I´ve been thinking a lot about money lately. I´ve been having economic problems which create a lot of stress, sadness and worry. A few years ago I didn’t use to care about money and would see the world through a very different glass than I do now. I would walk around saying words like: “money doesn’t buy happiness”. I still do agree though, but not to the same blind extent as I use to.
The thing is that I didn´t care about money because I had it. My dad provided me with a comfortable lifestyle where I had little to wish for that I didn´t have, and so I was a happy hippie who spent her free time (which was a lot) finding a way to improve the world and volunteering in charities or anything that would contribute to a better world. I didn’t really care about silly luxuries like big clothing labels and stupid things like that. I cared about being free and being able to do whatever I wanted with my time and travel as far and as long as I could.
I bought freedom with money and that made me happy.
It wasn’t swimming in a pool of money that made me happy but what I could buy with that money, it bought me freedom.
I didn´t have to work if I didn’t want to and if I hated my job I would easily quit. I wasn’t stuck anywhere because with money you can go everywhere. I didn´t depend on any job to survive, a roof over my head and food on my plate were guaranteed. And I took them for granted.
Fast-forward a few years and after a series of unfortunate events I find myself fatherless and broke, working three jobs I don´t like to pay bills, bills, bills. It´s also important to note that I live in Mexico, which means that salaries here are horrible, I barely make 800usd a month which means that I don´t make enough to safe money to get out of here. Which means… that I´m stuck in a city that I hate and no money to go anywhere else.
I realize now that money doesn’t buy happiness, but what you can buy with that money sometimes can.
I now understand the average Joe´s struggle to make ends-meet, to put food on the plate and a roof over their heads. I understand that you can´t eat money but money buys food when you can´t grow it in your garden, that money buys you a short stay by the sea when you can´t live there, that money buys you ( or in my case rents) you a roof over your head.
The swami at the ashram didn´t really understood this because he had a roof over his head and food on his plate for granted.
Is money happiness?
I don´t believe this either. How many rich people have committed suicide because they were unhappy with their lives? Lots! I know that money doesn’t buy you happiness. Even when I had it I still struggled with other aspects of life, but I won´t deny that having money makes life a lot easier and comfortable.
Life will still throw struggles at anyway whether they have money or not but if you also find yourself in economical troubles then you probably know how much easier your life would be with money in the bank.
Money is a means to get what you want
If a woman has a dying son in the hospital who need dialysis urgently but she can´t afford it or a kidney transplant, is clear that to this woman having money to pay for her son´s treatment would be happiness. It´s not the money that makes her happy but what she can do with that money.
Money and spirituality
Unfortunately, in current times money has adopted a higher level of desire. Corporations, governments and people will stop at nothing to get it. Most of the times is not even to meet basic needs but to accumulate it in Swiss bank accounts. I won´t deny the fact that we´re a money driven society, but on the other hand I can´t deny how much it sucks to be poor.
I spent one month in an ashram where we were told how money doesn’t matter, what matters is finding God and bla bla bla. Yes totally agree, it´s important to find a spiritual path in which we feel comfortable, but then again we live in a material world where money is necessary. There´s a reason why the ashram wasn’t free nor cheap.
It´s about finding a balance between the material world in which we live and the spiritual world that we´re working towards understanding. But one thing is for sure, when you´re working three jobs to make ends-meet that leaves little time to go find God.
Unless you´re a very advanced guru/swami or feel comfortable with your economic situation, then you´re probably struggling economically, and you´re wondering if money is happiness. I don´t really have an answer, except that sometimes. Sometimes it is because of what you can buy with it. In my case money would buy me love, because it would mean I could finally move to be with my boyfriend in New Zealand, it would buy me freedom from working three jobs that take most of my time, it would buy me peace by not having to worry about the bills and it would buy holidays by the sea-side which calms my soul. Money would buy me time to do what I love and that is how money can SOMETIMES buy happiness.