Money Can Buy Happiness

Patrick - Lake Oswego, Oregon
Entered on January 23, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Money Can Buy Happiness

Maybe “Money Can’t Buy Me Love” but can it buy happiness? Although the song says “love” not ‘happiness,’ these Beatles’ lyrics have a related meaning. Some may say that money can’t buy happiness, but to me without money as the essential ingredient, happiness is unreachable. Money is critical to a happy life. Maybe money can’t buy me love (not sure about that just yet), but I believe it can buy happiness.

A lot of adults would not agree with my belief that money can buy happiness, while many young people would agree. It might be that younger people would agree that money can buy happiness only out of spite or simply because they like what money can buy and the brief happiness that can bring. I know that when I buy new electronics, books or games, I feel a sense of momentary happiness. Adults might think that I am confusing this short sensation with true happiness. I am not. It is the combination of these little moments that added together make happiness. Adults, maybe because they have experienced happiness from things other than money, may say that money doesn’t buy them happiness. However, the things adults have experienced usually would never have happened without money. Adults enjoy simple activities like camping, but even these require money. When going camping; having a tent, something to cook with, etc. all are necessary, but to get these you need money. Even where the experience was not directly from money, money was still necessary to make it happen.

Everyone finds happiness using money, but not everyone uses money the same. Some may find happiness by giving money away while others are ecstatic at spending on themselves. Money can help or hurt, depending on the user. Like Bill Gates, who contributes money to worthy causes, donating may be the key to happiness. Although few people have as much money as Bill Gates, anyone with money can still donate something. For other people, such as Paris Hilton, money gives them the luxury to spend their time complaining about how miserable life is. In this way, money satisfies their narcissistic needs and brings them happiness. For me, I find happiness from using money to travel and have new experiences. Whatever type of person you are, the helper, the selfish, or the adventurer, you need money in some way or another to be happy.

Money can be used on a large or small scale, but no matter the scale, it seems we always want more. Like happiness, we can never get enough. For the truly poor it seems almost too obvious that if they had some money, they would be happier. To buy food, clothes, a place to spend the night, these simple purchases may make them more content. But these plain necessities may seem insignificant for the wealthy, while for the poor they can be the key to happiness. For the very wealthy, buying a large house or being able to collect vintage cars may bring joy, yet they may still want more. If I am at the amusement park, no matter how many rides I take, I want to stay and ride again. The insatiable need for more is not mere greed; it is the driving force for happiness.

Whether to buy a Coke or just have water at dinner, or choosing between a new Lamborghini and a 1980 beat-up truck, using money can make happiness in many different ways. Being extremely wealthy might not be what makes everyone happy, just having some money might do the trick. Paying off bills might conjure happiness, so might buying your first helicopter or your first bicycle. Maybe it is a matter of perspective, if you have nothing, then even a small something can bring you happiness. Riches truly can buy happiness, if you just look at it in a different way.