Being Rich: Does it Equal Happiness or Grief?

@dorannmwin (36698)
United States
November 8, 2009 2:35pm CST
I've never had a lot of money in my life and I don't expect that I ever will. That doesn't bother me too much because there have been periods in my life where we've had more money than in other periods and I find that when things are leaner I am happier. So, the question that I'd like to ask today is: Do you think being rich would make you happy or do you think it would cause you heartache and grief? This is a follow-up to my question about how much money it would take to make you happy and I'd love to see your views about the impact of money on your life.
1 person likes this
21 responses
@shell2784 (752)
• United States
12 Nov 09
I agree with you totally. Not that my husband and I are loaded or anything... but lets just say last fall/winter/spring we didn't have any kind of house payment (which adds A LOT to a budget when you're both working full time for a reasonable amount of money)... Joslynn got a HUGE Christmas, we had money to go on this trip and that trip and do this and that and everything else. Then of course the credit card bills wracked up... b/c for some reason, even if you have the cash, you seem to put it on your card instead... because you know you can pay on it quickly... so yeah. (oh, but don't worry, we're not in any kind of trouble or anything... I'm not that unresponsible) So in May we bought a house - added a house payment. HUGE expense! We also got married this September... so there was honeymoon, dress, tuxes, decorations.. blah blah blah HUGE EXPENSE! Now the weather is cooling off, we have a little bit larger amount of bills then we're used to. The weddings taken care of (hallelujia), but just because its paid off, doesn't mean it didn't put a damper on paying other bills the months before. We're in our beautiful home, living for less, and I love it! We're doing home cooked meals as a family instead of this restaraunt or that restaraunt, we're spending nights curled up together in the living room watching Mary Poppins (my personal fav!!! I'm an addict! haha), Alvin and the Chipmuncks and Land Before Time... together, as a family... instead of riding in the car all the time for this trip and that trip. I like that we're working on living on less... and dam it... even if we run into more, I hope that I have the decency to make sure our family remembers what's really important. Its not always about the places you can go and the things you can buy... its about making sure that you stay strong as a family. And if living on less equals assurance that we have that... then keep my budget tite baby b/c I'm right where I need to be!!!
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
12 Nov 09
Thank you so sharing your story. We are very much the same way. We are working our way through getting out of debt, but since we are learning to live on a let less than what we make, I feel that our family is becoming stronger. I love sitting down at the table together at dinner time and even more than that, I really like having my children helping me cook dinner.
• United States
12 Nov 09
Joslynn and I have a blast cooking dinner together! However she's only 3... and wants to be able to do a lot more than I'm comfortable with... but still, we work it out together! haha She learned very quickly that pots on the stove are hot and we need to hold the handle - so that one's done and over with anyway. Now its just to keep her out of the oven! I'm glad that you're enjoying bring your family closer together vs complaining that you don't have money to go do things. Its nice to see real family values do still exist! Thanks for the awesome discussion starter!
@solared (1210)
• United States
9 Nov 09
It only leads to grief, unless you done horrible things to get that money, then you don't care. After all money is the root of all evil, if I was rich I would definately do what I could to help others give alot away. I'm really proud of Bill Gates for this reason he tons of money away he and his wife travel to poor areas to help children.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
9 Nov 09
I do think that it is wonderful that there are so many "rich" people that use their money to help people that are less privledged than themselves. However, I don't think I would go to the extent of saying that money is the root of all evil.
• Canada
9 Nov 09
You misquote. I agree it is the love of money. If you love money, it is your god, and you are not loving God. Money in itself has potential to do good. Yes Bill Gates would be spreading evil if that were true, and his foundation has been funding research into a malaria vaccine. While the trials are turning out only 50% effective, it will save millions of lives, mostly of children. I can only see money that is mismanaged as bringing grief. Properly managed money can help you in life, as well as helping others. They guy with no money living in a cardboard box under a bridge cannot help himself or help others because he is broke.
