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.

#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.

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.

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.

Happiness Archive #3: summary/response to Lyubomirsky article

In Psychology Today’s article “How To Buy Happiness” by Sonja Lyubomirsky, she writes about the association of money to happiness. She goes ahead to describe the difference between the experiences and the material things bought with money. She also tells about how spending money on others can result in sustaining ones well being and when spending money, it should be on “need-satisfying goals.

After reading the article I was convinced by the writer’s compelling points of buying happiness. Although money can’t buy happiness it can buy experiences that will leave a longer lasting impression in our memories. Making it possible to revisit at any point and time. Also when buying an experience it may bring us closer to others. A simple movie date with a loved one, can provide happiness that you both can share. Wherein the material things that we may spend allot of money on, such as, cars,jewelry, tech devices and gadgets don’t last forever. After awhile they become invalid and useless ending the temporary happiness that was created when the items were bought.

Possessions are more likely to be compared. giving us a sense of insecurities when someone comes with newest modeled car, or new version gadget. When we compare ourselves to others we are less happy. We might feel insufficient, bringing all types of self doubt; thus, not being happy.

We can also have a great deal of happiness when we spend our money on something to better ourselves, grow; Such as an education. I spend money coming to and from school, on books, on copies, on clothes, etc…. but there is a bigger picture. The fact that the money being spent is to further myself, it adds to my well being. My Bachelors degree will be very self satisfying. It will contribute to my happiness. Giving me the ability to be a better person , by helping others. Whether it be with my career or just being a strong, proud,African American, single mother. I will have something to show and prove to my children. So yes, I’m buying my happiness through experience. that I will someday share with my children, my clients or maybe even someday, THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!


Money and happiness how it relates

In the article “How to buy happiness” by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton, the idea that money is not that important as people make it out to be is introduced. In paragraph 3, they mention studies that prove that material things fail to produce long lasting happiness. This is proven in the next paragraph with the study involving the American dream and buying a home. One would think that owning their own property , raises their levels of happiness extremely , but this is a common misconception and wrong. These peoples happiness are not that different from those who rent. Elizabeth and Michael stress the idea of experiences. They believe it is more important to experience certain events rather than buying certain materials. In the seventh paragraph Elizabeth and Michael explain that experiences are more important than having a lot of money because it brings us closer to others. It makes you feel good to be able to share or spend time with someone , you don’t experience this so much when you go shopping for yourself, and only buy things for yourself. And finally in the last paragraph , an experiment was mentioned, involving 3 options, one was giving away their gift card, another was spending the gift card on themselves, and the third was buying someone else something and spending time with that person. And the results were that the third option made more people happier. Proving that money is not important as people make it out to be, rather the experiences that are made with what you got are more important and cause you to be happier.
I personally believe that money doesn’t buy happiness. I agree with what Elizabeth and Michael stated in the article. When large sums of money are offered or given to us, most of us believe we should take it and run. Spend it on ourselves, we believe we’ll be happy. It’s our first thought be selfish. But I believe it’s better to have memories to later share, to remember. Experiences are everything. If I have something that can help someone else why wouldn’t I? This is to say if I have an extra 5 dollars and my friend needs it, or somebody on the train performs a song with their son and asks for a donation I’m going to give up that 5 dollars, this is because it makes me feel good about myself .Money can’t buy happiness, but sometimes what you do with what you do got gives more of a happiness feeling. You don’t need to have a big house, fancy cars, a whole bunch of money in your wallet to feel happy. Be satisfied with your economic status try not to put so much stress on it and you’ll see how you change. You’ll focus on what really makes you happy, making memories, getting experiences, your interactions with others, this is where true happiness lies.

Happiness Archive #2: summary/response to “How to buy Happiness”

The importance of how we use our money can contribute to our happiness opposed to how much of it we have. In the article the author starts by introducing the idea of discovering a $1 million under our mattress, and the contemplation on what would be done with the money. The mere fact that the first thing that would come to mind would be ” what that money can do for US?” is a sign that money can bring out the selfish side. Thinking about all the material things to purchase often fails to give us complete satisfaction, “HAPPINESS”. Wherein changing how we spend the money can leave a more lasting affect of happiness. Research shows that “homeowners were no happier than renters on average”. Before reading this article, this would have been something I’d disagree with, but the points shown has given me a new perspective.

We spend most of our time working so hard to live “comfortably” or “lavishly” that we in fact forget to actually “LIVE”. Saving up with no social life isn’t such a good idea because there is an importance of social contact for improving our well being. Studies also show that there is more happiness in the experience than in the material things. the value of experience tends to grow with our memories of them. Experiences come with more benefit because, more than likely we tend to do them with others. Connecting both the experience with the socializing wherein measuring to a more fulfillment of happiness.

