Can Money Buy Happiness?

Is it possible to ‘buy’ your way to happiness?


Nessah Wendt

We always say “money can’t buy happiness,” but how much of that is true?

Nessah Wendt, Columnist

Do you ever think about that one thing that you wanted more than anything as a kid? How you thought about it all the time but then within a week after saving up and buying it, you end up forgetting about it? It’s weird how something that causes so much happiness one day, can be completely forgotten the next. Should that even be called happiness?

According to, happiness is “a sense of well-being, joy, or contentment. When people are successful, or safe, or lucky, they feel happiness.” But what about long lasting happiness? Can you actually have long lasting satisfaction from the newest item in the store?

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Department of Philosophy says that although being rich isn’t the key to happiness, your economic status can play a role in your day-to-day happiness. A more long lasting way to happiness can also come from experiences rather than physical items. Even though a new iPhone can be exciting, eventually the excitement fades away and it just becomes normal. When you indulge in an experience, especially with other people, it’s memory and the happiness felt during the event can last a lifetime.

Healthline essentially says that money is unlikely to buy happiness, but can help to an extent when used on more fulfilling purposes such as charities. Beyond that, happiness can be found through non-superficial ways, like spending time with people and looking at all the things you can be grateful for in life (Related: being grateful for what you have is an important step in a happier life).

In the end, happiness can depend on what you use your money for and how much of it you have in general. When used in more fulfilling ways, like giving to charities or getting a new pet, it is possible that you can use money to find some form of happiness.