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My Response to the Article: Money & Happiness

As this blog has matured, several topics have emerged as recurring themes, one being the relationship of money and happiness. I've touched upon this in various posts, but since it's such a contentious topic, it requires constant revisiting. Oftentimes old truths only click when we hear them at the right time. Perhaps that right time for you is now.

For today's post, I thought I'd take a different approach by responding to an article written by Grant Sabatier titled "Money & Happiness". Grant is the creator of an online blog Millennial Money and has grown a rather large following of folks interested in learning about personal finance.

Rather than my normal approach of writing an article with just my thoughts, I figured it could be useful to include widespread, widely shared beliefs about money and happiness, and respond to those individually with my thoughts as they relate to this blog.

So below, you'll find Grant's article in normal text, with my responses to his statements in bold blue italics. I hope you enjoy, and I'm really curious to hear your responses to my responses!



by Grant Sabatier

(with my responses in bold italics)

What is your earliest memory of being happy?

Do you remember that feeling being a kid on a warm summer night, the grass under your bare feet, and the freeing feeling of not having to go to school the next day?

For me, being happy is being free like on those summer nights.

We all want to be happy. It’s a full feeling. A feeling that connects us with others and deep into ourselves. Physiologically it’s pretty easy to understand – a chemical reaction happens in our brain, serotonin is released, and boom we feel great. Emotionally and spiritually it’s more complex.

Good - he's acknowledging that happiness is a feeling we experience within, and one that we all seek. As I always say, we're all just trying to be okay. He even includes some of the neurochemistry around happiness.

But how does money impact your happiness?

Studies show that the correlation between your salary’s impact on your happiness up to $75,000, and then it peaks at $125,000. Meaning that people are increasingly happy until they make $125,000 and then they plateau. This may be true for the participants in that study, but it’s not true for me and I am sure it’s not true for a lot of people.


Definitely. Money can make you happier when you look at the simple fact that when we make money it makes us happy and when we have experiences and purchase things, using money – it can make us happy.

Now he's going down a slippery slope. To make a blanket statement like "money can definitely buy happiness" is sending the wrong message, especially when his reason is that "when we make money it makes us happy..." and "purchasing things makes us happy." But it's still early, so let's keep reading.