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Does money=happiness?

post #1 of 91
Thread Starter 
The ever-ubiquitous (did i spell tjat right? i'm wasted) question. What are your thoughts?

My aunt makes practically nothing per annum. I'm talking prob. 50K a year. Yet, she's a very, very happy person. She's lived in Lake Tahoe, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Italy...all on her pitiful salary. FYI, she's a Montesorri school teacher.

Then there's folk like me. Frankly, my dad makes a lot of money. He owns numerous companies. Until I was 7 or 8, putting food on the table was a real concern for him and my mom. Through incredibly long hours and a lot of sacrifice, my father and mother were able to build a life for me that I am just realizing 99% of the globe will never experience.

So, does money=pleasure? Opinions?
post #2 of 91
At what point of drunkenness does $50k equal practically nothing?
post #3 of 91
Money doesn't buy happiness? Do you live in America? Because it buys a wave runner. Have you ever seen a sad person on a wave runner?
post #4 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Connemara View Post
blabla....were able to build a life for me that I am just realizing 99% of the globe will never experience.

Opinions?

No offense dude, but personally I'm quite happy not experiencing your life.
post #5 of 91
fair question - I have been poor, more than once, and I have been comfortable, more than once. hainvg money is much better than not. I just took my kids to disneyword and orlando, where I never was able to go as a kid. for somebody like me, every time I blow some money on something like that, it strikes me how my father could never have afforded it, even though he worked very very hard his whole life.

frankly, this is a relavant question for me - I take great pride in the fact that I started working (really working, that is, for people who hired me because they saw an economic advantage to doing so, not because they were friends of my parents or thought I was cute) at 11, and have been working ever since. supporting myself since I was in my mid teens. when I see Jet Blast complaining about his job, or Connemara begging for money, it reminds me of the contrast with how I grew up. on the other hand, my children will ( unless some real tragedy hits us) grow up somewhat previeleded. I face a dilema - do I artifically create a situation where they have to work, to build charactor, or do I give them things I would have liked to have but couldn't, and maybe end up with spoiled weak kids?


to answer your question - a certain amount of money makes you happy, as long as you make sure you try to be happy - you can't be happy without having the right attitude, no matter how much money you have.
post #6 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Connemara View Post
The ever-ubiquitous (did i spell tjat right? i'm wasted) question. What are your thoughts?

My aunt makes practically nothing per annum. I'm talking prob. 50K a year. Yet, she's a very, very happy person. She's lived in Lake Tahoe, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Italy...all on her pitiful salary. FYI, she's a Montesorri school teacher.

Then there's folk like me. Frankly, my dad makes a lot of money. He owns numerous companies. Until I was 7 or 8, putting food on the table was a real concern for him and my mom. Through incredibly long hours and a lot of sacrifice, my father and mother were able to build a life for me that I am just realizing 99% of the globe will never experience.

So, does money=pleasure? Opinions?

$50k... At the present $/£ rate that's about £5k, right? OK, seriously: don't post such crap when you're pissed. I could live very nicely on £25k/€30k. I suppose it might be pitiful to some stock market £1m bonus guys but to many people it's a comfortable amount.
post #7 of 91
I've been thinking about this a lot recently (btw this mirrors a thread i started a few months ago). I think you have to take money out of the equation to a certain extent. You can make 50k or 500k/yr and still be a loser and completely miserable because you're not doing what you want to be doing with your time. By that I mean what you're doing in terms of career, family life, travel, etc.

For example, you could make 500k/yr but you never get to see your wife or family and that could make you unhappy. On the other hand, you could make 50k and never have enough money to take the family on vacations. And I suppose that once you have a family it stops becoming just about what you want, but what your wife wants as well. Making lots of money is great, but she might not be ok with it if it means you're never home.

Having said all this, generally, money makes me happy.
post #8 of 91
I think there's probably an income cutoff, which is different for different people/situations, beyond which happiness returns diminish as income increases, but below which the stress of insecurity leads to unhappiness. I mean, obviously in today's world a certain amount of money is necessary for happiness, because you're not going to be happy if you can't keep a roof over your head and food on the table. But on the other hand, if you spend too much time and energy making money then you won't have any left to enjoy it.

Regarding your aunt, that's a perfectly livable amount of money. Also, some teachers are very, very happy people, particularly if they're at a decent school (i.e., not someplace where teachers get jacked around too much by the school board or get harassed by students) and they have the calling.

I've actually thought about being a high school teacher, maybe after a few years of soul-crushing moneymaking. The teachers at my school were some of the happiest people I've known, particularly the ones who'd been there for twenty or thirty years. I think part of it is that you avoid the existential conundrums of "am I really doing something worthwhile/contributing to society" etc.
post #9 of 91
It certainly helps a great deal. It's not a sure thing, but money can take care of a lot of problems and erase a lot of stress. Money is one of the major reasons that couples fight, for example. It can also go hand in hand with professional success, which is major source of fulfillment for a lot of people. And no, 50K is not practically nothing, in fact it's actually pretty good for a private school elementary teacher. I'd wager you'd be pretty damn pleased with yourself if you made that much in a few years. Please get in touch with reality here.
post #10 of 91
Yes. Money equals happiness.

Next question.
post #11 of 91
There was a recent study (I can't remember the name off the top of my head) that purported to show that one's happiness was most directly correlated with one's social networks, i.e., friends. I don't know how scientific the study was, but I do know that if I had to choose between being rich in money and rich in friends, I would not hesitate to choose the latter.
post #12 of 91
Didn't Carter Vanderbilt jumped off her mother's apartment and died of an apparent suicide? Money, new or old does not equal happiness.
post #13 of 91
Money is incredibly useful tool in its own right, but its relation to happiness is tangential at best. Happiness is more a means than an end. "Will X make me happy?" is a far less useful question than "why am I unhappy?". And if the answer to the second question is "because I don't have enough money," think again.
post #14 of 91
To a certain extent, duh... I grew up dirt poor, my parents barely made it each month. There were a more than a few times they had to borrow the money I made doing neighborhood yardwork to put gas in the tank. Now, if we weren't scraping by, yeah, I would imagine the stress level would diminish. Right now, I'm not making 50k a year, but I'm doing alright for starting out in the 'real world'. I'm pretty happy overall. More money is nice, but like Puffy and Ma$e said..
post #15 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by rambo View Post
At what point of drunkenness does $50k equals practically nothing?
+1 globetrotter, I'd go with the artificial environment where the child is forced to grow up instead of being a pansy. I fended for myself growing up and I can honestly say it was great. I got to do what I wanted to do within reason as long as I put in the effort. My parents were incredibly frugal. That said, the only thing I regret was working during school. I should have worked summers and studied winters but nothing can change that now.
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