Money vs. Happiness

I’ll be straight. Money could buy you happiness. Yes, it could and it does.
Don’t get me wrong, that was based on a study from Princeton University, that said one’s earning does buy happiness, at least up to US$75.000 p.a.

So the bar is set to US$ 75.000 p.a.
Is it realistic? Is it true that money does buy happiness? Are we really that materialistic?

The study explained that when someone earns under US$ 75.000, they thought that they can’t spend enough. But when they reach the bar, they’d be all fulfilled and less spending. Fulfilled being the keyword of happiness.
So money does buy happiness. That would be the first conclusion.

The next question is, do we have to have (certain amount of) money to be happy?
Well, certain amount of money certainly make everybody happy. No need a study to prove that. Just take a close look in people faces on 25th every month, surely they look (slightly) happier.

Again, do we need (certain amount of) money to be happy? Or our happiness is much simpler (and cheaper) ?

I am not gonna say that I don’t need money. Of course we all do. That’s why we bust our asses every other weekdays and weekends to meet our ends. The real thing is we all have bills to pay, and so on, and so on.

Responsibility is the one that keeps me going on busting my ass. I’m sure you all too.

With all the buzz of minimum wages in every other province or even countries and the so-called economy nowadays, got me wondering, how money can be really the only way to buy happiness.

The latest update in minimum company wages in Jakarta is IDR 2,2 mil, which can be considered vary depend on the perspective. If we’re the employee, the wages can be considered small since living cost in Jakarta is expensive. In the other hand, if we’re the employer, the wages is considered big and some companies might not be able to follow the bylaws.

Now, compare to my hometown, Jogjakarta. The minimum wages there is IDR 900.ooo. Barely half of Jakarta’s. Yet, the living cost in Jogjakarta is not half of Jakarta’s. Its less than Jakarta, but not half less. And not all running business in Jogjakarta is following the minimum wages, e.g in our neighborhood, we know this waitress who’s only paid for IDR 500.000 to work 8-6, six days a week.

Does that make people in Jakarta happier than people in Jogjakarta? The answer is a big NO.

A financial planner would say, its not the number of the wages that counts, but the spending. I’m no financial planner, so I won’t argue. But I’d like to say, that to be happy in less amount of money is possible.

We just need to shift the keyword, from fulfilled to grateful.
Its easy when we are full/fulfilled then we’re grateful. But when we’re in less/pain, gratitude might no where to be found.

I remember one said, when you’re feeling down and miserable, look up to the sky. The vastness of the sky would help to ease your feeling. But I am adding my own formula, look up to the sky and ‘look down’ on perspective. Could I be miserable when I am much fortunate compare to, e.g, the woman who sells bottled water in the middle of the street?

I might be broke, I might don’t have a billion, I might be on huge debt, but I can still be grateful. And with gratitude in my pocket, I know I can pull it through. You too 🙂

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