Can Money Buy Happiness?

Sonja Lyubomirsky published an article titled “How To Buy Happiness: What Good Is Money If It Cant Buy Happiness?” on September 2, 2013. In the article there was a survey in 279 colleges where college freshmen were asked what was the most important goal in their life 77 percent of them answered “being very well off financially”. Sonja spoke to an Ivy League plastic surgeon. The plastic surgeon had everything he could ask for with his wealth. With time he said that he didn’t feel motivated anymore, it was hard for him to get up from his bed. He also said he had everything he wanted but didn’t feel happy. Research shows that if someone has the basic needs to survive the amount of money one has doesn’t matter, what matters is the way the money is being spent. Wealthy people have much more opportunities because they are able to afford anything they want, but don’t seem to be happy. Wealthy people were asked how happy they were yesterday and they were didn’t report to feeling happy. Sonja found that people usually get used to positive changes. Cornell University and University of Colorado at Boulder shows that experiences makes people happy not material things. Material things don’t change over time and they get old. People will want to replace them with time to get something better. Experiences will never get old. People can always think make to the memories and feel happy about the time they enjoyed. While material things doesn’t give someone long lasting happiness experiences and memories do. People could increase their happiness by using their money for need satisfying pursuits. Need satisfying pursuits such as making someone grow as a person for example setting a goal and then achieving their goal. This will make them feel good and confident about themselves which will make them happy. Another way to boot up happiness is by treating others with your money. Studies have shown that when sharing with others has a great impact in you well-being and happiness. It is seen that in the United States people that are already wealthy seem to work long hours instead of cutting hours since they are already wealthy and going out to enjoy free time. The major aspect of happy money is in the way people spend it not how much the person has of it.

This article is very similar to the article “How to buy happiness” by Elizabeth Dunn and Micheal Norton. Both articles said that people get more happiness from experiences than from material items. I agree because just like Sonja said material items get old and people will always want to buy something new, but memories last forever. Another point that both articles had in common was that giving to other increases ones happiness. Which is true because after you give you will feel like you did something that will make the other person feel happy, making yourself feel good and happy of what you have done. I found interesting that Sonja mentioned that wealthy people work long hours. It is true because they are money hunger and will not be satisfied with the amount they have.Thinking that the more money they have the more happy they will be which is false.

Back up evidence for “Money can’t buy happiness”

According to the article How Of Happiness, The Scientific Pursuit of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky, how we spend our money and not how much we have of it has a deeper impact in a person’s happiness. The author gives an example of the statement above by talking about the results she obtained when she spoke to an Ivy League educated plastic surgeon. She mentions that the person worked long hours in order to obtain a significant amount of money, and he has expensive objects such as sport cars and yachts. However, as time passed by the surgeon lacked motivation for his job. Lyubomirsky states that according to research, the relationship between income and well-being is significant but not as strong as it is presumed to be.

Later on in the article, it is stated that to some extent people who are wealthier are happier since they are able to have better access to nutrition, health care, security and control. However, the author explains that when wealthy people were asked about their “moment-to moment happiness” they resulted to be less likely to have experienced a joyful moment in the past day. Followed by this, the author continues to explain that she has found that humans are more likely to adapt easier to positive changes than negative ones. Therefore, happiness is not in how much money a person has, but it matters how money is being spent. The author proceeds to talk about how experiences have a greater effect in our happiness than buying material things. This is due to the fact that people get used to positive changes faster, which means that by buying a material thing you will get used to is presence quickly therefore you lose the happy feeling at a faster pace. Rather than buying something material, is better to share an experience with someone because each time you remember the experience you will feel the joy you experienced at the moment.

Furthermore, the author continues to explain that spending money on others is also a way to make you happy. She gives an example where a University of British Colombia study gave a survey to a group of employees before and after they received a financial windfall. The results were that it didn’t matter what the size of the bonus was but, people who spent the bonus in charities or buying something for others were more happy. The author proceeds to explain that when people give to others they are more likely to forget about our own problems and the problems the world is facing. People feel like they are helping the world’s issues when they give to others. Flowingly, the author mentions that reports show that people who are about to die wish they could have done something as mentioned above so they could have been happier.  The author finally re- estates that it doesn’t matter how much money we have but how we are spending it throughout our lives.

