Happiness Guide: How Much Money Do You Need To Be Happy?

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First of all, I would like to welcome you to the first post on my blog.

What would be most appropriate for my first post would be talking about something I believe everyone has asked themselves some point in their lives.

I asked a few friends on their thoughts about money and happiness. I gathered many different views.

It will be ignorant to say that you do not need any money to live happily, but how much is enough?

How Money Affects Our Happiness

A common question is “Can money buy happiness?”

While there are no right answers to it but I can lay out the different ideas I have gathered from my friends and through my own research.

As many people use social media, it is natural for us to see the “happy” lives of these people and usually, it is associated with some sort of wealth in their images.

This correlation between wealth and happiness has been predefined to us unconsciously every single day whenever we open our social apps.

This can be supported by my friends I’ve asked this question to where the friends who are much more sociable (high followers and following on their Instagram) told me that money equates to wealth for them.

However, another group of friends who seem to be happier most of the time, tend to have lesser followers.

Does this mean that social media is the cause of our unhappiness? I don’t think so.

For the most part, it is our own expectations and the goals we want to achieve in life. Especially during this pandemic, there are much more “solopreneurs” out there flexing on their “wealth” which indirectly affects you.

Certainly, money is part of the happiness puzzle but it does not just end there. In fact, having too much money may even lead to unhappiness as shown in the “fulfilment curve” below which can be found in the book Your Money or Your Life 

Image taken from: www.oreilly.com

Fulfilment Curve

This fulfilment curve suggests that self-fulfilment actually declines when overconsumption occurs which in this context, having too many luxuries.

The only thing I disagree with on this curve is the peak of fulfilment comes when you attain a luxurious lifestyle as this could affect many people deceiving them into thinking that in order for them to be truly happy, they need to live luxuriously.

When planted in the wrong minds, the view of “luxury” for this person may be far fetched which eventually causes him to be unhappy now. Instead, look at it subjectively.

For me, living a luxurious life would mean to own luxury watches and to drive supercars. If I were to adopt this mindset, I don’t think it’ll be really healthy.

How Should You Go About It Then?

In my efforts of chasing financial freedom or rather, trying to get my time back. I realised that it made me fall into this common trap. But along the way, I quickly found out that this financial freedom route that most of us are keen to take need not be so miserable.

Which in fact, could be the reason why some prefer the 9 – 5 as they feel that their lives would be much more fulfilling rather than just finding a way out of the rat race.

The key to happiness lies in you. Try thinking of this whole money thing as a journey instead of a destination.

Imagine yourself going on a road trip, driving through the mountains with sceneries to die for only to close your eyes and only open to see how it looks like when you’ve reached your accommodation. Yes, you’ll still get the view (Wealth) at the end but things could certainly be better.

How about opening your eyes and taking in the view while on the way?

If you start thinking of it this way, you’ll understand how some people tell you that you need a balance in between. 

Having to live your life with your eyes close seems really foolish but this is what most of the people are doing,  having high expectations are fine but you need to savour the drive and take in every breeze and scenery you come across and this may be in the form of friendships, relationships, health and even hobbies.

Besides, the chances of reaching your destination are much higher when you open your eyes even though you are taking in the view compared with your eyes closed! (duh)

The Key To Happiness

I hope you’ll be able to look at things clearer now with the given analogy. It has made me feel really grateful for the things I currently have in life and the achievements I have accomplished thus far. 

I hope this post would be the hand you needed to get you out of the loop of unhappiness and pave a much clearer path for you towards your goal of contentment and financial freedom. 

Here’s the link to the book Money or Your Life mentioned in this article if you’re keen to have a look. And here are the best side-hustles to pick up in the upcoming year.