How Money Affects the Way we Live, Does it Really Makes us Happy?

Many people say that money is everything in life; others argue the opposite: money does not make you happy, “money is not everything in life,” it is the time you spend with your family and friends what really makes you happy. Both arguments are correct to a certain point; the truth is that money plays an important role in our lives; there is nothing wrong about having money, living a good life is –honestly- what the majority of the population wishes for; not in a selfish way, but having enough money to pay the bills, to provide better education to our kids and pay hospital bills are the main motives of aspiring for a better income.


If you still think money is not important; just ask yourself this question: If I could have any 3 wishes, what would they be? I am sure that at least 90% would make a money-related wish. Money is a symbol of freedom and independence, the only problem about wishing for more money is what you do In order to get more that what we have; I am not talking about doing something illegal; in the majority of the cases, we need to work harder; but does it really make us happy? There have been plenty of studies that shows that the middle and upper class population live longer than the working class; however the main reason is because they look after themselves better; they know the importance of a good diet and the impact of exercise in your life; it does not mean that they are happier because they have more money; in fact, according to many studies, the happiest population around the world tend to be the poorest one.

I was not surprised when I read a British newspaper at the beginning of 2011 with the title “Nigeria is beset by poverty, corruption and violence – but a poll says it is the world's most optimistic nation[35]; in a section of the article reads “…a global survey has confirmed it: in a 53-country Gallup poll, Nigerians were rated at 70 points for optimism. By contrast, Britain scored a deeply pessimistic -44. Why so glum, Britain? And what in the world makes Nigerians so happy?...[35]


We can honestly say that money is not the answer; money does not make Nigerians happy; it is optimism and hope for a better life, many Nigerians live with their parents, children and sometimes grandparents; this is another reason what makes them so happy, having someone to talk to when you get home, spending more time with your beloved ones makes you smile, your stress level decreases and the meaning of money changes.

Hope 1.0 by Abrahem Walsh. Nigerians, the happiest people in the worldCredit: Abrahem Walsh


Now, we can agree that there are many things apart from money that makes us happy: good health, being in love, and having peace are essential for anyone; but wealth does not exclude these virtues, the opposite, it may help to have a more balanced life. Working harder to increase your income is a problem when you swap it for the time you spend with your family but the mental association that many people set on an issue finally meets its destination; people who do not care too much about money, tend to earn less money; their expectation are lower and do not work enough for a better life; at the end of the day, their life is fulfilled by living an average life.


What would really make you happy? A nice holiday with your family? Not having to worry about university fees for your children? How would you pay for hospital bills for your parents? You need money to fulfil almost every wish you may have at any point in your life.  I can honestly say that money will not make us happy, but it can change our life for the better, money does help.