In Career, Discussions, Discussions, Discussions, Life, Money

Money can’t buy you happiness nor a successful, meaningful life.

This article from The Atlantic really hit home because it’s what I’ve always known — stop chasing happiness, find meaning in your life instead.

You need to feel good about yourself in being a valued, appreciated, contributing member of your family & society, and when you are able to do that, you will be happy.

The main area that people draw on to find meaning is where we spend most of our time, and that currently, is work at 40 hours a week in a 168 hour work week (a good chunk of that is sleeping of which not much meaning can be found).


We spend a lot of time making money to live.

We draw a lot of meaning out of our work and what we do, which is why we’re so proud when we announce that we’re so-and-so at this-and-that company.

I’m of the mindset that we work to live, not live to work. Sometimes I fall into the “live to work” category when I get caught up, but ultimately I am in the “work to live” camp.


I’m fine with taking time off to not work and not making an income either voluntarily or because of economic reasons (e.g. can’t find work), but there are some people out there who can’t deal with that kind of mindset at all and work to the bone.

Lots of people who are rich, report feeling empty or unfulfilled particularly when they have not worked for those riches (inheritance, or parents are rich).

They don’t report feeling or finding happiness until they start finding actual meaning in their life, and in some cases, that includes finding a job so that you feel valued and appreciated by others; not just because you have money.

A sense of accomplishment comes from actually accomplishing something.

Money doesn’t buy everything.

It can’t buy you a successful, perfect life, and it can’t buy you a fulfilled, happy life — that is only something that you can build by yourself, through your own hard work to achieve those results.

Otherwise, life would be pretty empty, even if you are surrounded by plenty.

What do you think?


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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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  1. SP

    I derive a lot of meaning from my career and work, and I think about why and what that means fairly regularly.

    Pay people enough that money isn’t a factor, then let them own the work. Stick and carrot methods don’t work.

    Ted radio hour just did a program on this.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I completely agree. Thanks for the TED link. I love their talks…

  2. Kathy

    I have to disagree with the article. While self-esteem, fulfilling employment etc. can make you feel happy about yourself, having money can certainly increase happiness. No matter how worthy one feels about themselves, if they continually struggle with insufficient income and worry about making ends meet and the future, that definitely decreases one’s level of happiness. And needless to say, if you have money to do something that makes you happy such as travel of indulging in an expensive hobby, then the money allows you to increase your happiness.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I’d say above poverty & at a comfortable level I’d agree with you.

  3. Ramona

    We are both working from home and this allowed us in the past years to focus more on our family and what makes us happy. Weird enough, while we don’t break our backs working, we still make a good income and can enjoy our life. It’s indeed tricky sometimes, since a business has to evolve, but it’s great to be the master of your own time 😀

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Time is the most important thing for me.

  4. Abigail @ipickuppennies

    For us, money is about finding some security. (Right after life stops bowling us over with huge expenses, anyway.) I’m not sure I’ll ever feel completely secure, but I’d be thrilled with somewhat secure.

    So I work to get money in the bank so that we can build a future and spend money on what matters to us.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Well once you have a sufficient amount of money to feel comfortable that you won’t go hungry and can pay the bills, then happiness or your definition of it evolves.

  5. Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way

    Indeed true, money can’t buy happiness. When I started working as a freelancer, I was always working, but I noticed that my daughter was not happy anymore and she is my main reason of happiness.


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