Some people hold onto the premise that “money can’t buy happiness”. With the influx of telenovelas and K-dramas, many would like to believe that money is not important to one’s well-being.
In contrast, an interesting study claims that Pinoys need to earn at least P110,000/month to be happy. The researchers came up with this amount by factoring in the local cost of living.
In light of these conflicting statements, it’s better to look at things from a different perspective. So instead of asking, can money buy happiness, the better question would be, how significant is income or financial stability to living a happy life?
Money enables you to meet your basic needs such as paying for food, water, and a place to live. If you don’t have money to pay for these essentials, your personal well-being suffers. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have a steady income to afford water, adequate food, and a place you can call home.
Having money provides you with security, especially when there are unforeseen circumstances such as getting laid off from work or medical emergencies. Worrying about your financial situation can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health. According to WebMD, excessive worrying can cause anxiety and may interfere with your appetite, sleep, relationships, lifestyle habits, and work performance. Emotional stress can trigger the body’s sympathetic nervous system to discharge stress hormones such as cortisol which can affect your blood pressure, heart, and other body systems.
Research also shows that mental health problems such as anxiety disorders and depression are higher among individuals who have financial problems (e.g. increased amounts of debt) than among those who do not.
On the flip side, individuals who have ample income to cover basic necessities, fixed expenses, lifestyle expenses, and are still able to save for a rainy day enjoy more security, peace of mind, and control over their lives. A study by Princeton University supports a strong link between financial security and satisfaction with one’s life.
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As your income increases, your sense of well-being also escalates. This is supported by a study from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Their findings show that well-being continues to climb with income which indicates that individuals tend to feel happier as they become more financially stable.
Why is that so? Higher income gives you access to a better home in a safer neighborhood, better nutrition, and quality healthcare. In addition, you can have a quality education, more opportunities to get high-paying jobs, and more leisure time. All these things can create living conditions for leading a happier life.
Money may not be the primary key to attaining happiness but it helps provide your basic needs and make day-to-day living easier. It enables you to have a safety net that promotes well-being. In addition, a steady income acts as a useful tool in reaching your goals and turning your dreams into a reality.
Happiness is a network of many intricate things such as working hard, loving what you do, spending your money wisely, saving for your future, and building a financial cushion for emergencies.