Money can’t buy happiness – but here’s what it can buy

How many times have you heard the phrase ‘money can’t buy happiness’ and found yourself disagreeing?

Money can’t buy happiness – but here’s what it can buy

‘Money can’t buy happiness’ is an age-old quote that can be helpful when used in the right context. But it’s often thrown around in a way to imply that money isn’t central to a person’s well-being – and this can’t be further from the truth. While money doesn’t guarantee happiness, it does enable you to live a safe, comfortable, and joyful life. This, in turn, indirectly leads to happiness. 

So, let’s look at four things money can buy that leads to happiness:

1. Peace of mind

According to a survey conducted in India, 89 percent of people are stressed, and work and personal finance are two of the major stressors. Wondering how? Take a minute to consider your own life. When was the last time you felt stressed? Was it because of a medical bill, EMI payment, or the threat of job loss? 

When you have a home of your own to return to, a solid investment portfolio to cover you in case of market and job uncertainties, and an emergency fund plus a comprehensive health insurance policy to protect you in case of a medical emergency, your stress levels are bound to go down. 

Living from paycheck to paycheck with no money to spare is not a good or sustainable way to live. Having a high income, saving consistently, and knowing one has enough money to handle the worst of times can cut most people’s problems significantly and reduce financial anxiety.

Related: Financial planning for beginners: A 7 step guide 

2. Opportunities galore

They say the world is your oyster. That’s true, but only when you have the money to afford it. A lot of important life decisions would be easy to make when there’s financial support. For instance, if you’ve been feeling increasingly unhappy in your current job and would like to change career paths, it would be easier to make a decision if you didn’t have to worry about taking a pay cut for a while till you gain experience in the new role. 

Having timely access to money also helps you make better use of opportunities in the stock market – say, by investing more when the price is low. It also helps you build your net worth by investing in other avenues such as real estate when the market is right. As for all those great business ideas you’ve been harbouring, you can pursue your entrepreneurship dreams right away if you have the money to meet startup costs. 

Even other, more routine, opportunities become more accessible if you have money at your disposal. From attending a conference or seminar that costs a few thousand rupees to sending your children to the best schools, you can seize every opportunity out there. 

3. Richness of experience

It’s a known fact that spending money on experiences tends to make humans happier. That’s because experiences have a way of imparting meaning, perspective, joy, and memories to cherish. All these are unquantifiable things that make life more wholesome and rich. But of course, to have these experiences in the first place, money is the key. 

Take travel, for instance. Who doesn’t have the itch to travel these days? Who would say no to the experience of travelling across Europe while taking in the history, culture, architecture, and food? Travel adventures are experiences worth having, but to have them consistently, safely, and comfortably, one would require a significant amount of money. 

Even for other experiences such as pursuing your passions and interests, money is necessary. If you have the funds, you can take those expensive golf lessons or spend a year in Tokyo to become more fluent in Japanese.

Related: 6 Financial benefits of minimalism 

4. The power to help 

There are a thousand things wrong with the world right now – from world hunger to war to climate change. It’s normal to feel frustrated and helpless in such situations. But having money can enable you to get involved with charities for causes you care about. It could be as simple as sponsoring the education of a child in need, which can make a remarkable difference. 

Or, if you are an animal lover, money can help you be that person who doesn’t need to think twice before taking stray dogs to the vet and/or adopting them. If you hear about your maid’s child needing surgery that she can’t afford, having money can help you finance that. Having the power to financially help those around you will make you feel empowered in a way nothing else can. 

This extends to your family too. Helping your parents or siblings if they are in a financially tight spot is the sort of thing everyone wishes they can do. Throwing a lavish birthday party for your kid or planning a fun bachelor party for your friend – you can do these and more without thinking twice. 

All these combined lead to another essential thing: freedom. Freedom to make choices for yourself, whether it’s to leave a toxic relationship or job, or move to another country and start a life you’ve always dreamed of. In the end, every human’s inherent desire is to be free – and money helps satisfy that. Avoid these 11 Financial mistakes that Indians commonly make to ensure minimum financial anxiety.

 

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