How many times have you heard someone say money can’t buy you happiness? That statement is usually followed up with “you can’t take it with you.” These types of statements are often used when referring to someone being “cheap.” I typically hear these comments from people who do not have money. But somehow, they always seem to have advice for how other people should use their money.
In this post, I will to explore the concept of money and its ability to buy/bring you happiness. From my perspective money cannot buy you happiness when it relates to thing such as health, love, peace of mind, and respect. But at the same time, money can buy you more options that will have an effect on your happiness when it comes to health, love life, peace of mind, and respect
While money cannot buy health, it can provide you with more healthcare options. Our current health care system is a pay to play system. The more you are willing to pay, the more options you have. Some people start with having no insurance, relying on the emergency room for healthcare treatment. And as they move up in income, they may obtain the ability to afford a gold or platinum level plan that has no co-pays and/or prescription cost. Of course, there are numerous options in-between—as for myself and many of my co-works we have switched over to a health saving account (HSA).
Health Savings Accounts (HSA) are a type of savings account that allows you to set aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for medical expenses. HSA’s are a part of a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP).
High-deductible plans usually have lower monthly premiums. By using the untaxed funds in an HSA to pay for expenses before you reach your deductible and other out-of-pocket costs like copayments, you reduce your overall health care costs.
Before switching over to the HSA, Mrs. Broke Architect and I had to do some analysis of our health care spending habits. List below are the numbers we reviewed before the to switch to the HSA:
|Traditional Health Care Insurance||Health Care Saving Account||Notes|
|Monthly Premiums (Pretax)||$250.00||$125.00|
|Average Monthly Out of Pocket Health Care Cost (Post Tax)||$105.00||$85.00||We reviewed our spending and we were able to reduce the amount spent every month|
|Yearly Total Out of Pocket Cost Before Insurance Kicks In||A co-pay amount which varies depending on the health care service being provided||$5,000||The down side of the HSA is the out of pocket cost before insurance kicks in. We keep $5,000 in our emergency fund for our health care cost if needed|
|Maximum yearly Out of Pocket Cost||$14,000||$6,700.00||In the long run and the short run, the HSA is more cost effective for us|
Now to tie this back to the concept that money can buy you options, which in return can bring you happiness. Do to the fact that Mrs. Broke Architect and I have an emergency fund, we can now exercise our option to take advantage of having an HSA. We have not only reduced our monthly and yearly health care cost, next year we explore the option of investing some of our HSA funds. The bottom line is having options when it comes to our health care makes us happy.
I would never suggest that money could buy you love. But I have met more than one person who has told me that looks do not matter to them. “It’s about how a person treats you and/or make you feel.” I am not judging! Also, there have been countless songs that have stated “romance without finance is a nuisance.” So, there may be a link between love/romance and money. Typically, people don’t use the word money, in these situations, they use words like security or being a great provider.
With a 50% divorce rate in America, and finances being one of the primary reasons for the divorce rate. We all need to spend a lot more time discussing finances with our loved one’s—making sure you and your better half are on the same page when it comes to money. And if you both are starting from nothing you can work together to build a financial empire that will provide you and your family with more options. Which in the long run may bring you some level of happiness and maybe the divorce rate as well.
Peace of Mind
The definition of peace of mind is the absent of mental stress and anxiety. Money intersects with so many aspects of our lives that it is impossible to say that having more of it will not have an effect on your peace of mind. Now, I am not suggesting that if you do not have peace you just need to throw money at the problem. Sometimes doing that will only make the problem worse. But I have seen and/or been in situations where a few extra dollars could have resolved the problem or provided additional options to help resolve the problem.
Respect and love are very similar when it comes to money. As I stated above, I don’t believe you can buy love and you surely cannot buy someone’s respect. What money can buy is a group of yes men/women that will quickly abandon you when the money runs out.
The prefect example of the pay for respect in action is working for a boss you do not respect. Due to your need for a pay check, you show this boss an expectable level of respect to keep the money coming in. But if you are presented with an opportunity to work for someone you respect for the same amount of money, most likely you would not think twice about leaving you current employer.
Once again, money cannot buy you respect. But having money can allow you the option to not have to deal with people you don’t respect. If you were financially free/independent you can choose to not work for or with people you do not respect. So, with being financially free you gain the opportunity to have more respect for yourself, which in return raises the bar for people trying to earn your respect.
With self-respect and the careful stewardship of your money you can be well on your way to having options. Having options gives you the flexibility to make better life decisions. As for me, I have discovered that the more options Mrs. Broke Architect and I have the happier we are. Even in bad situations we are thankful that we have options to choose from.
In closing, money cannot buy you happiness but it can buy you options and flexibility. These options make the rough times a little smoother and brighter. I can tell you from experience, having a little extra cash has cut down on the number of financial emergencies we have. A broken-down vehicle used to be a major problem for us but now it’s not such a big deal. Why you ask? Because we have money in an emergency fund, which give us options.
I hope this post inspires you to jump on the path to financial freedom to gain more options.
Without sacrifice there is no growth
The Broke Architect