Growing up, our family didn’t have a lot of money. My dad worked long hours, my mom worked at least two jobs. However, we were a happy family. Our parents never really allowed the financial strains they were under affect us kids. At least, not when we were younger. As kids get older, kids gets hip to what’s going on, and realize money isn’t growing off the trees in the backyard. Mom and Dad have to work to get it. Did it alter our happiness? I don’t know. It sure made the stress grow when each parent lost their job within a few weeks of each other……..but I firmly believe if you’re a happy person, money just enhances your happiness. If you’re a miserable person, money just brings that out in you, too. So, the ultimate question………
Can money buy happiness? I don’t think so. It can enhance it, and our family…….well, right now, it would alleviate tons of stress about paying bills, and buying a new car that is reliable. We drive two very old cars, and right now one has a muffler that needs to be replaced. Everyone in our neighborhood knows when my husband is home from work……..we can hear him a mile away! The minivan I drive is a gas guzzler, and there are days it doesn’t start. The panic shoots through me when I turn the key, and it doesn’t want to start. I wait, try again, and again, and finally, we’re off.
Would money help us relieve the stress, and allow us to focus on more of the “living of life?” Sure. I’d feel safer in a minivan that started, and didn’t pollute the air so much, and run through gas like a thirsty tennis player at the Aussie Open in the middle of 100+ degree weather. Would it be nice to have my husband in a safer car, that didn’t alert the entire world he was driving in the area with his muffler of doom? Absolutely. Would it be nice to be able to say “sure, Little Miss, we can buy your entire class a gift for Easter,” and not sweat like a pig trying to figure out if I have the money to pay for it FIRST before I answer her.
Our happiness comes from within. We’re still happy, but as a whole, the happiness would be a lot more flowing if the stress wasn’t there. Money can help bring the happy out more often, that’s for damn sure.
We could also go on vacations more often, and that would be lovely. It took my son’s entire life for me to save up for a Disney Cruise vacation, that went terribly wrong, and still hasn’t been resolved. Granted, the cruise was a decent amount, but still. You get what I mean. It shouldn’t be a four year wait to be able to take our first family vacation together, only to have the entire vacation ruined by the Children’s Club on the cruise on the SECOND DAY of a nine day cruise.
I guess, money buying happiness is just something that each family, and individual, has to figure out……but again, if you’re a person who can find the happy in life, money won’t change you, it will just improve your ability to bring the happy out more often. If you’re a miserable person, who will always need to see others struggle to feel good about oneself, money will just bring that out in you.