The Balance of Money and Happiness

Several years ago an acquaintance told me that to be able to raise a family, and raise them happily, you have to have money, lots and lots of money. I openly and vocally disagreed with him!! My childhood wasn't perfect, we had our fair share of hardship and issues, we had little money (another day another time and just maybe we can chat about those), but I do remember a lot of happiness, I do have many fond memories with my family, even though we had little.

And yet, here I find myself - several years later, working hard in a career I don't particularly enjoy, trying to make more money so we can have things to make us happy. Dreaming of lavish cars and idyllic vacations; planning our next purchase, our next toy.

I argued my point with this person over the course of several days. I sited many sources (some well known to the public) that so blatantly shows that it isn't money that makes us happy, that it is not the things or the vacations. Its us, our families, our faiths, our love.

At least once a week my job keeps me away from home for 12+ hours. It is not uncommon for me to not see my boys to bed, not get to tuck them in, several times during the month. But the money is good...so I'll endure....right?

Where did I go wrong. When did I become that hypocrite that would so vehemently argue this point, and yet sacrifice my family, my relationships, my health for a well paying job? Where is this "money = happiness" he was so strongly defending, and why did I decide to believe him (and yet live in denial about it).

So here I sit, in a shaky economy, trying to figure this all out and what exactly I am going to do about it. What exactly can I afford to do about it. Here I sit, 11 o'clock at night, listening to my dear sweet husband snore, trying to figure out my debt, my priorities, my happiness and find a better way. Determine what do we really need and what do we need to let go of.

That is what is on my mind right now, that is the reason I am sitting up when I know I need my sleep. I hope now that I have said my little piece that I can have just a bit of peace myself....for tonight.


  1. Oh, Liz. I hope that you are able to find the balance between work and family that will make you truly happy. Try to get some sleep. :)

  2. I think it's a fine line that we live between working for happiness and just deciding to have happiness. But, we got caught up in that gotta have this to be happy frame of thought, too.

  3. I totally agree that money does not equal happiness. But I strive to provide security and stability for my son, and right now that means working my socks off to keep the roof over our heads, food on the table and the wolf from the door. It's a difficult balance and some days, I'll be the first to admit I don't get it right!

  4. I completely know where you're coming from. I'm currently pursuing a new job opportunity which would mean more money but more hours. It is so hard.

  5. sorry you're dealing with this. I completely agree! MONEY DOES NOT BUY HAPPINESS! I'm a big believer in even down sizing you have to. thats just me. my best friend had a career as a nurse and they're dealing this. She's actually considering quitting her job and selling there house to get a smaller one so she can stay home. obviously money does help with keeping the stress levels down between husband and wife, but the kids dont care about money. they just want their parents :)

  6. That is a difficult subject to address...so many different opinions. I hope that you find the answers that you are looking for and that you are able to do what is best for you and your family.

  7. I definitely don't have any answers on this one. I wish I did. I went to college and planned to work full-time and now I am a stay-at-home mom. There are many days I wish I were working so we would have more money. I really enjoyed your thoughts on this. It is always good to know that I don't struggle alone- even when we are struggling with the money issue in different ways.

  8. I can so relate to this post on so many different levels, it almost feels like I wrote it at this point in my life last year. 12 months later, and I still have no answers and now am without a job.


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