I get told all the time that money doesn’t make you happy and you know what?
I agree… kind of. What do I mean?
Well if you are really poor and struggling then, of course, more money can buy happiness (to an extent).
If you keep making money then there comes a point in your life where money doesn’t have the same impact as it once had.
I know… I know… a personal finance blogger talking down about money?!
Listen I want everyone to have enough money to be free from the Rat Race but just don’t get caught up in the “love for money”.
Here is something I live by:
Money isn’t the goal, freedom to make choices is.
Listen, there are people out there who just want to sing, paint, play an instrument, etc…
But, these usually don’t pay the bills, so they end up being accountants or something else and they hate it!
Money can give you the power to make choices that will make you happy without worrying about where your next paycheck will come from.
This is why I stress learning about investments and passive income, so you can make your money work for you while you focus on what you love doing.
Check out my post on index funds for more investing information.
Some of us may be chasing money to reach happiness, some may hate money and think money is the root of all evil that does not bring happiness.
The fact is, money is just a tool used to bring happiness.
Note that when we are talking about happiness we are looking for fulfillment, not temporary happiness.
Let’s dig deeper into the question, can money buy happiness?
I know a lot of people who want money just to buy things when their closet is already filled with “stuff” that they got tired of.
It just doesn’t make sense!
You need to realize that material things bring only temporary happiness and you need to keep buying things to keep that level of happiness, it’s like a drug!
Now don’t think I’m telling you to be a square and have one pair of sneakers like forever. No, not all at.
I’m just saying that you should think about if what you’re buying will make you happy or is it just an impulse purchase.
Live your life and get things that will make you happy but remember to shop with a rational mindset, not an emotional one.
This will be sure to change your mind about spending money.
Some are you thinking “well duh! I know material things will not make me happy that’s why I spend my money on experiences, not things.”
This is better but this still doesn’t lead to the fulfilled life I was talking about.
Let me get this straight, I think everyone should travel and experience different parts of the world, different cultures, and different lifestyles.
It is so important to expand your mind and not be locked into one perception of life.
Experiences allow you to find things that you love to do (your desires) and also show you what you don’t like to do.
I believe experiences are so important to a fulfilled life but you need to take it one step further to become truly fulfilled.
To live a truly fulfilled life is to have a sense of purpose. Now I know this is vague so let’s dig a little deeper into what this means.
I believe a sense of purpose means to do something that means so much to you that you can do it for the rest of your life and feel fulfilled.
This is the key here, to feel fulfilled.
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of fulfilling is: Providing happiness or satisfaction.
So how do you find your purpose?
I wish I can tell you exactly what your purpose is so you can find true happiness as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, this isn’t possible, we all have different desires that lead to different purposes.
This is where the previous point comes in, by experiencing different things you will know where your purpose lies.
However please note that finding your purpose will not come to you tomorrow or next month, it might not even come to you in a few years.
It usually takes a long time to find your purpose, while some might find their purpose fairly quick, this is not the case for most people.
“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” ―Dalai Lama
Your purpose gets you up at 5 AM willingly when you hate waking up so early, your purpose keeps you up all night because you can’t get enough of it, your purpose is on your mind 24/7.
Simply, your purpose is something to live for. We are alive but most of us are not truly living.
Okay… I think you get it by now. Your purpose keeps you motivated every single day.
“Cool, but what does this have to do with personal finance?”
Great question! Well, remember what I said at the beginning of the post?
Money is not the goal, freedom to make choices is.
This is essentially what personal finance has to do with finding your purpose. Let me explain.
The goal in your personal finance journey is financial freedom but this isn’t your life’s goal. Financial freedom is just one goal in your life (I admit, a huge goal but not the end goal).
What financial freedom does is free up your time so you can focus on what you truly care about (your purpose).
If your purpose requires money then you have the money there to support you without having to rely on a paycheck from a job.
Simply, my philosophy is to reach financial independence to free up my time so I can focus on my purpose.
Your goal should be to find your purpose and chase it because that is where true happiness lies.
The point of this post is to show you that I don’t love money and you shouldn’t either. You should love your freedom to make choices.
Use your money to buy back your time so you can focus on what really makes you happy and this is your purpose!
There are different levels of happiness, yes those shoes might make you happy now but how long will this last until the next one is needed to fill that void?
Happiness from material things and experiences is like a drug, they give you a temporary high where you need more to keep that level of happiness.
Happiness from your purpose is a lifestyle change. Your purpose is who you are, it’s something you do without thinking twice.
Your purpose leads to fulfillment, which produces ultimate happiness.
“True happiness… is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” ―Helen Keller
Do you agree with this post? Can money buy happiness? What do you think leads to true happiness?