Can Money Buy Happiness
Or Does Happiness Help You Make Money?

Authored by William G. DeFoore, Ph.D.

The age-old question, can money buy happiness...I guess we're still asking that. Maybe the reason we're still asking that question even though there have been many answers over the years, is that the answer is yes...and no.

cash flowWhat Do The Arrows Mean? In this chart, income (I) is invested in assets (A), and the assets are adding to income. Expense (E) is what's going out, and the (L) is for liabilities.

Clearly, having money and making money can be a source of happiness, short term for some and long term for others. You already know that.

The real question is, are you smart and happy with your money? You really want to be both. If you're just financially smart and not happy, you can't enjoy what you have. If you're just happy with your money and not smart with it, you'll spend it too fast.

With your happiness and with your money, you have income, expenses, assets and liabilities. Here's what I mean:

  • Income: You have money coming in, and you have experiences that bring you happiness.

  • Expenses: You have things that cost you money, and things that take away your happiness.
  • Assets: You (hopefully) have financial and material assets that grow in value over time, and you have relationships, beliefs and behavior patterns that bring you happiness on a consistent basis.

  • Liabilities: You have financial debt and other obligations, and you may have dysfunctional relationships, beliefs and behavior patterns that cost you happiness on a consistent basis.

The goal is to increase your money and happiness (income) by managing expenses, reducing liabilities and growing assets in both arenas.

Can I Be Wealthy First And Then Happy?

The answer is yes, but why not go for both?

Okay, I know you'd rather have the money first, then it would be much easier to be happy. The only problem is, that just doesn't work as well, if it works at all.

If you're looking to get more money to make you happy, then you must be coming from a place of unhappiness and a belief that you don't have enough money.

What we're learning about the law of attraction and how it works is that you cannot attract wealth from a feeling of poverty. In different words, you cannot attract abundance from a feeling of lacking, needing and not enough.


What you create in this world is a mirror image of what is going on inside you. Create an abundance of joy and well being within yourself and it will be much easier to create an abundance of wealth in your financial world.

Here is a way of looking at it:

  • When you're happy, you feel more confident and secure, and you radiate more of a sense of accomplishment to everyone you meet.

  • Also, when you're happy your brain works better. Your body will be more relaxed, allowing more oxygen to flow to your brain fostering clear thinking and better decision making.

  • Other successful people will want to work with you, support your ideas, or give you a job, when you are exuding confidence and clear thinking.

  • With your clarity of thought and self confidence, you will pass up the losing deals and bad employment situations that would lead you to loss and unhappiness.

As you continue to ask and answer the question, "Can money buy happiness?" I think you can see now how being truly happy is essential to everything you need in order to be successful financially.

Now let's look at how you can increase your happiness income, grow your wellness assets, and begin a life-long process of building your wealth and your joy.

Can Money Buy Happiness With High Expenses?

Maybe...let's take a look. It's always a good idea to reduce your (emotional and financial) expenses, but let's consider a different approach for a moment.

What if you focus on growing joy income as a way of reducing emotional expenses and preparing for financial abundance?

Fortunately, you can solve a lot of your stress-related problems by growing your happiness, just like you can ease financial pressures by earning more money. I think you can see that this is a more important focus than worrying about the question, "Can money buy happiness?"

You want more things that make you happy than things that bring frustration, fear and pain (more income than expense). That's human nature. So let's see how to make that happen -- how to create happiness on purpose.

"Get more emotional income than expense by growing your happiness, not by stressing and worrying over the things that are bothering you."

Here's how you can grow your happiness income:

  • Recognize that you create your own reality to a very large extent. This means you have some responsibility for what's going on, and therefore you're free to change it. While there are certainly things that are totally outside your control, you can still decide how you respond to them.

  • Make up your mind that you're going to take the necessary steps to create the level of joy and fulfillment that you want in your life. This focus of your intention is powerful, and I encourage you to use it every moment of every day.

  • Become a Goodfinder, by regularly practicing gratitude, appreciation and optimism. This will definitely raise your level of joy, and increase your income of positive feelings on a daily basis. These skills help give you a structure and direction for your thoughts, and your thoughts create your reality.

There is so much goodness and beauty in this world, and the more you look for it and focus on it, the happier you will be. We're not talking about ignoring problems, we're talking about shifting your focus to what is good, right and working so that you're not consumed by the unsolved problems.

And the happier you are the more successful and wealthy you are likely to be.

Instead of asking, "Can money buy happiness," maybe we need to ask, "how can I grow my happiness and wealth at the same time?"

Take a look at this chart to get a picture of what this looks like in the emotional arena.

How Can I Grow My Assets And Reduce Liabilities?

Everybody asking, "Can money buy happiness?" is interested in both happiness and money. Understanding income, expenses, assets and liabilities is the first step to reaching all of your goals.

We're going to focus on your happiness assets and liabilities on this page, and direct you to another page for more detailed information on the financial side.

Your Happiness Assets

Here is where you take a look at those more fixed and lasting aspects of your life that give you joy, peace and fulfillment.

Here are some examples:

  • Fun, happy, loving relationships in which you feel valued and appreciated just as you are
  • Habits and behavior patterns that add to your well being, like regular exercise, healthy diet, meditation and relaxation
  • Belief systems that bring you comfort, confidence and reassurance
  • A strong, positive spiritual practice that brings you a sense of faith and optimism

Your Happiness Liabilities

This is where you examine those fixed and lasting aspects of your life that drain your energy and enthusiasm.

Here are some examples:

  • Relationships that are stressful and difficult for you, taking away from your peace of mind
  • Habits and behavior patterns that are harmful to your body and mind, like addictions, poor diet and lack of exercise
  • Belief systems that limit your appreciation of yourself and other people
  • A fear-producing spiritual life, or the absence of any kind of spirituality

You can see clearly that what we're wanting here is to increase income, manage expenses, grow assets and shrink liabilities. You can do this, one small step at a time.

And that's what we're here for. This site is entirely devoted to helping you grow your joy and well being, body, mind and spirit.

I know you may still have the question, "Can money buy happiness?" Well, stay tuned, because there are more pages coming on this topic.

And the image below to learn start increasing both your money and your happiness right now!

Get a perspective from Scientific American, in this article entitled,

Can Money Buy Happiness?

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