They say money doesn’t buy you happiness. I tend to agree, but not the reason why most think. I’ve always been a little frugal with money, but I’ve stopped considered who I’m buying for. Buying clothes and shoes for myself will never give me long-term happiness, but I know the power in using my money to make someone else happy.
There’s not to say putting money in my bank account doesn’t help, because it surely does. It allows me to feel comfortable while living in my apartment, and it pays my bills. The more money I have, the more I get to things I love like travel and buy high fashion streetwear if I choose to. All these benefits do come with a cap.
Why Give to Others?
You feel good when you buy a homeless person a meal, or your friend a ticket to the festival he/she couldn’t afford otherwise. When I say give the money a friend, I mean without looking for him/her to pay you back. This way of thinking is kind of hard because people would tend to read this article and give money to others with the expectation of being happy. People tend to give money just for the status of being a “philanthropist.” In reality, one should give for the sake of giving. Because it is the right thing to do. Happiness is just a byproduct of your giving.
Giving to others can also create a chain reaction of positivity. If you’re not looking to get paid back, most people have the inclination to pay it forward. It has nothing to do with the dollar amount, but the belief in one another to help in any way possible.
Prosocial spending is the idea of using ones money to benefit others rather than yourself. I’m getting more comfortable with this idea as I get older. I don’t ask anyone to pay me back if I spot them for lunch. I’ll basically spend money at any time if it means that I’m helping another person. It gives me satisfaction that I’m helping to improve someone’s well being.
Let’s put it in perspective. I can’t speak for everyone, but we all know that the United States one of wealthiest nations in the world. There are a few people who live in situations where money is scarce and very much a need. Others live in abundance and don’t really worry about money as their counterparts. Still, even though the US is wealthy, this nation ranks 108th out of 160 on the scale of overall happiness.
The 2019 World Happiness Report deems that this mismatch in happiness is due to the lack of prosocial spending in our capitalistic system. Amassing wealth has shown to make very rich people very not happy. You could probably ask a rich person what gives them happiness, it might not be the accumulation of money, but how they spend it.