The topic isn't new and the cliché has been around for a very long time, but somehow it always finds its way back into conversation. “Money cannot buy happiness”, said and discussed about media frequently. Yet, the first person perspective is not a common approach to the topic. But here I am to tell you my own experiences with those who have more money than they know what to deal with, and those just struggling to get by.
Being someone who has moved over six times in my life, bringing me across the country, I have the privilege to meet and befriend so many different people from so many different walks of life. And through those meetings, I've learned that there is no real connection between financial situation and happiness. Now that's not to say money doesn't affect things in some varying degree, but that is my overall consensus. For example, while living in Indiana, I had a friend named Collin. He and his families were going through extremely rough economic times, living in a trailer park and also facing the crisis of the 2008 recession. Yet, he and his family were extremely close. What they didn't have in finances, they made up by family bonding and always looking for bargains. I remembered him telling me that bargain hunting became a game for the family that helped to ease the tension of the hard times. Whenever I would be with him or his family, there was always a genuine smile on their faces. Their bond is what kept them happy and allowed them to keep pushing ahead.
On the other side, via close family members, I have seen, that money can be the very thing that keeps them from living a truly happy life. From having an uncle who owns a small business and another close family member who is an executive in a major business company. In order for either of them to make the money they currently make, they must both travel a lot, deal with managing people while also in some cases controlling states worth of territories. These factors combine into not only an extremely stressful environment, but also one that takes time away from their families. There have been points where one is so caught up in their businesses that they cannot show up to certain family gatherings such as Christmas or Thanksgiving. Because of the heightened responsibility, more money comes out of the deal, yet I've seen that more money has open the door for regret and pain via stress.
Throughout my experiences, it has lead me to find only one clear answer in my head. Money may bring forth with it it's own versions of happiness, yet with more money generally comes more responsibility and sacrifice. And to me, If money means sacrificing family and friends, it's benefits rarely outweigh its detrimental effects.
By Reagan Smith