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Money and Well Being Essay


            Money and subjective well being are focused in several studies. People tried to connect money and subjective well being. They are different with each other yet they may have common relationship. Money and well being are studied to acquire concise reasons for such relationship or agree with its disconnection.


            What is the power of money? It can do anything. But what is its power to do such things? How can a single work of art, as some considered controls people’s lives? Who gives it such power?

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For some, it is precious. But, we cannot also deny that there are several people who don’t give much value. But for that sake of those who value it, is it the components which compose it that makes it valuable? How precious really money is? These are examples of questions that we never tried to ask but obviously exist. They are the questions that lie behind the representation of wealth.

            Before the existence of money, people are engaged in trading; foods, clothing, etc. People will go to a market to trade their goods. Everything has its own value; each has its own equivalent. People noticed the disadvantage of such way of trading. As time goes by, they created pennies made of gold and silver. Each coin has its own value. A single coin may value from a single slave to a dozen one.

Some will now have the chance not to bring goods for trading as they will only bring coins. Since then, more and more people crave to have more gold coins or a silver one. But, as what we’ve seen today, neither gold coins or silver pennies no longer exist. Everything was changed into copper coins or a paper bill with great prints to ensure its uniqueness. But how can a paper or a copper acquire power? What, on the other hand, is the effect of it in our lives? How does money control people’s lives? How can we determine if we are being controlled?

  1. Measuring money and subjective well being

            How important (value) money is? Almost everything can be connected to the involvement of money. From day to day lives, money is involved. We never notice the involvement or it did not give a great impact since we are used to its existence and involvement. We live in a world where money plays a great role.

            We can not quantify the importance or value of money unless we site its uses. What can money do? We can acquire good education through money. We can have food in our refrigerators even if we did not plant because of money. Almost everything in this world involves money.

            On the other hand, people’s happiness sometimes involves money. There are several reasons for this but can be summarized into one: it is because, the necessities in life can only be acquired with the aid of money specially those who are living in a city. Money represents material wealth that you have. In other words, buying through money is another way of trading.

People traded their wealth with the things they want. Trading/buying exists because not all people can produce the things that they need in order to survive. And, those who have the capability to produce want also to acquire things which they don’t have. In other words, trading still exist. Those who are employed in an office traded their strength with wealth in order for them to trade it again with their necessities.

            Now we will examine subjective well being. Survival is the main reason why people engage in trading and why money is involved. People are glad when their needs are met. But, they are happy when their wants are acquired. When do we see people are satisfied? People are never satisfied. For if they are, they will no longer crave or work for more. They will just work the way they are everyday. They will not aim to have more. Therefore money is important in one’s happiness because money is the key to acquire things that a person needs.

  1. Correlation to money and subjective well being

            Money is directly proportional to subjective well being. Some disagree with this. But most, will even give an example or proof that will justify the argument. Most people often said that money is not a tool or key of their happiness. It only gives negligible amount of happiness, they said. But why do people work? Why do people never rest to have money just for a single day? Although indirectly it did not contribute happiness or subjective well being, it somehow gives by meeting the needs and wants of a person. We did not notice it because either we are used to it or we only see the top impact. We did not dig until we see the bottom.

            Another ironic among people is the mentality that they did not consider money as a contributor to subjective well being but then still crave to have more. They are not contented with what they have, as what they supposed to be based on their claims. But, as money continually being used, money is always directly proportional to subjective well being.

  1. Income Effect on People’s Happiness

            Income is the main concern of every human being. It is the key or tool for them to survive. A research conducted by Wendy Johnson and Robert F.  Krueger of  the University of Minnesota entitled “How Money Buys Happiness: Genetic and Environmental Processes Linking Finances and Life Satisfaction” shows that those people who have low income are most likely be happy when an increase in income occurs and that those who have much often do not affected with the increase.

One reason for this is that, those who have less have the opportunity to experience the satisfaction and easiness of life when they have much. On the other hand, those who already have, will not likely to recognize because they are used to it or they have expected it. They are used to the kind of life abundance can give.

            Nevertheless, people are mostly affected with an increase in income so with the decrease of it. But, in person’s happiness, money contributes in a way that is unimaginable.

  1. Money Effect on Well Being and Culture

            Culture and money have connection. Money contributed to the development of culture. A developed country has different culture than those which are developing. Is money involved in this? Yes. Money contributes a lot. The rise of technology influences a culture in that nation. Because culture is constantly changing, people’s well-being also changes.

            Before the great rise of civilization, people are happy when they have food in their table. They are contented with what they have. But today people are more concerned with life’s pleasure and easiness. They are no longer contented with the three meals. They even want to have things that make every works or moves easy.

            People from a developed country cannot be affected with an increase in income. Subjective well being will not be affected. But for those who are from developing countries, an increase in income or a big sum of money has a great impact or effect to their subjective well being. This is also the reason why more people find ways to work in developing countries. Because everyday lives involve money, culture and subjective well being is directly affected with money.

  1. Will Money Increase Subjective Well Being?

    As what we’ve known, subjective well being is directly affected by money. An increase can give a noticeable effect on it. We will site an example. A person who has a job is more likely to be happier than those who are craving or even asking penny for a living. Although being used to the situation makes it unnoticeable, it still gives an impact on someone’s subjective well being.

            As what we’ve mentioned from above statements, we say that money increases subjective well being. But, it depends on the status of the person. If he is a rich man living in a wealthy nation, he most likely not affected with it and his happiness is never increase with money but when a person comes from a poor nation, effect of money will greatly be notice.


Diener, E. and Biswas, R. (2001). Will Money Increase Subjective Well Being? : A

Literature Review and Guide to Needed Research. Social Indicators Research,

Vol. 57, Number 2. Netherlands: Springer

Johnson, W. and Krueger, R. (2006). How Money Buys Happiness: Genetic and

Environmental Processes Linking Finances and Life Satisfaction. Journal of

Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 90(4), pp. 680-691. US: American Psychological Association

Kuan, D. (2005). Income and Happiness: Earning and Spending as Sources of

            Discontent. The Journal of Socio-Economics, Vol. 34(2), pp. 161-177.

Netherlands: Elsevier Science

Binswanger, M. (2006). Why does income growth fail to make us happier? Searching

for the treadmills behind the paradox of happiness. The Journal of Socio-Economics, Vol. 35(2), pp. 366-381. Netherlands: Elsevier Science

Diener, E. and  Oishi, S. (2003). Money and Happiness: Income and Subjective Well-Being Across Nations. Culture and Subjective Well-Being. US: The MIT Press

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