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More Money, More Problems?

The saying “mo’ money mo’ problems” may ring true in certain situations, but the whole truth cannot be cont...

More Money, More Problems?

The saying “mo’ money mo’ problems” may ring true in certain situations, but the whole truth cannot be contained in one pithy statement.  Conventional wisdom on the topic goes both ways. Naturally, none of us wants to struggle with not having enough money to pay the bills or being unable to afford those pleasures only money can buy.

 

On the other hand, when those who are used to pinching pennies “suddenly” find themselves with all the additional worries a significant increase in income can bring, they may notice that all that is gold does not in fact glitter. Entering a new economic bracket can bring associated stresses like the extra work required to maintain an expensive property, or being responsible for a fleet of employees. The nouveau riche may also find that they’re meeting lots of “new friends” who want some of what they’ve got.


 

A survey of health complaint-related Google searches in the United States during the recent recession showed an increase in searches for illnesses associated with stress. Furthermore, both academic research and media reportage support the idea that issues relating to economic hardship tend to be major and particularly tricky sources of marital conflict. These examples clearly suggest that less money means more problems.

 

 

The Other Side Of the Coin

Richard Watts, a financial and legal advisor to the very rich, has written a book about problems associated with wealth titled Fables of Fortune: What Rich People Have That You Don't Want. Watts’ arguments may sound familiar. We’ve all heard the popular saying, “wealth is wasted on the rich,” and there seems to be some truth in it. It takes a lot of time and effort to go from rags to riches, and though a self-made millionaire or billionaire may have the funds to travel the world and live a life of luxury, they usually simply don’t have the time.

 

Couples and families that are focussed on making money may not have the necessary values for happy personal lives either. Studies have shown that wealthier, more educated couples derive less pleasure from activities involving the care of their children than those of more modest means. Is it the wealth itself that inhibits the growth of family ties, though? Not necessarily; it could be that those who value monetary success more than family will strive for financial success rather than domestic bliss.

 

 

The only conclusion to the conundrum seems to be that neither too much nor too little money is good for our  health, wellbeing, and happiness. You know what they say about too much of a good thing…

 

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