Millionaire answers: Does money buy happiness?

ten year challenge
It was nostalgic looking back through my old photos trying to find a suitable 10 year old photo for this post. It feels like just yesterday. Ten years really do go in the blink of an eye. Many of the same people are still in my life. I’m doing many of the same things. But it’s kind of shocking to see those net worth numbers side by side. What’s really notable about them is how much it didn’t change my life. I didn’t get a new set of friends. I didn’t get much happier or much sadder. I was starting a company then (I think I had 2 employees?). I’m starting a company now (I have 2 employees).

I’ve heard a few theories on wealth. Here’s some of them:

• Being rich doesn’t make you happy, but being broke makes you sad. I believe this. At a net worth of $40K I wasn’t worrying about paying the electric bill. But if you are buried in debt or worried about buying groceries that’s a rough place to be. Going from $0 to $40K has a way bigger impact than $40K to $4M.
• Income over ~$70K/year doesn’t make you any happier. I largely buy this too. That number isn’t set in stone and varies based on area, family size, etc. But in general, once your basic needs and a little extra are covered, luxuries in life don’t make you happier. My favorite trips are the ones with my best friends, not with the best hotel rooms.
• Being rich makes you exactly 10% happier. I can believe this one too! Wealth has afforded me the ability to give, not worry about the cost of groceries, have the occasional splurge, etc. But that only goes about as far as 10%. If you’re depressed then you become rich, you’re still depressed. And if you’re happy and content, being rich doesn’t buy you much more.

None of those theories posit that money solves all your problems. It doesn’t. But getting your money in order can give you freedom and options to pursue happiness with fewer roadblocks in the way. I’m grateful to be following my passion today!

As always, reminding you to build wealth by following the two PFC rules: 1.) Live below your means and 2.) Invest early and often.


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