Will money and time buy happiness?


A younger Facebook friend posed a question yesterday: If you had an unlimited amount of money and time, what would your LIFE look like?

I scrolled through all the answers. Many people wanted to travel all over the wide world. Here, there and beyond. Over the horizon to foreign lands that thrilled the imagination. Some wanted to pay off debt. Others to give to others in need.

You could feel the longing in each person’s response. You could almost read beneath the typed words to the feeling underneath: I want to feel free. I want to feel joy. I want to feel delight. I want to feel relieved. I don’t want to be working anymore. I want unlimited time to do what I want to do. I want to feel useful and loving and giving. I want my life to be more exciting and beautiful and wonderful than it feels right now.

*click on Page 2 to read more–new WordPress format*

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in August, 2020 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to Will money and time buy happiness?

  1. Ally Bean says:

    I agree with your answer to the question. My life would look the same as it does now because like you said: “Happiness feels like an inner well that exists deep within.” Money is great but peace of mind and a positive sense of self is better.

  2. Stacy says:

    I agree that money can’t buy anything that I really want. Yes, my younger self said travel and comfort, much as yours did. But now, I want peace, that inner peace you mention. No amount of money can give me that. XOXO

  3. Carol says:

    Although a little more money would make me more comfortable, physically, my happiness is up to me.

    • Kathy says:

      Carol, I do think that there is a certain amount of money that eases our way. So many people in poverty–or who are hurting–just need a basic level of comfort. And perhaps we may all want a tad more to make us feel a bit more comfortable. Just thinking now. In my 20’s I would have said that my happiness was up to me. But it seems it is taking into the 60’s (and probably beyond?!) to fully realize what that means.

  4. I cannot tell you enough how much I love this post. Your life will be the same because you find it beautiful, and it is enough. Bless your heart, Kathy! We also live for travel but it is always the quality of the inner home that determines how much we enjoy it. I truly feel lucky to read your thoughts, learn so much from them. If I had more money and time, I would do more to help the community near our tiny house. We are able to support them now with what we have, lockdown life is hard for them, but we would like to do more for them so they can ultimately support themselves and live well, too.

    • Kathy says:

      I love what you wrote–that the quality of our inner home determines how much we enjoy travel. Perfect!! And I also think it’s so wonderful that you have that desire to help your community. There are so many people hurting these days. It must be hard to see this so close on a daily basis. I love your big hearts!

  5. sherrysescape says:

    More time with family and then some more time with them and then, again, more time. I love reading your words. They ring so true.

    • Kathy says:

      Ahhh, Sherry, good point. More time and more time with family. That does bring so much joy. Thank you for your kind words, they sizzle my heart. (Just made up that word.)

  6. Susan D. says:

    Love this, Kathy. Your response is so you, and so true of you. You’re a shining example and inspiration. Just a tad more income for me would help with taking care of physical conditions, and perhaps enhance my living situation. Other than that, I have a wonderful, sweet life. Thanks for this post!

    • Kathy says:

      I am glad you liked this, Susan Dee! It was kinda hard to write. To strike some kind of balance, but to say what the inner soul wanted to say. (Do you think I was too hard on millionaires? I think so. I mean some millionaires can be totally happy. Hmmmm….) I would wish a tad more income for you, too. But your delightful spirit shines through your challenges so richly. I am sooooo glad to be friends with you!

  7. Imagine money without friends,live nature . Happiness starts from within self even with a mustard seed account

  8. I agree with you, that happiness and contentment are found inside ourselves. If we can’t be happy where we are it is doubtful we will be happy anywhere else because we will carry with us the baggage making us unhappy wherever we go.

    Your waiting to buy the answering machine reminded me of us saving up for a blanket for our bed, way back in the day. Money is a tool and it is helpful to have the tools we need for physical comfort, but it’s not the be-all and end-all.

    Being a homebody I never had the urge to travel, being too sensitive to changes in time, climate, routine, culture shock. (Tim says I’m a hobbit.) But I couldn’t help wondering what would be different now if I did have an unlimited supply of money and time. What I came up with is that I would have finished renovating my little condo by now! And would have taken a few more family history research trips. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Barbara, you have stated it so succinctly. Wherever we go, that baggage goes with us. And am smiling thinking of you saving up to buy a blanket. I guess those experiences enriched us so much. Taught us the value of the dollar. Nowadays people so often seem to put their purchases on credit without waiting to save up. Not sure if this teaches the value of money in quite the same way. How interesting that you never had the urge to travel. I guess we didn’t have a choice. Our parents put us in the back seat of their station wagon and we traveled all over the country. It can be a bit addictive. I like your idea about having some extra money to renovate. It seems these places we live always need some extra TLC. And your family research trips, of course!