I think that this article re-enforced the evidence from the last article “How to buy happiness” by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton. I found it interesting what Sonja Lyubomirsky says about how we adapt faster to positive changes than negative ones and it’s why material things only makes us temporarily happy. I agree with this and I also think that it is true that we feel happier when we buy something for others. On Tuesday it was my mother’s birthday and I decided that I was going to go shopping with her and buy her clothes then have dinner with her and the rest of our family. The reaction of my mom towards my present to her made me very happy because she told me she was very grateful for everything. We also had a great time shopping and having dinner together, so I will definitely remember this experience forever and it will indeed cause me joy all the time I remember it.

An order of happiness please

Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky’s article, how to buy happiness, demonstrates another side of being rich. She speaks of a wealthy plastic surgeon and his achievements mainly economical. For a person who owns vacation homes and yachts he actually appears to be miserable. With his wealth came a price to pay of the love of this profession. He even says how difficult it is to get out of the bed in the morning and emphasizes on his lack of motivation. She also explains that as long as our basic needs are met all the other things we decide to buy have no significance to our over all happiness. Lyubomirsky identifies that our happiness comes from the way we chose to spend our money on others and the satisfaction it bring rather than on material thing we store away to collect dust and replace as soon as we can.

Lyubomirsky asks a few wealthy individuals to list their feeling from the pervious day some couldn’t even recall being happy that day. With the wealth they have acquired through the years a lot of work had gone into it aswell. With the wealth they acquired they have probably sacrificed a few birthdays or little league games that in the long run create memories for a life time. At the price of missed memories the wealth isn’t as important to me.

Having memories is something that can’t be taken from you. It can’t be put in a nice gift bag but it’s something you can always cherish. With your memories and experiences not comparing them or being jealous of others , unlike material things, causes them to even be greater.

But when it comes to spending money, spending it on others is the way to go. Because our happiness is influenced by others. In the study conducted by the University of British Colombia they found that althought some workers bonuses we cut and given to charity it was more fufilling to them to know that it went towards a positive thing rather that worrying about the size they were given.

money makes us happy

in Sonja Lumbrisky’s article “how to buy happiness” shows us what happiness is. in the article she gave a survey to 77 present of the students and all of them said that “being well off financially” will make them happier. But that is not true compared to the view of a plastic surgeon who has it all. he believes that happiness isn’t being a rich doctor ; nor owning the latest cars. she spoke to a rich ivy league plastic surgeon and seen first hand that he was not happy. he had many cars yachts and vacation homes. the article describes how people mistake happiness for material things; rather than having experiences.

many people describe there ideal happiness as being rich with nice cars and boats, but some of the happiest people in the world are the ones spending that extra hour with family, or taking that dollar to buy a bear with friends. you don’t need to have a million dollars to be happy; all you need is a roof over your head and someone to love and make memories with. what good is having a yacht if you have no one to share the experience with (?). the experience of spending precious time with family and friends is what will last till your death.

I’ve met many people who have literally nothing but the shirts on their backs and still manage to put a smile on their face and say “good morning have a wonderful day”. on the other hand you walk by a man with a sports car all lonesome all he will do is honk with a mean, stressed soggy wet head and say get the “bloop” out of the way. This article tells the reader that no matter what money is not happiness. if your working tens of thousands of non stop hours; how do you expect to spend all your earnings(?). its nearly impossible to be happy making millions with no time to spend with family or friends, not even having time to spend that money. everyone is human ; everyone has the savage greed in their eye when faced with large quantities of money but it its not about how much of it you have , rather it is about how much of it you spent to create an experience and draw you closer to others in life.

this article tells us that we all measure success falsely. .. for it is not the amount of bank we bring in; but the it is measured by the amount of experiences and memories you’ve created for you and someone else using that money. would a new sports car make me happy? of course but it would but that’s the greed in me speaking. honestly would I buy homes , sports cars , boats if I were rich? of course; even though I am clearly aware it will not bring me maximum happiness it is gratifying.

