“Money does not buy happiness” is a way of saying that there are an infinite number of needs and aspects of existence that cannot be easily bought and must be fulfilled through a different path. Everyone has their own personal needs and they need certain ingredients to be happy. Moreover, even the concept of happiness is very abstract and difficult to frame.
Having said that, it is certain that on the basis of happiness, serenity, or tranquility (define it as you will), there are certainly basic pillars, such as, for example, access to food, housing, clothing, education, and human affection, just to name a few. And the way our society works, money actually becomes the protagonist in developing a stable life close to the concept of happiness.
Many scholars have tried to conduct social research on this aspect. In July 2022, Anja Jaruzevic and her colleagues at Harvard University gave between $500 and $2,000 to 5,000 low-income people in the United States. Fifteen weeks after the start of the trial, the participants reported an improvement in their psychological and financial health.
Studying the effects of money on human psychology allows for a more detailed understanding of the fluctuations associated with explaining happiness in contemporary individuals, and also opens an exciting panorama for the study of economic models that influence people’s lives and their reality.
Yaruszewicz insists that evaluating happiness has many different aspects, but these efforts are worth devoting to examining specifically the role of money in people’s lives. Once the economic factor is ruled out, people can deepen their existential anxiety.