You’d never want to rob my house. I’m being absolutely serious here. You could enter our front door, have a look around, see nothing you like, then go straight over to the house across the road. At least, that’s what my husband and I usually have a big laugh about. Our house isn’t flashy, not on the outside or on the inside. We don’t have comfortable leather seats from La-Z-Boy, we don’t have TVs so large they could almost blind your eyes, or extravagant clothes you’d see on a runway. But we are incredibly grateful for what we do have, and for what we can provide for our 3 children. The fact is, though, that money is a part of life and sometimes it’s hard to be happy with what you only have.
Struggling to make ends meet
I read an article on Huffington Post today that almost had me in tears. A woman had written in about how her financial situation had affected her personal and professional life; and what it meant for her husband and two children. She felt as though she’d failed as a parent, because she couldn’t afford to give her kids the life she wanted for them. This article really hit home for me; because despite how much our family saves, the money left over never seems to be enough.
Both our financial situations probably ring a bell for you. If you’re an American, you’ll know that the US economy is trying to get back on track after the Great Recession. And if you’re an Australian like me, you’ll know that an Australian recession is tipped to be just right around the corner.
All of us; no matter where we live, who we are, and whether we are raising a family – is doing it tough. As much as anyone tries to reduce the money spent on nights out, the luxuries they buy for themselves or their children, the types of recipes they are cooking – sometimes these changes alone are not enough.
This ends up leaving you feeling helpless, depressed, and stressed. It’s hard to keep a smile on your face when the bills continue to pour in and your stress levels go up even further.
Does money buy happiness?
It’s easy for a person to say, ‘money doesn’t buy happiness’, when they haven’t had to starve until their next meal, haven’t had to tell their children why it’ll be the same Monday night dinner for the sixth week in a row, when they don’t remember the last time they bought something for themselves, when their marriage isn’t suffering because of it.
Having enough money to fulfil our cost of living, does lessen the stress of everyday life. It takes the pressure off. It means you don’t have to spend almost every waking hour wondering what you’re going to do about your financial situation. It means smiling and genuinely feeling the emotion behind it.
Fact is, having money is a part of life and there is absolutely no denying it.
Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it does make life a lot easier
But money alone does not guarantee happiness. It won’t keep you warm at night. It won’t make you feel less lonely. It won’t make you feel complete. It doesn’t fix all the other issues in your life.
And that is where the problem lies.
The media has brainwashed us into believing that you need the hottest car to be happy, that you need those $500 pair of shoes to look attractive, that your income alone reflects the value that you bring to society.
But that’s not true at all.
As much as money provides emotional and physical comfort, it doesn’t define our whole sense of ‘happiness’. It doesn’t make us feel good the way our accomplishments do, it doesn’t make us smile the way our family and friends do, it doesn’t give us purpose to life.
So rather than believing that money alone ‘buys’ happiness, think of it as a means of leading a happier life. It may be the source of your food and drink, but don’t let it take over your life. Don’t let the material objects that you purchase, define whether you are truly happy or not.
Money can bring so much good to your life. Just don’t let it rule every other aspect.
Just a life long New Yorker sharing the journey through my lens. Please take note of a post’s date. The views I express here are subject to change and evolving as I grow and learn.