To conclude no matter what we will always have our greed in the back of our palms but what really matters in a life of making happy choices is how you used that to create an experience.


#3 Using Money the Right Way to Be Happy

In “How to Buy Happiness” by Sonja Lyubomirsky, She  discusses how others may use money as a reason to be “happy”. Many people have money and buy themselves luxuries that they want and then claim to be happy. But in this article an Ivy League educated plastic surgeon says that he ” had difficulty feeling motivated”. This shows that “he realized he had everything wanted, but was completely miserable”. With this being shown, one can see that having a lot of money and everything you want, is not necessarily being happy. Many wealthy people out there have so many luxuries and an abundance of money yet there wealthiness doesn’t compliment their happiness. As people say that money is power, both Sonja Lyubomirsky, Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton, from the op-ed article “How to Buy Happiness” argue that money is better related to peoples happiness when they use the money for unselfish reasons other than material possessions. Both articles support the fact that “buying happiness is to spend money on others instead of ourselves”. Many studies show that experiences and memories make us happier than materialistic possessions. Luxurious things like the latest phone that came out may make you happy temporarily, it is only a matter of time until it gets scratched, dull, and broken. As in spending money on a family trip may be more meaningful because even months after you come back you can remember those good times and it can spark a smile any day. Sonja says in her article that some research has shown that “spending money on need-satisfying goals…can trigger  ‘upward spirals’ -that is, streams of happy moods etc.” Spending money to satisfy others can make people feel better and happier. So that is to say that spending your money on a movie for your little brother can bring you more happiness than buying yourself a new watch. Money supplies our well-being and helps us survive this is true, but using money to be happy is more complicated then that. We think we are happy because we have money but happiness is deeper than that. Studies show that we are more happy when we use our money to do “satisfying pursuits”. In other words we feel good about ourselves when we give to others. Using money to have more “free” times with those who we love, can increase our happiness level. like Sonja says in her article “Sharing with others also stimulates positive social interactions, spawns new friendships and relationships, and improves old ones… extending generosity is one of the simplest and most powerful ways to bolster and sustain well-being”. We buy happiness by choosing to spend money on meaningful things.

If it can’t be bought, now what?

In the article, “How to buy happiness: what good is money if it can’t buy happiness” by Sonja Lyubomirsky they ask college freshmen about their most important life goal and more than half of the percentage checked off being wealthy. In the article she asks what does being wealthy do for our well-being? What does it do for us? Lyubomirsky spoke to a plastic surgeon who in the eyes of a average person would seem to have it all. He was wealthy, owned several luxurious items, a wife and had a stable job. He admitted to loving it at first but after a while it all got boring and dull. He had lost his motivation and his high paying job wasn’t all he had once thought it was cracked up to be. A lot believe that a persons paycheck has everything to do with their well being because of what it can provide for you but through this article they shine a different light on the topic asking you if you have the wealth, how do you buy happiness.

The article states that money does in fact supply our well being but to an extent. Our well being doesn’t revolve around money yet society believes that without it we are nothing. It helps but it is not everything. Money provides more of desired items than anything else. Possessions are only desired for a short period of time before it’s just another object lying around because after it being around for a long period of time it becomes uneventful. If an individual compares a material item with a past experience, the experience would be more important. The article states that past events can grow more meaning over time rather than becoming dull or repetitive like an object. When given an example about how two people can grow a bond, it makes you think more thoroughly about how relationships are made. Two people are more likely to build a relationship or friendship based on a common experience rather than wearing the same shirt. Another example they gave was how individuals like to compete and feel as if they are better or not beneath anyone. Possessions are more likely to be compared than memories.

The article also enlightens it’s audience with introducing a different way to trigger happiness. A lot of people believe that buy blowing huge amounts of money on luxurious things will make you happy when in fact spending money on just satisfying your basic needs is proven to cause happiness. Also spending money on people who are less fortunately and in more need than you can cause happiness. Little things such as not working as much and spending your time doing more things you love or with people you love makes you more content. Happiness doesn’t lie in success and money but how we spend our time.