@mariposaman (2967)
• Canada
9 Nov 09
Being rich gives you options. Very few rich people give away all their money because you need a certain amount to live comfortably. Contrast that to the people who live on the street, they have no money at all. There are lots of people who cannot handle money however. When they gain a lot of money it is just another bigger paycheck to burn through and they do so and end up broke with no security. Money gives you that security if managed correctly, you don't help yourself and also help others too.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
9 Nov 09
Spectacular view here. It is very important to be able to handle your money in a reasonable way and I think that the reason that this discussion came to my mind is because there are so many people that aren't responsible with money.
• Canada
9 Nov 09
The Ontario school system will soon be implementing a finanacial literacy program in a year or so which will run over years from grade 3 to grade 12. I have been advocating this for years. I think they should be taught how a business works too. Financial literacy is as important as many other aspects of one's life. I think now it does not go more than a few lessons like how to write a check or how compound interest works. Most university students are given free credit cards and they max them out with exorbitant interest rates it takes forever to pay them off.
• Canada
8 Nov 09
I think money would make me happier. Having alot of money would make life easier and more enjoyable. I would be free to travel and try new and fun things. There is actually a job, I can't recall what the name of it is, where people put dollar amounts on certain events in life. Like how much money it would take to make up for a divorce, or losing your job, or never falling in love, ect. I think it's called studying the economics of happiness. I thought it was really interesting that dollar amounts could be put on experiences.
• United States
9 Nov 09
I think I'm in love with you. How much is that worth? At least a kiss?
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
9 Nov 09
That does sound very interesting that dollar amounts can be put on the experiences that we've had in our lives. I guess my life would probably be worth a ton in dollars because I've had the opportunity to experience a lot during my life even though I've never been in a financial situation where I am truly comfortable.
@CJscott (4183)
• Canada
19 Nov 09
I think that I would be happy if I were rich. I would definitely share what I had and not worry about losing it that would help. I find that the rich people that aren't so happy with their money are the ones that hold tightly on to it for fear of loss, and those that share to make others happy tend to find joy in it. Cheers.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
19 Nov 09
I think you are probably right there. I am the kind of person that has a very giving spirit and that is the reason that I think I would probably be just as happy rich as I am in the situation that we are in right now.
@victory12 (348)
• Nigeria
9 Nov 09
Hi friend, the discussion you started is very interested. I don't believe that money is happiness, although i don't have much money but i always thank God for the position i am but there are many people that has the money but they don't have rest of mind(those set of people can never happy) also many people are rich and they have rest of mind (happy). If truly is God that provide the money and the money is used in a righteous way they will be very happy.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
10 Nov 09
Thank you very much for sharing your view. I agree with you.
@sk66rc (4261)
• United States
9 Nov 09
I believe happiness is a mind-set & it goes the other way as well. Being miserable all the time is a mind-set, too. Either way, I don't think the amount of money will determine that. I mean, money sure helps to do the things we need to do. Some people could be happy with $5 bucks in their pocket & some people will be miserable with $150 million dollars in their bank account.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
9 Nov 09
I think that you are right here. It doesn't matter if we are rich or poor, we all have the ability to be happy if that is what we want to do.
• United States
9 Nov 09
It kinda depends upon whether you control the riches or whether the riches control you..If I had a bit of money I'd be happy because I know of quite a few folks who could use a bit of it and they would get it. And if they saw fit to thank me for it, I'd tell them to thank my mom and have done so in the past..Tho she never said it, but rather lived it, what I tell folks is..'Ya can't share it if you ain't got it, so it makes sense to share it when ya do..'..Unlike my dad who has decided to die rich..In a heart-to-wall communication we had once I said I've never understood the notion of dying rich. It seems dumb to me..to spend your life accumulating something you have no intentions of ever using..Of course, he didn't understand, which comes as no surprise. Addicted people are that way.. Enjoy!
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
9 Nov 09
I completely agree. Why do people want to keep accumlating more and more wealth when they don't intend to use it in some way. I share what I have to the greatest extent of my abilities and I also realize that I can't take money with me when I die, so what exactly is the point of saving to that extent. Yes, it would ensure that my children would have a good life in the future, but that would be it.
