does money buy happiness?

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

Hello friends, I hope you all have been having a great summer. You might notice a slight change to this website…

… there are ads! I’ve officially been monetized!

While this is a milestone for the blog, I did wonder for a moment if I should keep things ad-free and more minimalist, so any pop-ups don’t deter from the content here. But it does cost money to keep this blog up and running, so if I can offset the costs with some ads, I’ll take advantage.

Making the decision to run ads on this site made me want to wax philosophical about money in general. It’s weird having a blog whose very name references money, especially in a society where talking about it still has associated stigma. For something that’s so integral to our lives and takes up so much headspace, it’s always amazed me how little we talk openly about it.

I’ve been thinking of money a little like Murakami book themes lately. All his books are about regular life, with almost boring scenarios. His main characters never have strong personalities; they live without a real purpose, yet trudge along at peace with their lives.

There’s a silent driving force in their lives that’s a more powerful current than purpose… but what is it? I’ve read three of his books, but have yet to figure it out. Outside Murakami’s worlds though, I think the driving force in our lives is quite stark: it’s money. To get the same sense of peace Murakami’s characters have, we need to face money, which might prove an even stronger current than our life purpose.

Is this true only to a certain extent though? There was the famous 2010 study that claimed money only bought happiness when you were earning below $75k ($90k in today’s dollars), but new research is claiming otherwise. Neverthertheless, I’ve found these studies to be a helpful benchmark in helping me decide how much I should care about money, and when I should be willing to give it up in favour of other things that bring me happiness, like time with family, friends, and myself.

But a few extra cents from ads on a blog never hurt anyone.

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