“If I just had some more money, then I’d be happy.” – how many times have we thought something like this?
As normal as it is to think this way, it’s just not true.
That being said, it is true that there is a certain amount of money that we need in order to have our general needs met.
The amount of money that we need varies depending on where in the world you are, but we do need a certain amount of money.
But what does money can’t buy happiness mean?
The problem comes when we constantly compare ourselves to other people, want what they have, and become unhappy with our life and want to change.
There are many more important things in life than a high salary – such as love, time with family and friends, and enjoying the wonderful world that we live in.
In this article, we will look at the reasons why money can’t buy happiness and what you can do instead.
10 Reasons Why Money Can’t Buy Happiness
We are going to look at the top 10 reasons why money can’t buy happiness.
Let’s get started:
1. Cleaning More Stuff Is Not Enjoyable
We don’t know about you, but here at Team Savvy, we don’t want to spend all of our days cleaning our stuff!
When we started getting rid of some of our stuff for extra cash, we quickly realized that we also loved the extra space that it was giving us in the house.
We get so used to the things that we have in our home, that we don’t really think about how long it is actually taking to clean everything.
Imagine if you had absolutely nothing in your house. How long would it take to clean?
Now, look around your house at all of the things you do have there. How much longer does it take to clean?
Every bit of furniture, every trinket, toy, surface, etc – all needs cleaning. If you have a bigger house this will, of course, mean more rooms to clean as well.
You may of course enjoy a bit of cleaning, but do you want to spend loads of your precious time cleaning a bunch of stuff you don’t even really want?
When we start to declutter our belongings we find that there are so many things that we don’t actually need or want in our life – it’s time to live a more simple life.
2. Your New Car Won’t STAY New For Long
A lot of people want to buy a new car because they think that it will make them happy.
Not just happy, but a lot of people want a new car because they think it will make them look cool and impress other people.
When it comes to buying something brand new, it’s really important to think about the value of it in the future.
It really does help to buy things that will retain their value in case you need to sell them, over time. You also don’t want to have things that go down drastically in value!
Cars are one of the things that go down in value as soon as you drive them off the lot. They are a highly depreciating asset, and this is something to bear in mind.
We live in a society currently where we have a lot of exposure to people who are very wealthy (e.g. celebrities on Instagram).
Not only that, but we have a lot of access to finance, where we can buy things that we can’t actually afford straight away.
When you put the two of these together, you will find that a lot of people want to buy expensive cars that they have seen other people buying, to impress them.
As nice as it is to buy a new car, it is not going to stay new for very long, and we don’t want to get into the cycle of carrying on buying more often.
3. A Bigger House Always Means You Need To Earn Even More Money
Bigger houses are nice, but you have to think about if a bigger house is something that’s going to give you happiness or not.
It’s one of those things where you think that having a bigger house will mean that you will be happier.
A bigger house is something that a lot of people equate to having a lot of success and are constantly striving towards it without thinking about whether you actually want it or not.
If you have a big house, you will likely have a big mortgage on it, with a large mortgage payment each month.
With a large mortgage usually comes to a long payment term, which means that you will have many years left to pay for your house.
If you have a long mortgage term and large mortgage payments, you will have to keep working in order to keep paying it or lose your house.
When you speak to people who have large mortgages, they will often tell you that they are very stressed due to feeling like they have to keep working, and often beyond the official retirement age.
As great as it is to have a lovely house, do you want to be working all of the time and not even get to enjoy your home?
4. Extra Time Spent Earning Extra Money Means Less Time To Live
We are fans of making extra money, especially when you have specific goals that you want to reach and will use the money to do so.
However, when you are thinking about making extra money you need to think about whether it will actually be worth it.
Sure, you could work all of the hours under the sun for some extra cash, but what will happen to the time that you could be spending with your family instead? You don’t want to be fighting about money!
This goes for your usual job role as well. We can get so tied up with what looks like ‘success’ that we can forget what is truly important.
There’s a great money can’t buy happiness quote that we love by Jim Rohn – “Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you can’t get more time.”
5. There Will Always Be A Jones Family & They Will Always Be Ahead
The problem can happen when we are looking at what other people want and are constantly striving to have it too, even if you can’t afford it.
This is known as keeping up with the Joneses, and is not great for your self-esteem!
There are lots of people who get into debt because they are buying things that they think will impress people, such as big houses, cars, clothes, and more.
It can be frustrating when you don’t earn as much money as someone else, but you don’t know their circumstances. You also don’t know what happens behind closed doors.
The truth of the matter is, there will always be someone who has more than you. Unfortunate but true!
This doesn’t mean that you should feel sad in any way, but rather come to accept that this will happen and it’s ok.
Knowing that this is just one of those things in life and not a reflection on you and your worth is so important.
We are not defined by the things that we own or the money that we make – we are much more than that as human beings.
Make sure that you stick to your own lane, and do things at your own time and pace – don’t look at what anyone else is doing unless it’s for inspiration and to cheer them on.
6. Friendships = Happiness, But You Won’t Have Much Time For Friends
We are big believers that friends are one of the most important things in the world.
If you are constantly chasing the pursuit of more money, you will find that you will lose a lot of your free time that you can instead spend with friends.
Alongside work and other commitments, we tend to all have very busy lives. How will there be room for friends if you are busy always trying to make more money?
Being with friends is something that costs nothing, but can bring so much happiness.
When it comes to life, it’s much more important to focus on trying to be happy rather than trying to get what other people have.
