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Does money=happiness?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Connemara, Oct 20, 2007.

  1. Connemara

    Connemara Senior member

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    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?
     
  2. Rambo

    Rambo Senior member

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    At what point of drunkenness does $50k equal practically nothing?
     
  3. mbc

    mbc Senior member

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    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?
     
  4. Fritz

    Fritz Senior member

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    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.
     
  5. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    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.
     
  6. Britalian

    Britalian Senior member

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    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.
     
  7. GQgeek

    GQgeek Senior member

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    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. [​IMG]
     
  8. Edward Appleby

    Edward Appleby Senior member

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    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.
     
  9. Brian278

    Brian278 Senior member

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    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.
     
  10. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red Senior member

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    Yes. Money equals happiness.

    Next question.
     
  11. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Senior member

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    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.
     
  12. Maharlika

    Maharlika Senior member

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    Didn't Carter Vanderbilt jumped off her mother's apartment and died of an apparent suicide? Money, new or old does not equal happiness.
     
  13. Quirk

    Quirk Senior member

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    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.
     
  14. macuser3of5

    macuser3of5 Senior member

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    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.. [​IMG]
     
  15. Viktri

    Viktri Senior member

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    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.
     
  16. Quirk

    Quirk Senior member

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    +1
    Now we know why Connie's such a revolutionary -- he thinks single, childless, college-educated professionals earning $50K are near the bottom of the socio-economic heap.
     
  17. Viktri

    Viktri Senior member

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    I felt that the "near nothing" = 50k comment was what sealed it for me. I didn't know people like that seriously existed. I mean, people joke about it but most people who aren't earning 50k/year should really know better.
     
  18. kwiteaboy

    kwiteaboy Senior member

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    There's been quite a bit of research on this. For some enlightening reading, look up Ed Diener's work. He studies subjective well-being at UIUC.
     
  19. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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    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.


    This is strictly based on my experience. "Folk like" you are different than folk like me.

    I was born poor, I was raised poor, and I spent the first 30 years of my life digging myself out of poverty and into upper-middle class-dom. I know money does not make you happy per se, but I also know that poverty and misery and/or hard times pretty much go hand in hand.

    Folks with wealthy parents, for some reason, often seem to undergo meaningless existential crisis after meaningless existential crisis over issues such as "does money bring you happiness?" It is one of those things where only those with the luxury of having it seem to question its worth. You see, you do not have money. Your father does. I think much of the angst is brought on because wealthy children take money for granted but their parents control the money tap. It creates the ambivalent feelings about money.

    To the question:

    Money cannot buy you happiness. However, it does allow you to be miserable in nice clothes, while eating good food, drinking good wines, in very nice places.
     
  20. redcaimen

    redcaimen Senior member

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    ****Delicate sensibilities alert******

    Life is a shit sandwich. If you have enough bread it masks the taste of the shit.


    PS Connie, if you dont stop drinking you are going to become an alcoholic. If you become an alcoholic it will not matter at all how much money you have, you will be unhappy.
     

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