- January 1, 2019
- Posted by: Stephen Coleclough
- Category: Money
Having money is an essential part of living in a modern society.
It facilitates the exchange of value between people and businesses, helping us buy everything from furniture to fast food.
It is also a store of value that helps us build capital for future use.
But how much money do you really need to be happy?
Some people become so fixated on accumulating money that they de-prioritise other parts of their life, including time with their friends and family, to get more money.
Unfortunately, being devoted to money at-all-costs will not lead to happiness — if anything, it will make you less happy than you are right now.
Here are a few reasons why.
Money won’t make up for any feelings of inadequacy
Many people living in our modern society have a sense of inadequacy that compels them to compete with others.
When they see that their neighbour has bought a new car or holiday home, they feel the need to out-do them just to feel adequate.
Unfortunately, this constant drive to overcome feelings of inadequacy using money will never end.
As you accumulate more wealth, you will find yourself surrounded by other people with even more money.
You will no longer be satisfied with just one holiday home, you will need 10 to feel adequate.
The solution is to identify where this feeling of inadequacy stems from.
It could be related to something that occurred in your childhood or the people that you currently associate with.
The good news is — you can opt-out of this senseless race and simply concentrate on enjoying your life.
The pretty things that money buys don’t bring long-lasting happiness
Living in a consumerist society means that we are constantly bombarded with advertisements showcasing new products to buy.
Many of these advertisements feature incredibly luxurious items like high-performance sports cars, designer clothing, and jewellery.
These advertisement tell us that purchasing these items will give us a feeling of happiness and fulfilment.
If you have ever managed to purchase a luxurious item like one of those listed above, you will know that it only provides happiness for a short amount of time.
Within a week or two, you will go back to your normal self, no happier than you were before making the purchase.
The reason why buying luxurious items will never lead to happiness is that they do not make a long-lasting impact on your life or how you view yourself.
The purchase provides a short burst of excitement or distraction from what really matters in your life.
In many cases, you will feel worse after spending money on an ostentatious item a few days later.
Money can only buy things, not memorable experiences
Money is all you need to buy items like large television sets or new cars.
However, it isn’t always useful for providing you with unique and memorable experiences.
Take a moment to look back on the most exciting moments in your life.
You’ll probably think back to your first kiss or the day you met the love of your life.
Perhaps you will have a wonderful childhood memory or an accomplishment on the sporting field to reflect on.
Most people can remember every second of these memorable events.
They are rich moments that have brought a great amount of joy to your life.
Compare any one of these moments to the day you bought a big screen television.
You probably won’t even recall what happened on the day you bought your television while you can recall every moment of your first kiss.
Now, you might argue that money can buy you holidays and allow you to take friends and family with you on new journeys.
While this is true, you still need to have a strong group of friends and family around you — that is what makes an event truly worthwhile.
You could take the same group of people to a local camping ground and have just as much fun.
Money cannot buy these kinds of experiences.
Having too much money can be detrimental
If you had unlimited financial resources, it would be silly to deny yourself all of the pleasures in life, right?
Why not open that expensive bottle of champagne, smoke that cigar, and eat that 5 course meal?
Unfortunately, the overindulgence that often comes with wealth can be destructive.
It is the reason why many wealthy people end up with health problems including obesity and heart disease.
Having unlimited access to these pleasures can also the diminish the satisfaction that having them provides.
It reduces the happiness you can experience by reducing your ability to enjoy these simple pleasures.
Money does not fix past relationships
Many people who are driven to accumulate money do so because of painful events in their past, often relating to their personal relationships.
Perhaps they grew up in poverty or had to deal with an abusive parent.
They often desire money because they associate it with the power and freedom that they did not enjoy at a young age.
Unfortunately, money isn’t able to heal any scars associated with negative events or personal relationships that have occurred in your past.
You will always have those memories and will need to find another way to get some closure.
Until you do, you will not find the happiness that you are seeking and all of the money in the world will not make you truly happy.
Working on your spiritual, physical and mental health is the only way to become truly happy.