You Can Be Rich And Have Nothing

By: Jasmine Ng    April 8, 2019  10:15 am

Do you remember how ecstatic you were when you bought the iPhone X?

I remember beaming with joy when I got the iPhone X for my birthday. I was glued onto my phone and I held it like a newborn baby. A couple of weeks went by and this phone that I was obsessed with didn’t mean much to me anymore. This is a cycle we all know too well. “Psychologists call this the ‘hedonic treadmill’ – we get used to new things, and they become ‘old things’ and we decide that we need even newer things to replace them.” This is because our human brains adapt and get used to these materialistic items that bring us temporary happiness.

Money is very crucial. Money fulfills your wants and needs. Money is a great part of our lives and we use it every day. A certain amount of money is required to accommodate your basic needs such as nice food, water, a comfortable home, access to education and healthcare. When you have a sufficient amount of money and are living comfortably, money influences your happiness to a certain extent. According to a study from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, “…no matter how much more than $75,000 people make, they don’t report any greater degree of happiness.”

Of course, it’s pleasant to have a lot of money but having an excessive amount is not that great. Things become so easy to obtain it’s no longer rewarding when you buy it. For example, being able to purchase the shoes you’ve been wanting for a really long time with hard earned money is more gratifying than being able to buy it anytime. This is because the action of saving up and finally being able to buy the shoes triggers the reward center in the brain.

It’s important to note that money can’t buy everything. Love, health, friends and family bring so much contentment and happiness into people’s lives and it’s not something you can buy. These aren’t items you can pick up at the store or order online. It’s simply priceless. A study from the University of Warwick “… found a strong marriage and good health were more likely to make people feel content than money.” What’s the point on having so much money if you’re unhealthy and unable to experience love?


Imagine this: You’re battling cancer but since you’re a multi-billionaire you can afford the best treatment. Are you happy? Money can’t cure cancer, it only provides a short term relief for the patient. A cancer patient Deanna Pai shares her experience with chemo: “I feel like I haven’t slept since November. I have so many aches and pains…I want to wife up my boyfriend, Tim. I want kids. I want to see the northern lights.” This shows that fighting the disease is exhausting and it hinders you from living your very best life. In the end, even if you have all the money in the world it is worthless if you’re not healthy.

Whether it is family, friendship or romantic love, it’s necessary to have love in your life. Love is described as the sweetest part of life and hard to find but easy to give away.

Friends and family are a huge part of our lives and they all have something in common; they bring you an abundance of joy that money can’t buy. A loving family provides a great amount of happiness because you’re unconditionally loved, accepted and it gives you a sense of belonging. A study from Michigan State University showed that “…family and friend relationships are tied to higher self-related levels of health and happiness.”

Just like family, friends are also very important because they’ll always stick by you through your highs and lows. Some may argue that money can buy friends and that’s true. Money makes it very easy to attract the wrong kind of friends. Although you’d never be lonely are those the type of friends you would want?

Money is essential to have, but it doesn’t determine your happiness. There are so many things in life money can’t buy that makes you happy. Once you understand there’s no correlation between money and happiness and start to appreciate the beautiful things you have in life, you will be fulfilled.



Works Cited

  1. “Agenda 2002: Can money buy you happiness?” News Letter [Belfast, Northern Ireland], 9 Jan. 2002, p. 4. Global Issues in Context, Accessed 7 Apr. 2019.
  2., Cheyenne Macdonald For. “Study Finds Friends Are Strongly Linked to Our Happiness.” Daily Mail Online, Associated Newspapers, 8 June 2017,
  3. Jacob, Carmen. “21 Reasons Why Money Can’t Buy Happiness. Experts Say It…” UpJourney23 Jan. 2019,
  4. Luscombe, Belinda. “Do We Need $75,000 a Year to Be Happy?” Time, Time Inc., 6 Sept. 2010,,9171,2019628,00.html.
  5. Pai, Deanna. “‘I Have Cancer…And It Sucks.’” Cosmopolitan, Cosmopolitan, 13 July 2017,