  9. Joanne says:

    As I read the first part of your post, contemplating my own answer before you asked it, it didn’t take long to realise that no amount of money could buy what I have already. Of course there is always something that might crop up and I’ll think a few extra dollars wouldn’t go astray, but that is nothing compared to meeting my brand new baby grandson today, and last weekend celebrating my granddaughter’s second birthday with my family, or knowing that next year my four-year-old grandson will become a big brother as I become a grandmother yet again. I could go on, but the precious things in my life are priceless.

    • Kathy says:

      So excited about your new baby grandson, Eli. Congratulations again, Joanne! It sounds like you are rich beyond rich in precious grandchildren. (And, yes, a few extra dollars probably would come in handy.) I love that you recognize your wealth, my friend.

  10. I have met many people who have a lot of money, and they are not happy. I have met people who aren’t poor, but they live month to month, and they are not happy. I have met people who are wealthy and are happy, and I have met people who live month to month and they are happy. So. I don’t believe money or freedom to travel anywhere and live in a big mansion and eat in fancy restaurants brings happiness, nor do I believe that a life of simplicity can automatically bring happiness either. As you say, Kathy, the older we are the more we understand. Happiness can only come from within. How does THAT happen? Feel the joy in the ordinary – the daisy cropping out of a rock’s crevice; the smile in a child as she races to the playground; the juice that squirts out of a garden tomato; the hug of a loved one who accepts you for you; the soft whisperings of sweet Spirits who are always nearby, if you stop, close your eyes, and listen.

    • Kathy says:

      Dearest Pam, your comment is so spot on! YES! There are millionaires who are happy and those who are not. There are poor folks who are miserable and poor folks who shine with joy. (I hope I did not malign millionaires in this post! I am feeling terrible that it may have sounded that way. Like I lumped ’em all into a ridiculous category and forgot–for a teeny tiny moment–that it’s never as simple as teeny tiny categories.) I like what you wrote about feeling the joy in those ordinary moments. That’s IT. Ordinary everythings cropping up so many moments during the day. ❤

  11. I would pay for a travel — back to the past.

  12. rehill56 says:

    Wise words my thought-full friend. Money and unlimited time. Hmm. Feeling comfortable in your own skin and contentment with who we are and where we are in the world can’t be bought. Time is helpful for learning and growing. Money can help yourself and others with opportunities and basic needs. But real contentment comes from within. I like growing older and finding what really matters to me.

    • Kathy says:

      What a good thing to bring up, Ruth. Time can be very helpful for us to learn lessons and grow more into our selves and hearts. I do so agree with you about the values of money, too. But we know that true happiness isn’t dependent on any of these, although I think parts of our minds are convinced it is! Thank goodness for the years we have to learn these valuable lessons.

  13. jeffstroud says:

    Money? What’s Money got to do with happiness? Happiness is an inside job… I have all the time in world to do has I please now… which sometimes is too much time or not enough. Yet I learn to make do with what is present in my life…
    I haven’t traveled the world as I would have liked, now if I went somewhere I would like to be there, spend time there, not just visit…
    Happiness is knowing who you are, sharing your gifts of service in ways that enhance our lives and the lives of others with no expectations…

    • Kathy says:

      Jeff, isn’t that true about time? Sometimes it feels like there’s too much time and not enough to do and other times it’s the opposite. And you’re right about traveling: there is something to be said for getting to spend more time in a new place, getting to know the everyday quirks and challenges and beauties there. I like your definition of happiness!

  14. Lori says:

    In my teens and twenties, I also wanted to travel. Then in my 30s I wanted to have a baby, and when that didn’t happen, I didn’t know what to do. Talk about having to find happiness with the person within. There were no children to focus my attention on. I didn’t live near friends and family either, so the only place left to go was avoid the pain with global travel, or take the plunge into inner travel. I chose a little of both, but I spent much more time on the latter.

    I have no desire to travel the globe anymore. Aside from what’s going on in our society, I’m absolutely contented with my life (since I moved out of Florida). What’s important to me now is being near family & friends to spend time with and help out when needed. The only thing I would like to have money for is my house. I love my homey decor, but I’d really like to have my bathrooms and kitchen updated . . . if I had that money you talked about. It goes without saying that I’d help out people and homeless animals in need.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and giving us something to think about.

    • Kathy says:

      It is so interesting, Lori, how our desires change over time. I can’t imagine the pain you must have experienced wanting to have children and not succeeding. It sounds like we both similarly chose the paths of outer and inner travel.

