In a previous column on the subject of money and happiness, I closed with: "In your heart, do you believe that more money would make you happier? How much would it take to make you really happy? Or have you discovered a source of true contentment and found it is not tied to money?"
I received many responses. Some of you sent single sentences; others sent long letters filled with stories and examples. From the bottom of my heart, thank you! Since I cannot publish every response, here's are some of your responses.
My mother could have done anything and gone anywhere she ever wanted and was never satisfied. I have concluded that if you have faith in God and are already happy, money is nice but will not make you happier. It only makes your problems more expensive. — Andrea
When I was single, I was poor. Then I married a man who makes a lot. We live very comfortably, but my state of happiness has greatly diminished. It takes a lot of work to maintain that level of income. More money leaves very little time for each other. It causes more aggravation in your life. — Sheri
We are meeting all of our bills but have very little to put away for our daughter, much less for ourselves. More money would make us happier and more content. — Alex
Money gives you options but not happiness. — Warren
I don't live in poverty, but I struggle to buy groceries with enough left to pay rent. Money wouldn't really make me happier, but it would ease some of the stress and improve my quality of life. — Nicole
The idea that money equals happiness diminishes with age. I'll take contentment over money any time. — Don
A recent worldwide Gallup poll asked, "How much money would it take you to 'make it'?" The answer: 20% more than I have now. The answer to financial contentment, therefore, is to realize I'm getting 20% more than someone who would be happy if he only had another 20% and then choose to be as happy as he says he would be. — Roger
Money is necessary to live, but striving to become richer than necessary is, in my opinion, a waste of one's life. — Sumner
Money buys you choices, not happiness or love or health. If the worst thing that ever happens to you is that you lose all your money, then you don't have anything to worry about. — Name withheld
If I had great wealth, I might get an attitude, lose my true friends, spend too much and become overburdened by debt. Then I would stress out, become physically ill and have a nervous breakdown. — Mary
All things being equal, I'd rather be unhappy with $10 million in the bank than unhappy with no assets at all. — Tim
Only God's unconditional redeeming love can satisfy our deepest longs and provide the happiness and contentment we all long for. — Alice
Thank you to everyone who responded — far more than would fit into this column! Your responses have inspired me.
Would you like more information? Go to EverydayCheapskate.com for links and resources for recommended products and services in this column. Mary invites questions, comments and tips at EverydayCheapskate.com, "Ask Mary." This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a lifestyle blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."
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