionable to the other end of the line.

    What is important, whichever side we are, is we respect each other’s opinion. That makes more sense because we learn to see both sides of the coin.

    Thank you for your thoughts.

    Happy New Year!

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  14. Money is part of happiness because without it, I will be thinking how can I pay my next bill. With money, it free my mind of such thoughts and can concentrate on spending time with friends and family instead.

    Wei Liang

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  15. Just dropping by to wish you a Happy New Year!

    Health and success to you in 2009!
    Fitness Diva

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  16. Peace and Prosperity for You and Your Family in 2009, Fitness Diva.

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  17. Very well thought and said, Wei.

    With “enough” resources we can unquestionably liberate our minds from daily domestic or personal “bogglers” and allow us to concentrate on other aspects of life many of us assume are hard to achieve, e.g. spending more quality moments with our loved ones.

    Happy New Year!

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  18. I think with more money, there are more I can choose from. And that means I can change my options from time to time.

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  19. Good point, Kriz Cpec, and I totally agree on this.

    Affluent people, for this matter, are very keen on making sensible decisions in life likely because of this one fundamental reason. They have the resources; obviously, they can easily opt to change their preferences anytime the situation requires it. They do not strive too much looking for alternative solutions to problems, the options are often times presented to them and they only need to choose which is viable.

    It does not necessarily make them completely happy, though, especially when obstacles are rather complicated or alarming, but it lessens the burden, I believe.

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  20. On the context of the real meaning of the word “happiness”, we cannot say that there is only one factor that can be singled out to make humans satisfied. Money is just one of them as discussed on the topic above and elsewhere. Certainly, our social and religious relationships bring to us “immeasurable” happiness, as well.

    “Even if you have money but don’t get contented in life, you are such a loser.”

    I agree with you on this premise, Benz. Be aware, though, that humans by nature don’t get contented or satisfied permanently.

    So, even if you have money, good relationship with God, family and friends, etc. but don’t get happy or somehow satisfied very briefly, then likely you are in deep trouble.

    Hey, thanks for dropping by and for posting your thoughts. I finally caught your attention. LOL!

    Cheers!

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  21. Not everything, Kampanye.

    Some of the things we want to do in life, I believe, can easily be facilitated with fewer barriers if we have enough resources. However, money may not only be the answer that we can rely on if we are seeking ultimate happiness, as exemplified in the discussions and findings above.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

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  22. Great article, its very informative, been looking for something like this for a while. I'll be following along with more posts, I look forward to studding more posts.

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  23. First someone has to define what is happiness for him, only then he can answer if money can buy him happiness? Every individual defines happiness differently:-)

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  24. I'm still learning from you but I'm improving myself i absolutely liked reading everything that is posted on your blog keep the posts coming. I enjoyed it.

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  25. I don't believe that happiness can be counted with money, but at the same time in today's world you can't be happy without them at all...

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  26. I am very happy know this good post and I like this informative post. Thank share this good post at this site.

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