You can BUY happiness with money! Spending money to impress others won’t buy you happiness. That being said, spending money on yourself, doing things you enjoy, can certainly make you happy. A new study from San Francisco State University demonstrates it’s why you buy, not what you buy that determines contentment.

Money buys happiness

People who purchased “life experiences” like cruises, cross-country adventures, etc. to impress others were more likely to be discontent afterward, revealed the investigation of 241 study participants. The study proved that the old saying “money can’t buy happiness” is true—within reason. In fact, money can buy happiness, as long as you’re fulfilling self-desires and not trying to outdo a friend or co-worker.

But what the study truly reveals is that a good number of people would require ample monies in order to live a lifestyle they considered optimal. While many people are content in their daily lives, working their jobs and taking care of their families, the vast majority would chose something else if they were given the opportunity. That’s not to say people would give up a good job or a loving family, but most people would appreciate more flexible schedules, more time for recreational activities, or to not work at all. Unfortunately, these are all forms of happiness that generally require money to secure.

Is it possible to find complete happiness just by living out your life with that special someone? Romantics will say yes; it doesn’t matter where you live or in what conditions as long as you have your true love by your side. Truth be told, however, not many of those people have ever had a relationship stressed by hunger, homelessness, poverty, or disease. While living with the love of your life is fantastic, no one really wants to live in squalor. Ideally, you’d wish you and your mate could be transported to some utopian island where you lived out your days without worrying about food, money, or clothing.

There are some people in this world who can achieve complete happiness and freedom without being chained to a line of funding. These are the people who wish for nothing but to live off the land, tending to themselves and their families without outside intervention. Unfortunately, the world we live in makes this kind of life exceedingly difficult. Most countries require citizens to pay taxes, and to do that you need to have a cash flow. And don’t think about selling anything you’ve grown, raised or made off your land—the government will want a piece of that profit too. Even for these people, who don’t need money to live, finding an ideal happiness is almost impossible.

All in all, has anyone in the world ever been completely happy? Those with money can’t buy common sense or good ethics, and those with good ethics and a kind heart are often in the poor house.

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