Can’t Buy My Happiness?

Erica Bock

After discussing the “buyosphere” and America’s immense amount of consumerism in class, I decided to delve deeper into the topic to find out more details on the reasoning and symptoms of “consuming our way to happiness”. It is generally known that because of technology, the increased amount of individuals becoming educated, and the wealth of our nation that consumerism is on the rise. However, it is often said that “money can’t buy happiness”. But can it?

Research suggests that money can buy happiness when it comes to those who are impoverished. After evaluating the needy and evaluating the wealthy, it was obvious that that the wealthy had a higher level of happiness. However, research goes further to say that the happiness of the financially better off depends on what their money is spent on. According to the Wall Street Journal, individuals who consume “experiences” are said to be happier than those  who consume “items”. Regardless, the consumer still remains happier.

Psychology Today also agrees with the fact that income and happiness are undoubtedly related. However, the correlation between the two is much stronger in the impoverished than in the middle-class and wealthy. Nonetheless, research has also shown that as the average income of an American has tripled, the average happiness of Americans has remained constant. The conclusion: money can buy happiness, but it definitely has its limits.


6 thoughts on “Can’t Buy My Happiness?

  1. Erica, this is such a great topic to write your blog on! In my opinion, I believe that income indefinitely ties into happiness. For example, if the parents of a child are not making enough money to take their kid places they would like to or are too busy working to earn a living wage, this may lead to a sort of unhappiness for the parents. They may start to feel as if they are not meeting their full potential as a parent. Also, as a personal statement, I feel undoubtedly more happy when I have more money to spend.


  2. I was always under the impression that money and love correlated with one another. If somebody had a boat load on money, but no family or loved ones to share it with, then they would be untimely unhappy. If a poor person however, had all the love they could take, but not the funds to buy them things then they would still be happier than the richy rich person. Money might be able to buy satisfaction, but happiness is a strong word for something as material as money..I agree with your statement thou.

    Chandler B


  3. I think this is a very interesting topic. I don’t think that people think much past the phrase “money can’t buy happiness”. I very much agree with your opinion that money can buy happiness to an extent. Do you think this is a mentality that is more common in the US or do you think this is true in most places?

    Halle Van De Hey


  4. I believe that money can buy temporary happiness, I understand the comparison with the impoverished getting an opportunity that they can get the new and flashy things, but that feeling is temporary because happiness comes from a majority of things not just money,money can just be seen as a small factor because you can not come from wealth and a lot of money to buy materialistic things but still be extremely happy.

    Shayla Ford


  5. I believe whole heartedly that money can buy happiness but not in the form of material things. Money can buy happiness through traveling, or experiences like concerts, amusement parks, movies, etc. I also believe that if you have a hobby, inevitably it costs some amount of money to pursue, like art supplies, or fitness equipment. Happiness is all about time spent, and if money is the vehicle that gets you to your personal happy place, that is totally acceptable.
    On the other hand, if you’re a person that is just shopping and buying things that really serve no purpose, like your 90th pair of boots, that is another story.


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