How to Spend Money and Buy Happiness

Anyone who is interested in the business of money should watch the movie Boiler Room from 2000. Starring Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel and Ben Affleck, it is loosely inspired by the original Wall Street movie of 1987. Of particular interest to us today is a quote by Ben Affleck’s character, New York brokerage firm co-founder Jim Young.

“They say money can’t buy happiness? Look at the [expletive] smile on my face. Ear to ear, baby.”

Here’s another zinger:

“Anybody who tells you money is the root of all evil doesn’t [expletive] have any.”

Colorful language, hyperbole and illegal business practices aside, he has a point. All too often we are told that money can’t buy happiness. That’s mostly true, I suppose, but money can sure arm you with tools and resources that make attaining happiness so much easier. In other words, money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you the beachfront property with unobstructed happiness views.

Realistically, what does this really mean? What we have to come to realize that it isn’t the money itself that it is going to buy our happiness, but rather how we choose to spend it. If you’re going to blow all your cash just to look rich and to keep up with the Joneses, you’re probably not going to be happy. Instead, it takes a different kind of mindset.

First, in the context of Internet marketing and professional blogging, we all have to recognize that the best part of making money online isn’t about the money. It’s about the time freedom that it can afford us. But it goes even further than that.


You can always make more money, but you cannot make more time. Indeed, time is the only truly non-renewable resource and it is, by definition, incredibly limited. The good news is that you can, in effect, buy time with the money that you earn.

Borrowing a page out of the Tim Ferriss playbook, money empowers you with the ability to outsource everything that you don’t want to do so you can spend your time doing the things that you do want to do. You can hire someone to clean your house. You can hire someone to mow the lawn. You can hire someone to get your groceries, maintain your website, or write your ebook.

And when you stop wasting your time with tasks that you hate, it’s a heck of a lot easier to be happy.


By “buying” yourself more time, you can then choose to spend that time with your family. You can spend that time going on vacation. And, if you leverage the powers of passive income and Internet marketing, you can earn $16,000 a day while indulging in oversized drinks in Costa Rica. This is all within reach, meaning happiness is also within reach.

But there’s one other incredibly critical element that you should not neglect. Studies have shown that people are no happier when they are gifted an amount of money to spend on themselves. However, people are noticeably happier when they are gifted the same amount of money and are told to spend it on someone else.

You’re happier when you do things to make other people happier. You’re happier when you are generous with your time and money rather than only thinking of yourself. When you have the privilege of leading a charmed existence — and if you are reading this blog post, you already are — then you really should be giving back to your community as a means of expressing your gratitude.

And when you express your gratitude through charity, courtesy and good will, you’ll start smiling from ear to ear too.

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