001 Can Money Really Buy Happiness?

For ages, people have associated money with happiness and fulfillment; TV and ads have us believing that there is no limit to how much money is needed for true happiness. On the flipside, we also commonly hear “money can’t buy happiness.” Many people base their life satisfaction and well-being on their purchasing power, and this can manifest itself in our daily emotions. There’s an interesting interplay between money and our limiting beliefs, which are internalized negative beliefs about ourselves and the world around us. However, the truth is that money is only part of what makes us happy and it should be used for the fulfillment of both needs and increasing material desires.

Let’s face it: money is important. We need it to meet our basic needs, buying conveniences, and dreaded loan repayments. But there comes a point when more money doesn’t necessarily change the level of your well-being. It’s easy to fall under the illusion that money is making you happy, though, and evaluating the statement ‘money can’t buy happiness’ becomes a difficult task. When people start evaluating their real-life satisfaction based on social comparison, bad experiences, and limiting beliefs about money, it could ironically lower their wellbeing. This money-induced decline in happiness is often manifested by depression and anxiety which are quite common today. Indeed, our relationship with money is very complex. And so you ask…

How can you Improve the quality of life without limiting your well-being? Let's explore

1. Evaluate your relationship with money. Start by trying to understand your feelings about money and how it makes you feel. What does money do for you? That thing that you want to buy? Why do you want it so bad? Then work towards acquiring positive money behaviors, like budgeting and saving your money.

2. Invest in the essentials. Before placing your money on anything, look at its value outside of money, does it improve your life? Does it provide any long-lasting fulfillment? Often spending on experiences is more fulfilling than spending on goods because of the anticipation and the memories tied to experiences.

3. Invest in line with your value and beliefs. What really matters to you? What do you value and what are your beliefs? Set apart your value sets clearly and ensure your spending goes in line with them.

4. Use the money to improve your well-being. Give back to society, buy your time back by paying for time-consuming activities, save more, invest more, and engage with the things that you are passionate about. It will surprise you how much the intangible things boost your wellbeing.

The Purdue university study referenced by Zac and Andrea during this episode can be found here