- August 16, 2017
- Posted by: Stephen Coleclough
- Category: Money
There’s the old saying that money can’t buy happiness.
Recent updates have added a second part to the quote: ‘but I’d rather cry in a Ferrari.’
Do they have a point?
Or, when needs can be met with money, how much of it do we actually need to be happy?
Imagine if you won the lottery tomorrow.
Once you paid off any debts, moved out of a rented flat and into your dream home, were able to buy a beloved relative a new car… how long would it be before you were unhappy?
The sad truth is that humans are very good at getting used to things, whether that is a terrible government or a sudden windfall.
We get used to it being there and soon return to our baseline level of happiness.
That means that if you were the kind of person to get annoyed if there was a queue at Primark, you’ll be annoyed that there’s a queue at Harrods.
Similarly, if it made you smile to buy an ice cream, you’ll be smiling when you buy an ice sculpture.
Once you’re paying your bills without incident, you have a roof over your head and food in your belly, plus you know you have some extra to play with, not much can make you happy apart from yourself.
Humans need a measure of stress in order to keep them going—anything from ‘I’m going to save all my pocket money to buy that new toy’ to ‘I’m going to do that extra homework so the exam is easy’ to ‘I’m going to win that promotion and pay off the mortgage faster’.
Without that kind of thought making you stride forwards, getting you to try new things and other risks, what is there to strive for?
Think about it.
If money were no object, if it didn’t enter into the discussion at all, what would make you happier at work?
A shorter commute?
Verbal praise from a boss?
Scientists have found that although people say they would prefer money over all of those things, it is never the answer.
So, money can’t buy happiness if you’re not struggling to make ends meet.
Too much too quickly can even make you sadder.
If we stop thinking about money as the be-all and end-all of life, imagine where we could end up.