When I was a kid, I often saw my father coming home late after a hard day of work, tired and complaining that the government in power is just not doing enough to control the increasing cost of commodities. I always thought if money was just a printed paper, then why government is not printing more money.
Why is everyone not earning the equal amount of money? Why is it that some people could afford everything and some people could not even afford the basic necessities? Upon growing up and upon receiving the education, I realized that printing of more money will not solve any problems but will cause inflation.
If you print more money, then every household will have more money to spend on goods and if there is more money chasing the same amount of goods, firms will just increase the prices because the demand of the goods is more than the supply.
We are living in a world where the resources are limited and the growing rate of alternative resources is not able to catch up to the demand because of the population that keeps on increasing. Hence the cost of these resources keeps on increasing and to afford these resources, we have to work to contribute towards the nation’s economy.
The more you contribute, the more you get paid, the more you get paid, the more resources you could afford to live a certain type of a lifestyle. Over the last 10 years the population of the United States has grown to 329 million from 304 million with the inflation rate being 16.63%. So how does this affect us? Let’s face it– we live in a materialistic society.
Things like cars, clothes, smartphones, handbags, and so much more are all status symbols, which means building up your status often means spending money on those things and with limited opportunities and resources, we are in a race against each other to achieve as much these materials we could.
We believe that buying more and living an expensive lifestyle will make us confident, respected and happy. Which is why when we are born, our parents try to give us the best education so that we are capable enough to compete. After studies we work hard, put extra hours to make money as much as we can to afford a certain lifestyle and with more money in hand, our desires increases.
We believe that we achieve happiness when our desires are met. And to afford this, you work hard and put in extra hours of work. You affect your health and may not have the family time. It is one of the reasons why there is 1 divorce in every 13 seconds, 1 in 8 adult is an alcoholic and more than 1 in 4 children has an absent father, and over 16 million adults are said to have gone through depression in United States itself.
The youth is highly over worked and underpaid. o the question is “does money really buy you happiness?” According to the research conducted by the Princeton University, that happiness and income are correlated, but only up to $75,000.The emotional well-being of a person rises as annual income increases up to about $75,000, but not further than that. This makes sense because people who make significantly less than $75,000 spend a lot of their time worrying about basic necessities like having enough food to eat and covering the rent.
Money can pretty easily alleviate those kinds of stress. So boosting one’s income up to around $75,000 can help. But as wealth rises, happiness level remains the same. In fact, happiness might tend to decrease.
Part of the diminishing-return effect can be explained by adaptations — as wealth rises, people adjust or get used to their new and better circumstances. This increases their expectations and aspirations. For example, a newly rich person moving to an upscale neighborhood will make the acquaintance of other people who seem even wealthier, and that can diminish happiness.
He may be driven to increase earnings by comparison to others or a desire for material gains. Wealthy people also could face new problems tied to wealth, such as children who become spoiled, lazy or unappreciative. Now we know that money can make us happier, after our basic needs are met.
But one of the biggest questions is how to allocate our money, which is (for most of us) a limited resource. There’s a very logical assumption that most people make when spending their money: that because a physical object will last longer, it will make us happier for a longer time.
But the truth is, often when we buy that new pair of shoes or new car, we regret our purchases because we feel we may have made the wrong choice, or that we have spent too extravagantly, or something better will be available in the future. This feeling is called “buyer’s remorse.
The reason for this is that when we buy objects they are easily interchangeable with other objects. We get a brand new car, but there’s a new model out within the next 6 months. Material things tend to eventually become out-dated or broken. We get an initial boost in mood when we first buy them, but it quickly dies off.
What causes a lot of misery for many of us is our homes, where we live for which we spend nearly, and the wish to be somewhere else. We might live in the suburbs, and wished we lived in the city. We might live in the city, and prefer living in the countryside. We live in the countryside, we might wish living at the beach.
We live at the beach, we wish we lived on an island. If we lived on an island, perhaps we might prefer the convenience of living in a suburb. If you were happy with where you lived and the home you lived in — and didn’t desire to live elsewhere, or in a bigger or better home, imagine how much money we could save for better experiences in life? “One of the enemies of happiness is adaptation,” says Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University who has been studying the question of money and happiness for over two decades.
Gilovich and other researchers have found that experiences—as fleeting as they may be—deliver more-lasting happiness than things. Here’s why: 1. Experiences become a part of our identity. We are not our possessions, but we are the accumulation of everything we’ve seen, the things we’ve done, and the places we’ve been. Buying an Apple Watch isn’t going to change who you are; taking a break from work to hike the Appalachian Trail from start to finish most certainly will.
“Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods,” said Gilovich. « You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences. » 2.
Comparisons matter little. We don’t compare experiences in the same way that we compare things. In a Harvard study, when people were asked if they’d rather have a high salary that was lower than that of their peers or a low salary that was higher than that of their peers, a lot of them weren’t sure. But when they were asked the same question about the length of a vacation, most people chose a longer vacation, even though it was shorter than that of their peers. It’s hard to quantify the relative value of any two experiences, which makes them that much more enjoyable.
3. Anticipation matters. Gilovich also studied anticipation and found that anticipation of an experience causes excitement and enjoyment, while anticipation of obtaining a possession causes impatience. Experiences are enjoyable from the very first moments of planning, all the way through to the memories you cherish forever. 4. It introduces you to a whole new world.
Unlike stuff, experiences introduce you to new perspectives, life lessons and the importance of gratitude. Take traveling, for example. If you live in New York City and travel to West Virginia, you may realize the pros and cons of living in the Big Apple.
Even though there’s culture, public transportation and plenty to do, that weekend trip south made you appreciate nature, the quiet and the beauty of clear, starry nights. 5. It contribute to social relationships. “We consume experiences directly with other people,” says Gilovich. “And after they’re gone, they’re part of the stories that we tell to one another.”
That seems like a more in-depth and interesting conversation that discussing your cars, gadgets, wardrobe or even your Boss souvenirs, right? 6. They are more memorable. At the end of the day happiness is always a collection of good memories and no material possession will ever match the kind of memories you get from experiences. So, stop investing in materialistic possessions and start investing in memories because only that way you will be happy, healthy, and loved, and that way you will celebrate life, with all of your friends and family at your favourite place.