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More Money May Not Buy Happiness, But It Can Make Your Life a Little Better

Posted By Miranda Marquit On 01/26/2012 @ 12:05 pm In Personal Finance | 6 Comments

People are fond of pointing out that money doesn’t buy happiness. After all, there are a number of miserable people out there who are rich in terms of finances. However, no matter how fond we are of shrugging off wealth and saying that money doesn’t matter, the truth is that life can be pretty crappy without some money.

After all, most of us need money to some degree. While barter is an option in some areas, and you can grow some of your own food, at some point, there are things that you can’t get on your own with out money. And, on top of that, having a certain amount of money provides a few benefits.

  • Security: Money provides a certain amount of security. You can use money to ensure that you always have what you need. When crops fail, you can just go buy food if you have money. Money provides a back up. Building up an emergency fund [3], amassing a little more wealth, can protect you against the unexpected.
  • Freedom: When you have the money to do what you want, you might feel better about your situation. Money can provide you the freedom to go where you want, work the job you desire, and even purchase a treat without having to stress about the strain on your wallet. For many, this kind of freedom is desirable.
  • Comfort: Money can make your life more comfortable. You can buy a better bed, other furniture, and other creature comforts. If you are interested in comfort, a little extra money can go a long way.
  • Convenience: A little extra money can buy a little more convenience. Can you afford to pay an extra $50 to $100 per plane ticket to leave at a better time? Or get a non-stop flight? Paying a convenience fee can, in some cases, get you access to better seats, better times, and a more palatable situation. Sometimes, the premium is worth it.
  • Higher quality: Those without as much money, in some cases, are forced to purchase items of low quality. In the long run, more is paid since the item might break and need to be replaced more often. The ability to buy items of higher quality can be a bonus of having a little more money.
  • Status: Status isn’t important to everyone. However, if status is important to you, then having more money might make you a little bit happier. We associated money with status and power in our society. If those things are important to you, a little more money can help you feel better about what’s happening.

Of course, “more” and “less” are relative terms, and many of the items on the list are subjective. Not everyone cares about having a higher status, and there are those who care little for the trappings of a large “comfortable” home. For many, freedom from debt [4], and moderate wants and needs, constitute security and freedom. The important thing is to consider your own priorities, and honestly consider your situation. What makes you feel “rich,” and could a little more money, properly used, help you feel richer?

(Photo: Thomas Hawk [5])

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[1] Tweet: http://twitter.com/share

[2] Email: mailto:?subject=http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/money-buy-happiness-life.html

[3] emergency fund: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/emergency-fund.html

[4] freedom from debt: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/finances-55-seconds-create-credit-card-debt-reduction-plan.html

[5] Thomas Hawk: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/6600625617/

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