Don’t Tell Us Money Can’t Buy Happiness: Here’s the Harsh Truth About the Senseless Platitude

“Money can’t buy happiness.”

The platitude seeks to stop people from complaining about wealth inequality and show gratitude for the few meager scraps they can get. You shouldn’t complain about finances because true happiness comes from within. More money wouldn’t make you happy; rich people are just as miserable as poor people. 

Platitude Lacks Nuance

A woman looks unsure with her hand on her chin and her eyes looking up as if she's thinking about something serious.
Photo Credit: Roman Samborskyi via

People are waking up to how the insidious saying lacks nuance. One frustrated person came to Reddit looking for ways to counter the empty platitude, and the internet didn’t disappoint. 

 Here are the best rebuffs for when folks tell you money doesn’t buy happiness. 

Money Prevents Misery

Man sitting with his hands near his chin, sadly thinking and seriously thinking
Photo Credit: spixel via

Money may not buy happiness, but it does enable you to escape misery. 

It’s a lot harder to find happiness when you don’t know how you’re going to keep a roof over your head or don’t know where your next meal is coming from,” said one user. 

Money Can’t Buy Happiness, But Poverty Can’t Buy Anything

sad man looking into his empty wallet
Photo Credit: pathdoc via

If money can’t buy happiness, poverty sure can’t. 

“Poverty can’t buy anything,” snarked one user, offering a perfect slapback to the silly saying.

To Have or Not To Have (Money, That Is)

Confused woman holding a wad of cash money.
Photo Credit: pathdoc via

One user pointed out that money is critical, especially for folks who don’t have any. 

“Having money isn’t everything, but not having money is everything,” they said. It’s easy to say money doesn’t buy happiness when you have money. 

A Place To Be Unhappy

Man sadly sitting in the outline of a tiny house, trying to make himself small enough to fit.
Photo Credit: assedesignen via

Where would you rather be unhappy – in the comfort of your own home or out on the streets?

If I’m going to be unhappy either way, I might as well be unhappy in a nice house,” offered one user. 

Money Eliminates Unhappiness

happy smiling woman holding a flower over one eye on an orange background
Photo Credit: Maria Markevich via

Money may not buy happiness, but it can eliminate the things that make us unhappy. If someone says money can’t buy happiness, hit them back with, “It sure can eliminate a source of unhappiness.”

What Pays the Bills?

Person using a calculator and holding a pencil to show that he's paying the bills
Photo Credit: wutzkohphoto via

“Platitudes can’t pay my bills,” replied one user, highlighting that most folks aren’t after tons of wealth for no reason but need the money to survive. 


Happy woman sleeping in a comfy bed.
Photo Credit: Olena Yakobchuk via

Happiness may come from within, but comfort comes from money. 

“If you’re comfortable, you’re not necessarily happy, but if you’re uncomfortable, you’re definitely unhappy,” said one user. 


Father smiling as his son puts coins in a piggy bank.
Photo Credit: fizkes via

Security ranks second on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. After we meet our basic needs, we strive to ensure we can continue meeting them well into the future. 

“The security of having a roof over your head, clothes on your back, and food in your mouth IS happiness as far as I’m concerned,” stated one Redditor. 

Money Buys Time

sand running through an hourglass to represent quotes about time.
Photo Credit: Min C. Chiu via

Money may not buy happiness, but FIRE (Financially Independent/Retired Early) seekers know it can buy the next best thing: Time. 

Many people are unhappy because they don’t have the time to do what they love. They’re too busy working to afford the things they need to survive. More money would allow them to work less and enjoy their lives more. 

They Don’t Know What It Means

man shrugging wearing a blue sweater on a light purple background.
Photo Credit: via

Some Redditors said it’s pointless to argue with folks who think a simple platitude will solve everything, especially when they don’t consider what it means. 

Indeed, money doesn’t buy happiness. 

“Being rich alone doesn’t solve all your problems,” said one user. They offered an apt analogy “Money is like water, it is a necessity, but just because you’re not thirsty doesn’t mean you’re happy. People have a lot more needs in their life than just drinking water.”

The Pursuit of Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness

Man holding money to his side, looking over his shoulder as if someone is going to take his money. Miserly looking man guarding his money
Photo credit: New Africa via

People who tell poor folks that money doesn’t buy happiness lost sight of the original meaning. It’s not that money doesn’t buy happiness because, clearly, money can buy many things that make us happy. 

However, the endless pursuit of more money to hoard wealth won’t make anyone happier. Studies show that there’s eventually a breaking point where more money doesn’t lead to more happiness, though it’s typically much higher than experts would have you believe. 

Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness – but Financial Freedom Can Make You Happy

man working on a laptop while laying on the beach
Photo Credit: Kaspars Grinvalds via

Financial Freedom is more than just a buzz word. It’s achievable for a lot of people. 

Here’s your ultimate guide to achieving financial independence

Happiness Comes from Being True To Yourself

An older woman enjoys the solitude of nature at a river bank in the fall.
Photo Credit: Mila Supinskaya Glashchenko via

To live a happy, healthy, life, you must be true to yourself. It can be hard to be ourselves when society wants to force us to be something we’re not. Here are 16 ways to be unapologetically you

37 Tips for Living Your Best Life

happy smiling woman holding a flower over one eye on an orange background
Photo Credit: Maria Markevich via

The life you want is within reach! Here are 37 tips to help you live a fulfilling life

How to Find Your Passion and Live Your Dream Life

Man raising arms looking at the veiw after climbing a high mountain
Photo Credit: solarseven via

Your dream life is within reach. Your passion is buried deep inside of you, aching to burst free. Here’s how to rediscover your passion and life the life you always wanted

Bad Jobs Lead To Misery. FU Money Helps You Quit

Pretty money throwing money around on a light pink background
Photo Credit: Pixel-Shot via

Want enough money to quit your toxic job and not have to stress about it? You need an FU money fund. 

Find out how to build your FU Fund here

Source: Reddit