• India
9 Nov 09
money is important in life to get whatever u want in your life .money is important even when u fall ill in todays life money is very essential.but money is not everything surely money cannot give happiness but life becomes miserably without money.i don 't think money can bring grief when money is earned legally.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
9 Nov 09
I won't deny that there are many reasons that we need to have money in our lives. It would truly be impossible to go through this life without money. It is the excess of it that I think would be that which could cause a person's life to go to either extreme.
@much2say (44231)
• United States
9 Nov 09
For me, I think being rich would equal both happiness and grief at the same time! The happiness part is quite obvious. Bills would be taken care of, I could provide everything for my family, I could take care of my parents who have worked so darn hard all their lives to give us a good life, do more for my community and charities by donating or by volunteering (as I assume I would be able to have more time on my hands) . . . I could live without having financial stress. The grief would be things I'd have to think and stress about what to do. Would I feel obligated to help friends and family who are in need? I would love to help those who truly need it, but to what extent? I have in-laws who have/still are taking MAJOR advantage of their naive parents - and the parents have been foolish to give them money while they themselves are in a shakey financial situation . . . do any of them deserve my help . . . and I know that they would be knocking on my door for help? I also have a few friends who are in a deep doo-doo situation with their money . . . it's really their own undoing . . . do I help them knowing they are perfectly capable of getting back on their feet on their own (if they tried harder?)?
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
9 Nov 09
Excellent examples here. It would be both extremely nice to be rich and it would be difficult as well. I know that when someone wins the lottery they say that relatives come crawling out of the woodwork to claim their share of it. To have to tell someone no because I knew that they wouldn't be responsible with what I gave them would be difficult for me and that in itself would cause me grief.
• India
9 Nov 09
Hello friend, It depends. If the money is spent creating joy for yourself and others, then it equals happiness. But if you are running after money only to keep piling up even more money then you're missing the whole point of being rich and your richness will bring about grief because you wont spend it for good reasons and wou'll tend to take recourse to dishonest ways. Billionaires like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett spend billions in charity - to be happy. But many billionaires also end up behind bars by getting involved in some fraud - leading to grief.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
9 Nov 09
I agree, it is very important to use your personal wealth to bring happiness not just to yourself but also to others. Even though I am not a rich woman, I still find immense pleasure in sharing what little bit that I have with people that are less fortunate than I am.
@junmae (1591)
• Philippines
9 Nov 09
I think it depends on how rich people live there life. Some get more greedy thats why they live in paranoia and grief. They always think that people will steal there money and they didnt even trust somebody. I belive that it is always depends on the people on how they live there life.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
9 Nov 09
I believe that you could be completely right with this. It is important to have some degree of both trust and paranoia when it comes to money. However, there are some people that go to either extreme and for them the aspect of being rich does lead to grief.
@apples99 (6562)
• United States
9 Nov 09
Being rich dose not equal happiness or unhappiness. being rich just means that you will not have to worry about paying the bills or feeding yourself or your family, but it definitely doesn't equal happiness, because there are a lot of wealthy people who are unhappy, I think happiness comes from a combination of things and they are inner peace and good character and healthy environment. for example if a person has a tendency to be unhappy then having lots of money wont change that, but also if a person doesn't have good people around them and they have other unpleasant surroundings that can contribute to there unhappiness, ultimately there is more then one component needed to be happy, money can help, but if a person has a lot of inner and outer problems then money or nothing else will make them happy. As for me I just want to be financially stable not necessarily rich, dont get me wrong if it happened I would be thankful and take it as a blessing, but its not really what I'm searching for, meaning its not my main goal in life. but right now times are tough and everyone needs extra cash to keep there heads above water and its not fun struggling to pay bills and having plenty of money can reduce the stress and worry of paying bills and feeding the family. but its not the only important thing in life, and money wont erase all problems, because problems can fallow you anywhere if you live in a big mention or a small apartment you cant escape them.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
9 Nov 09
Being financially comfortable is also the goal that I have for my life as well. I want to be out of debt so that we won't ever have to worry about where the money to pay the bills will be coming from. That is so deeply ingrained in my mind that I know we will eventually get to that point and that is when I will be truly happy.
