“Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. There is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.”-Benjamin Franklin
Do you believe that these powerful words are coming from the face on the dollar? Money having no capacity to get one’s happiness is an old adage. However, in this day and age, many argue that the bills in your pocket can actually bring you smiles contrary to popular belief. Many research has been conducted on the behavior of people in relation to money and the conclusions are interesting and effective.
Money spent on self: MATERIAL
“Know what you own, and know why you own it.” – Peter Lynch
Author of Stumbling on Happiness, Dan Gilbert, says that however you badly want something, material things lose their shine after some time pass. Based on the survey conducted, only 34% found happiness when acquiring a material thing. Gilbert recommends to treat oneself only with small inexpensive indulgence, as you’ll be only used to the presence of what you acquired, no matter how expensive it may be. On another note, Kordell Norton, a business consultant from Ohio, found out in his study that some consumers are happier buying a particular brand of choice. This may be rooted from the need to repeat a certain satisfaction achieved from a specific brand.
Money spent on self: EXPERIENCE
“Money is good for nothing unless you know the value of it by experience.” -P.T Barnum
Studies show that that spending money on experiences (such as travel, adventure, learning a new hobby etc.) makes a person happier due to the fact that experiences provide prolonged feeling of satisfaction than material things, as memories do linger. Also, experiences emit the sensation of anticipation, which is more exciting than buying an expensive merchandise. As per James Roberts, author of Shiny Objects: Why We Spend Money We Don’t Have in Search of Happiness We Can’t Buy, “The thrill from material purchases us usually short-lived”. This is due to the familiarity we get of material possessions.
Money for spending or saving
“Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I’ll tell you what they are. “-James W. Frick
Acquiring luxuries are typical ways people gratify themselves, confusing the fulfillment with happiness. However, some people find happiness in just having more money, but no plans in mind yet on how to spend it. To many, having more money boosts one’s confidence as it creates a sense of stability and an uplifted social status.
Money spent on others
“Not he who has much is rich, but he who gives much.” -Erich Fromm
Most of us think that being happy can be achieved by spending all your hard work limited only to yourself. But most studies show that if you want to be deeply happy, you better shed some cash from your pocket for other people. This only goes to say that the happiness we get from spending for ourselves can guarantee happiness only to a certain point. As strangely as it sounds, results of most studies conclude that sharing your blessing can bring one utmost happiness or even euphoria. As humans, it is a transcendent experience for us to take part of a cause bigger than us, which can be achieved through giving.
The bills, the coins, and the digits on your bank account per se cannot get us a bound of laughter or the feeling of fulfillment. But it’s the thought of how you will spend your money is what brings happiness.