Money won't buy happiness but can lead to a better life study says

Binghamton University study found it’s all about how you view wealth

Money won't buy happiness but can lead to a better life study says
Steve Randall

Wealth and material possessions can lead to a more satisfying life, depending on how they are viewed according to a new study.

Those who say “money can’t buy happiness” often assume that the accumulation of wealth and material possessions will have a generally negative impact on wellbeing, but a new study dismisses that. 

Researchers at Binghamton University found that those who consider wealth as a sign of success are likely to have a more fulfilled life than those who view it as a sign of happiness.

“There is a real difference between success materialism and happiness materialism,” said Jenny Jiao, assistant professor of marketing at Binghamton University School of Management.

Jiao and her co-researchers studied more than 7,500 adults and discovered key differences in the lives of those with either success or happiness materialism.

For those who believe that wealth and material consumption is the sign of a happy life, they found that it can lead to dissatisfaction with their current standard of living which can permeate all areas of life and negatively influence overall life satisfaction.

But for those with the mindset that wealth and material possession is a sign of success in life, their economic motivation is boosted, leading to a rise in their future satisfaction with their standard of living, giving an overall boost to life satisfaction.

Economic motivation

“We work so hard over the course of our lives. We want to make money and we want to have a better life, but what actually gives us satisfaction with life? Is it wealth and material possessions or is it what those things are a sign of?” said Jiao.

While the study says that happiness should never be solely based on money, using it as a motivational tool to achieve life milestones can make people happier in the long term.