This piece by Lyubomirsky reminded me of “How to buy happiness” by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton. In both articles they share insight on why they believe happiness isn’t all about money. As little as spending five dollars can make you happy. If people were to spend more time trying to enjoy themselves with people who make them feel happy they’d understand why money isn’t everything they believe it is. Money is essential in life but it isn’t everything. Happiness shouldn’t revolve around a dollar.

Money can’t buy us happiness …

The article ,” What Good Is Money If It Can’t Buy Happiness ? ” published by , Sonja Lyubomirsky , describes the results of a survey that was conducted in the united states with college freshmen . The survey consisted of asking the freshmen what their most important life goal was and what ended up happening was that 77 percent of the students answered , “being very well off financially “. For example being able to afford a lavish lifestyle which many of us wish for . But Lyubomirsky questions wether money can really buy happiness. Wealthy men were asked to reflect on there overall happiness many said they prefer being with friends than having to do long work hours . In other words they would more likely be with friends and hangout then work to afford things they probably don’t really need.

The article also describes how success is measured in experience rather than how much money one makes . For me i’m all about making memories that are going to last a lifetime . I would much rather have a good time with my friends then go out shopping for things I will probably regret buying soon after. I feel like having many experiences makes you more wealthy then having many vacation houses. One of the strategies that describe my opinion is the strategy that was mention in the article which stated ,”buying happiness is to spend money on others instead of ourselves “.  I guess the happiness you feel is the warm feeling you feel within yourself when you know you’ve done a good deed. It’s like the saying, “no good deed goes unrewarded” and what your rewarded with is the memory you get to share with that person.

In conclusion , the key to happiness is not wealth but what you do with it . I think plastic surgeons would prefer that as appose to working long hours of work to just end up feeling miserable.

Money = Happiness!

The article “How To Buy Happiness” by Sonja Lyubomirsky talks about how money can buy happiness. The author speaks of research done that has shown how a person’s happiness could be based on how she/he chooses to spend their money. Furthermore, she wrote that evidence has shown that experiences make people happier, and she gave three reasons to support her belief. First, experiences make people happier because unlike material things, experiences don’t change and cannot be replaced. Second, experiences are more likely to be shared with others. Third, experiences make people happier because things could be made as a competition as in people tend to compare their things to other’ possessions. Lyubomirsky also states that the only things that are bought that could make make a person happier are based on three main things: 1. The possession of required skill, knowledge, qualification, or capacity, 2. Being connected to others, and 3. The state of having independence or control over someone’s life. She also adds that another way to buy happiness is by spending money on others instead of just oneself, because by giving money to others, a person could learn to appreciate what he/she owns, by giving to those who have less. Her final statement about buying happiness talks about how using our money to give us more time off of work, because people who are wealthy tend to work more and spend less time enjoying their lives. Basically, Lyubomirsky believes that the key to happiness is not about how wealthy we are but about how we use the money we have.

I personally agree with this article, because to me money could definitely buy happiness. Having money could make a person do whatever they ever wanted to do. For instance, traveling is something that makes me happy; discovering new cultures and helping those in needs is something that fulfills my life, however without money I would never be able to do this. Also, even though this might not be true for many people, I believe that in the modern world we live in, money is basically the top priority to all people who want to be happy. Of course, there are those who are wealthy and miserable, however there are those who also are wealthy but live their lives with much happiness because of the money they got. Material things won’t always make a person happy because they are temporary but if a person knows how to spend their money on things that actually matter he/she could bring happiness to themselves. Sonja Lyubomirsky said that the key to happiness isn’t about how rich a person is but about how the person spends his/her money in her article, which is true. There are those people who become happier by giving to or helping others in need, and others who spend their money on unnecessary things that might or might not make them happier. I actually think that it depends on the person.

Buying your happiness and happiness for others!

