Money Won’t buy Happiness

Why is it that a tribesman living in a jungle without an I-phone is happier than the average American? Studies have proven that trying to keep up with neighbors and watching celebrity lifestyle programs have a negative effect upon happiness. In fact, many people will choose friends on an equal or lower economic scale than those that are very wealthy by a margin of 2:1 to avoid these feelings of envy. Jason Zweig, author of Your Money and Your Brain, notes that in the past being envious of the head honcho provided multiple benefits. Hunting and gathering were skills needed to survive. The envy that led to copying brought food into the cave. Today a bigger car or home will not provide the same punch. These cravings will actually make you feel like a loser and bring on feelings of unhappiness. This is why the tribesman might be on to something. He craves experience with his fellows and the feeling of being part of something beyond himself. Having is not going to provide lasting happiness because someone always has more than you. Experiencing things and being a part of organizations that benefit others are the true ticket. While the balance in your 401k is important, it will not provide you with what is really important. If you doubt this, just ask Scrooge.