Money and Happiness

Money brings to me its own intrinsic reward. For as far as I can remember, I’ve always liked accumulating money. I hated spending it, most of the time. I liked money for its own sake, and would often ask myself before major purposes: would I rather have the money, or would I have whatever it was that I was intending to purchase? In most cases, I kept the money.

Now, that brings me to question of how money can’t buy happiness. I was, as usual, counting my chickens before the eggs have hatched: how much money was I going to earn today by going to work?

I thought about it, and wrote down the number which potentially reflected what I was going to earn. It didn’t look like much, but neither was it insignificant (let me quality this by mentioning I’m a student). It donned — sorry, dawned — on me that this amount of money wasn’t its own reward. I didn’t feel excited thinking about it.

So I thought about the stuff that it could buy. After thinking through various alternatives, I figured that I didn’t want to buy anything. I had, essentially, all that I wanted or needed. Then I thought about how not wanting to buy anything actually, in a weirdly philosophical way, meant that I was saving my money, thus, in a more weirdly philosophical way, I was getting twice my salary:

Total earnings
= Salary – Things I want to buy with salary
= Salary – (- Things I don’t want to buy with salary)
= Salary + (Things I don’t want to buy with salary)
= 2 x Salary

Having my potential earnings multiplied by two left a smile on my face. Perhaps money doesn’t buy all kinds of happiness, but it sure does bring some form of happiness to me.

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My name is Donn, and you’ll find me working at the intersection of business and information technology, constantly looking for ways to apply IT to business and life to make things better. I’m a big fan of data analysis and its subsequent communication. It always gives me a thrill extracting meaning out of data through analysis, and figuring out the best way to present the findings for maximum impact!

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