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Is Money Everything? Why Some People Feel It’s Not

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With phrases like “money makes the world go round” and “it’s all about money” floating around, you would be forgiven to ask, is money everything? The fundamental truth is you need money for survival. It makes things easier. For example, you can improve your quality of life, dictate your spending and do what you want. 

On the flip side, there are things money can’t do for you. This is why many people argue that money isn’t everything. In this post, we examine the role of money in our lives.

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The Importance of Money in Society

A man holding money. Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Money is a trading tool. You use it to buy goods and services. From buying clothes, healthcare, shelter, food and other necessities, it keeps your life moving. You can use the money to access opportunities through traveling, meeting new people and developing a sense of security for yourself and your family.

Further, having enough money allows you to carve a life on your own terms. This way, you avoid succumbing to societal pressures or doing things out of desperation. All of these lead to a higher life satisfaction. However, regardless of how much money you have, there are things it can’t do for you. 

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What Money Can’t Do For You

Money burning. Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash
  • Money can’t buy time. The rich and poor have finite time. If you spend your time in the wrong way, your bank balance can’t prolong it. All you can do is spend it on things you enjoy.
  • Money can’t establish connections. While it can buy you exposure to people, it’ll not help you to build friendships. You’ll have to work to create meaningful relationships with those you meet.
  • Satisfy your passions. This is best seen in cases where you have a high-paying job but you aren’t fulfilled. You do this out of the necessity of paying bills and catering for yourself and your family.
  • Earn respect. People won’t respect you because you have money. How you handle people determines whether you gain respect or not. It’s the reason why some celebrities remain unlikeable, despite their success.
  • It can’t buy peace. You can get all the latest gadgets and items to fill a void but in the long run, if you have unresolved issues, they’ll reoccur. 

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Does More Money Bring You More Happiness?

Does More Money Equal More Happiness? Video Credit: After Skool

The close link between money and happiness makes you think that the more of it you get the happier you’ll be. Wellbeing expert Gethin Nadin told The Happiness Index that funds contribute to happiness when it means our basic needs. Beyond that, it doesn’t make you happier.

A 2010 Princeton study shows that a higher salary generates happiness. However, when it goes beyond the $75,000 annual income, there’s a decrease between salary raise and happiness.

However, other studies contradict this. Matthew Killingsworth’s 2021 paper shows continued happiness with an annual income of more than $75,000. So, if you earn $100,000, you’re happier than some with $75,000. This denotes that people always think that the more they get, the happier they’ll be.

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Does money bring all the happiness? The answer is two-sided, yes and no. 

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What Creates True Fulfilment?

A happy woman. Photo by Rafa Sanfilippo on Unsplash

If money isn’t everything, what then can you do to find true fulfilment?

  • Your purpose. The young people entering the workforce are fighting against the status quo of sitting at a job the whole day for a salary. Instead, they want to engage in meaningful things, so most prioritize their health and well-being over a paycheck. 
  • Health. Having financial stability can help you gain the best treatment, and get quality insurance and healthy food. However, when you’re working in a stressful environment, your health suffers. The best alternative is finding a way of generating income and maintaining your health.
  • Love. Surrounding yourself with people you love and trust is more important than having a big bank balance without such relations. Some people create wealth to compensate for lack of love but they are never truly contented.

The answer to the question is money everything in life, isn’t black and white. It’s vital in your daily life. It’s one of the ways you transact with the world. As we’ve pointed out, it contributes to your happiness. However, beyond a certain point, it doesn’t add to your happiness, meaning you need to have other things to achieve fulfilment.   

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