      And, yes, extra money to fix up our houses would be a boon. I have been frowning at our fraying couch all summer. We contracted to get some of our kitchen remodeled last winter (we even have a new sink hanging out in a box in our daughter’s bedroom) but the virus brought those plans to a skidding stop. We’re still wondering when/if the contractor will resume indoor work this winter.

      Helping people and animals can give such joy. I try to do that now, but always pondering what it would be like to “up the ante”. Thanks for your thoughts.

  15. Alanna says:

    Such a great topic. Even though I have checked off the big ones I wanted to do in my life, I have found “wherever you go, there you are.” Being happy in your own skin is the best!

    • Kathy says:

      “Wherever you go, there you are.” YES! That succinctly sums it up. Sounds like you might have read Jon Kabat-Zinn. Believe I might still have that book on the bookshelf!

  16. This was an awesome read! For me, at age 28, I am still searching for that happiness within. If I had unlimited money and time, I certainly would also spend that traveling and exploring the world! I would feel a sense of relief that I had financial freedom, as I currently do face stress in the finance area. I truly am working on developing myself into a much happier and fulfilled version of myself. As someone who often does associate money with happiness, thank you for writing this post. It really puts things in perspective for me. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Jenna, why thank you! This is a most lovely comment. Am feeling for you and all the stress you’re experiencing around finance. That seems so common–and heartbreaking. I look at my own kids and see similar challenges. And I see how they long to travel, but get a break from their jobs with long hours. And it so reminds me of myself at earlier ages. So glad to provide some perspective from years and years of studying all this, both internally and externally.

  17. BEGUD says:

    Will money and time buy happiness?
    My guess is that it will ALWAYS remain a question and never be an answer…(did it make sense what i said, i doubt that…)
    But I know for a fact that no matter where you be on this planet, it is you and the people you be it that makes the place special…
    No offence though on the travelling part…I LOVE travelling my self.
    To end with, I really loved what you wrote up there:)

    • Kathy says:

      Begud, thank you, and I do get what you mean about there never being an answer. I kinda agree. And, yes, the people with which we spend time are so often the most precious gifts we have. Thank you for enjoying my random thoughts! But here’s a little bit that I maybe didn’t make clear–I still love traveling, too. I even like having enough money. I will probably go on a trip as soon as this virus abates a bit. Maybe even more than one trip. It’s just that nowadays I can recognize that my traveling will probably make me really happy in the short-term…but it’s my spiritual growth that will provide lasting joy. Thanks for commenting.

  18. ssbren says:

    I’m with you. Good feelings inside are worth more than anything money can buy.
    Sometimes, it takes a bit of soul searching to decide what brings us happiness.

    For me I feel that giving to those in need would reap me more peace and tranquility. I do what I can. It’s not much but it is done from my heart.
    I’ve had plenty as well as had hard times. All the trips taken are only memories. Fun for a moment. Things do not last but knowing that we have made a difference in someone’s life last forever.

    • Kathy says:

      Ssbren, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. The trips are really fun–for the moment. But there are other things which have last effect on the heart and soul. Glad you understand.

  19. With unlimited time and money I would hire folks to help me grow stuff full-time.

  20. Kristin341 says:

    It can bring you happiness, if you’re already happy inside, it just adds to it

  21. The main difference is that I wouldn’t have to work, so I would spend more of my time walking and creating. When we got a dog we chose not to travel the world and have to leave him in kennels, so I haven’t been abroad now for almost 10 years and that doesn’t bother me, I’ve discovered that the small things and paying attention to life are enough.

    • Kathy says:

      Andrea, yes, you have listed some of the values of having extra time. It sounds like your dog has given you many hours of happiness–and that you’ve learned to value the small things that are important. So precious.

  22. Karen says:

    Time and money are wonderful if you have them but you need neither to be content with life. If you are content then I believe you are happy. Even during the days of covid, many people have the time and money to travel and do lots of things many of us can’t even imagine but they have to stay sheltered in place…you just never know what life brings. 😊

  23. kayla101 says:

    I believe that no amount of money or time can buy the happiness and joy of fully living out your purpose in life and the enjoyment that comes from the victories you make knowing very well how much hard work and challenges that you were faced with and had to sacrifice, by the way I love your blogs and I would love if you could give my blogs a read and a follow too.

    • Kathy says:

      Kayla, thanks for sharing your thoughts and stopping by to read. You are right about living out our purpose in life and looking back to see the victories and sacrifices that made today possible.

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s