What some money can buy but shouldn't

7 reasons why money alone doesn't make you happy

What actually makes us happy? When it comes to this topic, many people quickly think of money. How nice would it be, for example, to be able to afford anything you want? To be able to fulfill your every wish and not have any financial problems sounds tempting, but from our point of view it is not enough for long-term happiness. We have put together 7 reasons for you that illustrate why money alone does not make you happy.

7 reasons why money alone doesn't make you happy

Economic Forum Listicle 31/2018

What actually makes us happy? When it comes to this topic, many people quickly think of money. How nice would it be, for example, to be able to afford anything you want? To be able to fulfill your every wish and not have any financial problems sounds tempting, but from our point of view it is not enough for long-term happiness. We have put together 7 reasons for you that illustrate why money alone does not make you happy.

1. Some things cannot be bought

First things first: money plays a crucial role in all of us every day. If you have so much money that financial worries do not even arise, this can relieve the psyche and thus certainly ensure well-being. The same applies to luxury goods that you can afford with a suitable account balance. Yet life also includes things that money cannot buy. Health, family and friends cannot be bought, but they have a major influence on our mood. Sufficient money is without question an important component, but by no means a guarantee of happiness.

2. The social comparison

Certainly our own possessions play a crucial role in happiness. However, it often depends on how others compare to ourselves. If you get the short straw in a social comparison, dissatisfaction often arises. This is true even if, viewed in absolute terms, there is nothing wrong with you. A study from the Journal of Econimic Behavior illustrates this: Study participants were given the choice between two fictitious scenarios: an income of € 50,000 per year (average income 25,000), or an income of € 100,000 per year, with an average income of € 200,000. Half of all participants opted for the lower income, as it makes them look wealthier in relative terms.

3. Valuable moments and memories

Wealth enables the purchase of material goods that not everyone can afford. That can make you happy, at least in the short term. A study by the San Francisco State University shows, however, that experiences and memories have the edge over the long term when it comes to their own happiness. Experiences and memories, and the emotions associated with them, often put a smile on our faces even years later. Of course, money can also be a means to an end here, but it is not a prerequisite: Even without a lot of money, you can experience valuable moments with friends and family.

4. The power of habit

Anyone who has (a lot) a lot of money can afford a lot of beautiful things. From flat screen TVs to sports sedans - the possibilities are certainly limitless. The problem, however, is that you usually get used to the newly acquired luxury quickly. The new sports car quickly becomes a habit and even the cinema system at home is simply nothing special at some point. When your own wealth becomes the standard, our happiness hormones adjust to the initial level again. Generating feelings of happiness becomes more difficult, because from now on you always have to "go a step further".

5. What to do with all that money?

We have already discussed how money can make you happy, at least in the short term. For long-term happiness, however, it is crucial to use the available money correctly. Of course, it's perfectly fine to give yourself a treat every now and then. Nevertheless, it should not be forgotten that investing with others does not leave you empty-handed either. Regardless of your own children, charity events or friends you invite to dinner. You often get back your own money that is invested in others in the form of affection, satisfaction and happiness.

6. Different generations, different values

Different generations sometimes embody different values. This has an impact on the respective definition of happiness. While for some people freedom and flexibility are primarily important, others focus on status symbols. Differences like these logically influence what makes you happy. For some, money alone may be enough, for others it is not enough.

7. Working time is lifetime

Many wealthy people spend much of their time engaging in stressful activities. For example, they often work more than the average citizen. However, it is often forgotten that working time is also lifetime. Of course, one can experience happiness through one's own work. For many people, however, happiness is directly related to having enough time for family and friends. Everyone should therefore decide for themselves what the right balance should look like. Those who put their private life aside for work may have more money in case of doubt, but that does not mean that they are automatically happier.

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