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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