Does money bring happiness? (v2.0)

We’ve looked at this topic before. Since then, I’ve written an essay on the relationship between income and well-being. Although there has been a huge amount of work, the answer is not clear. There isn’t a yes/no answer to this question, unfortunately, and it depends on many different things. To explain what some of these things are, I’ll quote myself:

The presented research suggests that increases in income will bring the most happiness to an individual who is: relatively poor; has just experienced an income drop; is satisfied with their new income level; and who spends their money on experiential purchases and on other people. Income increase will have the weakest effect on an individual who is: relatively rich; living in an affluent country with a growing economy; has high aspirations and wants even more money; and spends their money on material goods for themselves.

Money might have a small, direct effect on happiness but the relationship is not as simple as asking “How much money do you earn?” It’s “How much do you earn, how much have you earned in the past, how much money do you want, where do you live, and how are you going to spend it?”

If you want to read my full essay (and why wouldn’t you?), you can find it here.


  • Happiness is not about money. Yes, we need money to live, unless you are living on a island by yourself. It is not how much money you have or where you live, but how well you use the money you do have.

    It is when people try to complicate thing that they get messed up. Look at your complete post it has a lot of information in it, but what does it say about real people?
    .-= Debbie @ Happy Maker´s last blog ..Embracing Change to Choose Happiness =-.

    • Warren Davies says:

      “Look at your complete post it has a lot of information in it, but what does it say about real people?”

      Could you elaborate? Do you mean what use does this information have?

  • I believe there is a certain degree of happiness and for does money bring happiness? Of course it does but in a particular degree.

    What is real happiness, btw?

    • Warren Davies says:

      Yes I agree. As for what real happiness is, if you mean what is ‘true’ happiness, I’m not sure it exists, if you mean what actually is it, look here.

  • christian says:

    I think its impossible to answer the question ” does money bring hapiness?”

    It depends on the person. Some people I know could live with nearly nothing and still be happy, while a lot of others I know have loads of expensive needs that must be fullfilled to be happy. It’s a question that man can discuss forever without finding the right answer.

  • Steve says:

    I think money helps up to a point. I have been weighed down by crushing debt and unemployment in the past, and it definitely took it’s toll on me emotionally. Once I dug myself out, I was a lot happier.

    But there is a limit. After your basic needs are met, I doubt that more money is going to make you happier.

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