As adults, we spend most of our lives exchanging time and effort for money.

Whether it’s through Forex trading or an office job, the goal of most of our daily activities is essentially to have more income.

But does having more money really make us happier?

In thinking about this, let’s first define that ‘happiness’ is.

Happiness Defined

For the most part, there are 2 ways people relate to happiness.

The first is a short-term experience of ‘feeling good’, such as when you eat an ice cream, or get an enjoyable massage. This is associated with sensations of one (or more) of the five physical senses.

The second way people relate to happiness is a longer-lasting experience of fulfillment and joy. This is an intangible experience associated with a sense of freedom and a meaningful life.

In this post I will talk about happiness in both these aspects.

More Money Buys More Good Feelings, Sort Of

Obviously, money is required to purchase an ice cream so in this sense, money does buy happiness.

If ice cream makes you happy, having more money enables you to buy more of it.

But you see, the relationship between ice cream and ‘feeling good’ isn’t linear.

Beyond a (very) limited point, having more ice cream not only results in less instances of ‘feeling good’, but eventually makes you feel even worse than before you started. The same goes for massages, alcohol and all other agents of ‘feeling good’.

This brings up a crucial point: in pursuing more experiences of ‘feeling good’, knowing when to stop becomes increasingly important.

So, just ‘having more’ isn’t the key here; it’s about balance.

Money Makes Us More Fulfilled, Kind Of

To the extent that money allows for more choice and freedom, it contributes to personal fulfillment.

However, fulfillment is more than just about having choices. Being rich doesn’t guarantee a meaningful life.

Money CAN buy you the means to live meaningfully, but only if you know what those means are.

Money Is An Enabler

Money may make you happy for now, but it can’t keep you that way.

It’s an enabler, that’s all.

It gives the power of choice.

And what you choose to do with that power determines whether you’ll remain happy.

Is Money Good Or Evil?

Money doesn’t have a moral compass. It’s a neutral force.

All it does, is amplify the characteristics of your life – it multiplies how happy or unhappy you already are.

If you’re unhappy, money will make you even more unhappy.

So pay attention to your life when you don’t have money. Are you happy?

If you aren’t, money isn’t likely to make a difference in the long run.

So can money buy happiness?

Money will buy whatever it is you choose.

If you know how to be happy, money definitely helps.

But if you don’t know how to be happy, money won’t magically change that for you.

The question with money is, do you know what to buy with it?

Your thoughts?

Do you think money can buy happiness? Let me know in the comments below!