In Sonja Lyubomirsky article “How to Buy Happiness” she states various ways that your happiness can be bought from satisfying others happiness to sharing and giving to others. Not only would that benefit you but benefit in the well-being of others as well. She teaches us that money doesn’t always satisfy your needs you can have all the money in the world but it’s how you use your money that makes you really happy. She states, “Growing evidence from Cornell University and University of Colorado at Boulder reveals, for example, that it is experiences-not things-that make us happy”. How you share your experiences with others makes you more social than others. With different experiences you don’t compare those to others because you have been doing something different. You are not following what others are doing or have because that just doesn’t really make you happy or unique. With other related factors the more money you might have the more you can share with others and try and make a difference. To sustain well-being you share with others because in doing that you become a happier person and use your money in a good way. As Lyubomirsky states, “Having money means that we have the ability to contribute substantively to our loved ones and communities, and even change the world”. To buy your happiness sharing your wealth to impact the lives of others affects your well-being. Many experiments are tested to see how individuals think about money and how to spend it. A study done in the University of British Colombia surveyed a group of employees before and after they had received a financial windfall. And its conclusion came to be that those whose bonus was spent on charities or buying something for others were the happiest because of that. How you give to others is rewarding when you see how happy you might make that person. Overall to buy your happiness you share experiences and money with others whom might not only be family.

Whenever you do something good for others it makes you a little happy. I know that if I help someone with something and they recognize I did something good to get noticed by them makes me happy. I don’t yet work enough to know how money can change me in a way if I will be the type to share my wealth and experiences with others or keep most for myself. But treating friends if they can’t get something or spending on family I think is always a good thing and will make me happy. Although, I feel that yes giving to others will make them happy and me because I have done something good besides spend on material things but when I feel like a person could do better or could have tried I don’t feel the urge to give away. When I see poor people on the streets I feel sad for them but I rarely give money because I think how bad could it have been for you to change for the better of you and not be out on the streets or did you just become so lazy and decide to drop everything in your life. Those are my perspectives on buying your happiness or others.

How to buy happiness

In “ What good is money if it cant buy happiness” ?  By Sonja Lyubomirsky argues that can money actually buy happiness? She discusses how no matter how much money you have it cannot bring happiness to you. People who were the most wealthiest weren’t actually happy because, although they may had have everything they wanted it wasn’t something that would last that made them happy, they were more sad and miserable. Lyubomirsky suggested that instead we should spend our money on being adventurous such as vacations, trips, concerts, involving in more positive activities, doing things for others that would make us feel more positive about ourselves. She stated that “the key to buying happiness is not how financially successful we are, but what we do with it” (3),

However I agree that money doesn’t bring happiness all the time maybe for the moment, but when it’s gone, a person is back to their regular self again. I say this because as Lyubomirsky stated when she spoke to an Ivy League educated plastic surgeon, he was someone who had it all, but even though he had it all he said “I had difficulty feeling motivated, and I have trouble getting out of bed this morning” (1) which he explain that although he doesn’t feel motivated he also discusses that he was completely miserable. Therefore a person who can have everything isn’t the happiest person because when you have a certain amount of money you get used to it and it doesn’t mean much to you anymore.

Lyubomirsky compared the comparison between money and happiness. Once a person gets use to positive change in their life such as getting high expenses, cars, clothes, as Lyubomirsky stated “we quickly become inured to changes in our lives and my colleagues and I have found that we get used to the positive changes” (1) that although her and her colleagues get used to the positive changes, they weren’t using it in the way she believed that they should. Therefore people who are rich and wealthy instead of spending money on materialistic things, they don’t necessarily matter it’s the experience that count and how you use it.

An additional thing to buy happiness is spending it on others, as Lyubomirsky believed. She believed that having money were able to have the ability to help one another such as our loved ones, society, charities, and to change the world. When we are able to give to others makes he/she feel more accomplished and positive because they are doing something for another person beside themselves, such as helping an elderly person cross the street, or helping them getting on the subway it makes us as society feel good. Therefore the more there are more people involving, engaging with one another could see that money doesn’t always bring happiness it can be there for the moment and then it’s gone.

Lastly the key to buying happiness isn’t how financial stable we are, but how we use it and it isn’t about how rich a person is or how much they have its all about giving back to one another and helping our society.