@bentoyhk (202)
• Hong Kong
9 Nov 09
Being rich is the dream of everybody. If somebody thinks that rich will make people sick. I don't agree with that. There is no doubt that money can solve most of the problem in this world. Of course some of them cannot. Therefore it depends on how you use these money and how are you going to do in your life. If someone's nature is bad, he is poor, he is also bad. For my conclusion, I love to be rich. 'How much could make me happy' - This is quite difficult to measure. No need to be very rich but more than enough is ok. Maybe enough for me to take care of my son and enough for our life without any worried about living.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
9 Nov 09
I definitely agree with you that all people do in fact dream of being rich and only a select few are able to make that dream a reality. Our family will probably never be rich, but I've come to the conclusion that I'm okay with that. We have a caring family, great friends, and the ability to share time doing activities that we enjoy. What more could we really ask for.
@saisakth (77)
• India
9 Nov 09
hi friend, from your question i would suggest that having more money is also one type of afraidness. and from my point of view if i was happy that i did work which is liked by me.............
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
9 Nov 09
That is one of the most important things to being happy in life. I enjoy the fact that I'm able to be a stay at home mother for my children. Yes, that does mean that we don't have as much cashflow into our home, but it means that I have the opportunity to know my children in a way that many parents aren't able to do in today's society.
• Philippines
9 Nov 09
well for me, I think that having a lot of money nowadays is important to almost everybody if you ask me if being rich is equal happiness or grief? well it depends on who possesses that wealth because if you came from a poor family then being rich all of a sudden means happiness while grief goes to people who may be confused as to what they will do with their wealth, but most of people now who attain wealth are indeed happy.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
9 Nov 09
They are happy in a certain sense, I won't deny that, but are they truly happy? That is the question that I'd like to see answered.
• United States
9 Nov 09
"Never wealth, she led a rich and enviable life thanks to a lifetime of interest, activity, and friendships"--Dr. Drew Pinksky; on a patient of his. It is possible to be happy with little money.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
9 Nov 09
I agree. To me the three most important things in live are those that you've mentioned in the quote you've used here. Without any one of those three things, I don't think that my life would be worth living.
@coldmoon (1092)
• France
8 Nov 09
Money can cover well the worry and unhappiness of a family, but can't replace the happiness. I don't agree that being rich make us more happy, because for me, happiness is something stable under the finacial situation. If someone says that they feel happier having much money, I can say that this one hasn't known how to distinguish between cheer and happiness yet.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
9 Nov 09
I am in complete agreement with you on this. There've been stages in our lives where we experience times of good fortune and then there are times when we have lesser fortune. I find that our family is happier when we don't have a lot of money to spend because we are able to enjoy more time together whereas when there is extra money in the cards we are less likely to spend time together.
@Debs_place (10524)
• United States
8 Nov 09
I have never been rich but at one time I was comfortable. I lost my good job and now make less than I used to make. Unfortunately, the whole economy has gone bad and I can't sell my house or afford to refinance it. My car is a 12 year old minivan that should be replaced but that is not in the the cards. I would be far happier and would sleep better if I could cover my bills every month. Even with OT I can't do that. I would like to have enough to cover my bills, retire and go on a weeks vacation every 2 or 3 years. A new car every 8 or 10 years would be nice too.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
9 Nov 09
My mother has been in the exact same situation that you are, Deb. She does get a pension check every month that pays for her house payment, but beyond that she wasn't able to pay the other bills until she has found some temporary employment recently. I know that the things that you request are the exact same things that she would like to be able to do.
@Kaxxper (15)
• Denmark
8 Nov 09
i would make me happy, because i knew i had the money to buy or go do whatever i wanted to :D
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
9 Nov 09
On the one hand this seems like it would be the perfect situation, but on the other hand you hear the stories about people who have won the lottery and are broke within a couple of years and it really makes you wonder.