If you are always trying to look flashy then you may also attract the wrong kinds of friends who are only interested in hanging out with you because of this.
There is a Harvard study on happiness that has been running for 80 years, which has found that the most important thing for lifelong happiness is not money or fame – but close relationships.
This is just one of those things that are proof that money can’t buy happiness.
7. If You Don’t Love Your Money Source, You’ll Never Be Truly Happy
If you are constantly trying to earn more money then you may find yourself stuck at a job that you hate.
When you are working hard doing something you don’t like, just going to work requires so much effort and will leave you unhappy.
You will probably start to resent your job rather than appreciating it and being grateful for the income that it provides for you and your family.
8. More Money = More To Manage = More Stress
The goal really needs to be to have less stress. Think about some things that lead you to be stressed and think about if money is anything to do with those.
As we’ve already discussed, something that causes a lot of people a huge amount of stress is having a large mortgage with a long term that they will have to keep working for, in order to keep up with the payments.
It can also lead to buying more things for your home and lifestyle, which means that you end up with more ‘stuff’ in your life to manage and clean.
There’s a reason why people who are minimalists tend to have a lot less stress in their life. Think about it!
9. Money Doesn’t Make Memories
What are the things that we remember when we sit back with a hot drink to reminisce?
It’s unlikely that we will sit there and think about all of the money we had, or picture it sitting in our bank account.
The things that bring us the best memories are the time we spent with loved ones, traveling to new places, or just enjoying time spent laughing with our family and friends.
Sure, money can help us to make memories, such as the fact that if we are traveling to see people, but it’s not the money itself – and this is a key distinction to make to yourself.
We think that money will buy us happiness, but we get happiness from the time that we spend with our loved ones and doing things that we love.
As you get older, you realize what is truly important to you and start to value it a lot more. Spend time with your family and friends and enjoy yourself!
10. Money Cannot Buy Love
(Ok, but it might buy you a puppy, and that counts!)
As we’ve been discussing, one of the most important things in life is spending time with the people that you love. This could be your friends, family, partner, etc.
Love makes the world go round, right? This doesn’t mean that we should only fixate on getting love in our lives, but rather to realize the importance of it.
Money is not going to get you, love. It’s just not. If we think about it…if money bought happiness and love, wouldn’t the richest people in the world be the happiest?
It’s a well-known fact that rich people are not the happiest. Money does not equal love or happiness.
It can of course help you with happiness and love, such as being secure in your finances and being able to go places with your loved ones and treat them, but this doesn’t come from money.
Money is neutral. It’s what we do with that money that will help improve our lives – as long as we focus on this, we shouldn’t get caught up in thinking that more money will make us happier.
Bonus: 5 Ways You CAN Find Happiness
There are some ways that you can find happiness, that don’t have anything to do with money.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can find happiness starting today:
1. Stop Worrying About The Future (Stay Present)
One of the first things that you can do to start on your way to happiness is to stop worrying about the future.
Worrying about the future is one of the worst things that you can do for your happiness.
The reason that worrying about the future isn’t good for your happiness is because you are worrying about things that may not even happen.
You can get all caught up in your thoughts about the bad things that may happen in the future, instead of enjoying the time that you have now in the present.
Make sure that you take time to practice gratitude for what you have in your life currently and know that you don’t have control over future events.
What you do have in your control is trying to prepare as best as possible and have a support network.
2. Learn To Take Calculated Risks & Ride The Adventure
If you want to live a life of happiness, you’re probably going to have to take a risk or two!
A lot of people are happy to stay in their comfort zone, which is fine, but we are all about helping push you out of your comfort zone.
That doesn’t mean taking a load of risks (unless that is something that you like to do!).
This means that you can try to step out of your comfort zone a bit and not stop yourself out of fear.
Take some risks if you think that they will pay off, and enjoy the ride!
3. Give More
Something that we love to do is to give. If you give – whether that be time or money, you will always feel so much more happiness.
We promise that this is a feeling that is more than worth it. It’s always good to use your money to provide other people with blessings.
4. Practice An Attitude Of Gratitude (Mindfulness)
A life-changing habit that you can start today is to practice an attitude of gratitude.
You could incorporate it into your morning routine. It doesn’t have to take long, but sit and think about 3 things that you are grateful for.
This could be a wide variety of things, such as the sound of the birds tweeting, your cup of coffee, your family, and so on.
Thinking about what you are grateful for has a profound effect on how you feel in general.
It is hard to then think about anything that you are lacking in your life if you are always thinking about what you are so lucky to already have.
5. Find Your Passion In Life & Embrace It As Fully As Possible
We should all try our best to live a life that we love, and that means living a life full of passion.
When it comes to finding your passion in life, really take some time to think about what this looks like for you.
It may feel a bit strange to do this because focusing on it this much isn’t something that we tend to do.
To find your passion you can list out things that make you happy. These could be:
- Spending time with people
- Writing (any kind!)
- Playing sport/exercising
- Being on the water
- Helping people
- Traveling the world
The list can go on and on. As tempting as it is to think about just lying in bed watching Netflix all day (just us?!), think about what makes you light up, what makes you feel alive.
Even if you don’t use any of these as a career choice, there’s no reason why you can’t include these as special hobbies that you inject into your life to have fun.
Final Thoughts On Money Can’t Buy Happiness
If we are really honest with ourselves, we know that more money won’t make us happy.
But there are definitely some ways where with money or not, you CAN add happiness to your life easily. Just remember to stay conscientious about where you are in life, and focus on always moving forward.