BBRG: Money Doesn’t Deserve the Bad Rap It’s Getting

Money Doesn’t Deserve the Bad Rap It’s Getting
More of it won’t necessarily make you happier day-to-day, but it does raise life satisfaction.
Bloomberg, July 22, 2019



From Spend Shaming to the FIRE movement to terrible theories about how much money you can save by not drinking coffee (debunked here), money is getting a bad rap.

We have learned a lot about money: what it actually is, what it can do for you, and what the negative consequences are if you believe money alone will buy you happiness. Research has taught us that experiences are better in terms of happiness versus acquiring lots of consumer goods, that the big house and fancy car may not bring you joy, and that we are especially good at adapting to any new increase in living standards or their trappings.

As a species, we are very bad at predicting exactly what will bring us happiness.

However, we also know that money is an important part of our world, and that it can buys us economic security, housing, education, and health care. All things considered, having enough money to meet your basic needs and beyond is better than not having enough money.

An entire backlash seems to have developed in reaction to the pursuit of money. My pet theory is that it traces in part to a residual hangover from the Great Financial Crisis and Recession.

I wrote about this today — you can see that column here.



I originally published this at Bloomberg, July 22, 2019. All of my Bloomberg columns can be found here and here

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