Ten key principles to explain how money and happiness are connected. By looking at how we spend our money and how it affects our daily lives, we can decide what’s important to us and make better choices that will bring us closer to true happiness.
Money as a tool, not a status symbol:
Utilize money to enhance life quality rather than as a measure of social standing. This helps avoid the trap of wealth fetishization.
Beware of the ownership paradox:
Purchasing goods can lead to a loss of autonomy, reflecting Marx’s theory of commodity fetishism – where our relationships with commodities can obscure our social relations.
Recognize spending subjectivity:
Understand that spending patterns reflect cultural backgrounds and psychological experiences, challenging the notion of the ‘rational’ economic individual.
Value unspent money:
Savings can yield freedom, independence, and autonomy, subverting traditional notions of wealth accumulation for conspicuous consumption.
Question materialism and respect:
Critique societal structures that equate material wealth with the worthiness of respect. More on Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of “symbolic capital.”
Be mindful of aspiration:
The allure of unattainable goods can lead to extravagant spending patterns. Echoing Veblen’s “conspicuous consumption” theory and its sustainability implications.
Wealth is relative:
Understand that aspirations often follow a trickle-down pattern, reminding us that wealth is relative. Success cannot be measured solely in economic terms.
Choose utility over status:
Opt for tangible rather than social utility items, “false needs.” (Herbert Marcuse)
Navigate the paradox of choice:
More money can lead to difficulty discerning how to spend it for happiness, highlighting the limitations of consumerism.
Understand desires beyond basic needs:
After fulfilling basic needs, navigating the realm of desires can be complex. This calls for introspection and understanding of genuine desires for authentic happiness.