Can money buy happiness?

Can money buy happiness or is this expecting too much of material things?

We’re all familiar with MasterCard’s widely popular ad which says matters of the heart are priceless but for everything else there’s MasterCard. The inference drawn is that MasterCard/money can buy pretty much anything you want.

Now consider that statement for a second. Can money actually buy you satisfaction?

People are divided on the topic but many that say they have experienced happiness in their lives indicate that money played no big role in it or was not a factor any at all.

While there is more to life than spending, it can’t be disputed that this does bring some joy, if momentary, to some people.

Others say using money to purchase thing for others makes them happy as giving provides a level of joy and satisfaction, hence money can buy happiness. For example, if a mother loses her home in a fire, receives one from an organisation or individual, that home will make the mother and her children ecstatic, right? So if you put it like that, money CAN buy happiness.

The experts who weigh in say that it’s not a simple or straightforward answer as you have to factor in people’s value system and what they view as happiness. A recent study examined how poor Zambian women over time were given no-strings-attached money. Over a 48 month period, researchers found that the women had a greater sense of emotional satisfaction and well-being.  Additionally, a 2010 Gallup poll done in the United States on almost a half a million people suggested that having a higher income made them feel more satisfied in life.

Those who flat-out say money cannot buy or be equated to happiness do concede that when they make purchase for children or their significant other and see their faces light up, then they understand that in some context money can make a big difference in securing contentment, if only for a time. Others say unequivocally that poverty breeds misery and unhappiness and that if money does not directly buy one’s happiness, it can at least take you to places where you can find it!