Another way is in fact doing for others. Experiments show that doing for others can also result in your own happiness. Actually combining the experience and giving can increase happiness. The experiment with the gift cards showed that people were more happy with the idea of giving and partaking at the same time, which made it a shared experience. So switching spending to the experience can leave a longer lasting valued affect!!!

How much money do you need to buy happiness?

In Los Angeles Times Elizabeth Dunn and Norton wrote an opinion piece titled “How to buy Happiness” published May 19,2013. Dunn and Norton gave an example of finding a million dollars under your mattress. What will most people do with that much money? Research shows that money brings out the selfish side of a person. Making us think what we could do with that money for ourselves. For instance, buying a new car, a new cellphone, or a new T.V. Studies have shown that materialistic goods don’t bring lasting happiness. You don’t need a million dollars to buy happiness. Just by spending as little as $5 can bring you more happiness then spending $500 in materialistic goods. It all has to do with how and in what the money is being spent. Many people still associate the American dream with buying a house. A new research shows that buying a house doesn’t really have an impact in happiness. Women that are homeowners in the United States didn’t show to be any happier then those who rent. A research in Germany showed that people who moved to a better home were satisfied with the home its self, but their happiness with their lives didn’t increase. Studies have also shown that buying experiences and memories such as going on trips or the movies will bring people more happiness than buying a material item. Social contact is proven to be a major factor for increasing mental and physical heath. Experiments done in Canada, the United States, Uganda and South Africa prove that people are more happy when they spend money on others. Dunn and Norton made an experiment that combined both experiences and giving to others. On a university campus they gave a Starbucks gift card to three groups. One group had to go to Starbucks and buy themselves something. The second group had to give the Starbucks gift card to someone else. The third group had to use the gift card to buy someone else something and to hang out with them in Starbucks. The results of the experiment was that the third group who bought something for someone else and spend time with them were the happiest. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, but the way you spend that money makes all the difference. Buying experiences for you and others could increase your happiness enormously.

I completely agree with Elizabeth Dunn and Micheal Norton. I put myself in the position of finding one million dollars under my mattress. What will I do with the money? Although it will be a tricky decision to make I honestly think I would buy myself and someone special to me a flight ticket to go on a adventure. If I was to buy myself a huge T.V I would tend to stay home watching T.V all day. Instead of wasting a whole day staying home watching T.v isolated from all the things that could be done outside and spending time with love ones. I would prefer to go out and enjoy myself. Elizabeth and Micheal said “the cost of increasing your happiness may be as cheap as two cups of coffee” (2). Rich or poor if you know how to spend your money you could increase your happiness with just two cups of coffee. Memories last a life time, material stuff doesn’t.

Money Can’t Buy Happiness or can it?

In the Los Angeles Times , “How To Buy Happiness”, by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton, they have some questions in their mind. Can one buy happiness and how happy can one be from buying happiness? In the beginning of their argument, they suggested and provided studies showing that money makes us selfish. It makes us focus on what the money can do for us. For example, buying new possessions like a new phone, or a new car. However, Dunn and Norton also provide us with research that buying a new house doesn’t increase happiness as much. In fact, a study shows that homeowners and renters are as happy as each other.

In another part of the argument, Dunn and Norton suggested and provide facts that buying experiences makes people more happy than buying material things. Buying experiences are like buying tickets to a concert, special meals, and trips. In fact, buying experiences can bring people together. For example, wouldn’t you go to the movies with someone instead of going alone, or to eat in a restaurant?

In an experiment, Dunn and Norton also found out that buying something for someone else rather than yourself gives the buyer an additional boost of happiness. It doesn’t matter if one spends just a few dollars on someone, it still provide more happiness. In another experiment, Dunn and Norton combined buying experiences and giving to see if it would increase happiness. They gave three groups of students of a university campus gift card to go to Starbucks. One were ask to go by themselves. Another was told to give it to a friend and the last group was asked to go with a friend and treat that friend. in fact it shows that treating someone and sharing the experience with that person is happier than just buying something for yourself or just for someone else.

In response to Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton, I agree with all of their studies and suggestions. I do believe that money makes us selfish. I would think of something I would get if I found a million dollars under my bed. I might get the new iPhone 6, the upcoming iWatch, beats headphones, etc. I believe that money buys happiness especially when I buying and giving experiences I was so happy when I bought a ticket to a concert I been wanting to go to. I didn’t want to go alone so I bought another ticket for a friend. I treated and shared the experience with a friend. I was so happy that day, it wouldn’t be the same without my friend. I think this example also proved what Elizabeth Dun and Michael Norton experiment were true.  I also think that it made my friend happy too. Making others happy usually makes me happy too. I think that people should treat others more often instead of being selfish. It makes the other person happier and it makes you more happier too. In fact, I am going to treat myself and a friend a Starbuck drink on Monday, and be happy together.