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Can money buy happiness?

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#21
Sure, it HAS meant that I am easily pleased and way less materialistic than the very vast majority of the population. But the scars of poverty at a young age, even at age 58, are still affecting me. There is really nothing to be thankful for in my childhood past.
This sounds like a type of childhood trauma the way you think about it and it stays with you. I cannot understand your view because I am not you so for the note I cannot understand your situation.

There is always something to be grateful for in the hard times. It is harder in the tough times. Sit down and make a list of what you can be thankful for as a child. You may be surprised what you write. If you can't seem to think of anything then write, "God was always there."
 
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#23
If money could buy happiness, the next question is how much does happiness cost? And how long does it last?

A while ago my wife and I were discussing money savings and our spending habits. In those discussions she said she had developed some debt because she use to go shopping when stressed or when down. (My habits for coping with stress aren't better but that's a different topic).

Anyways I think there is sometimes a tendency to unwind with something you buy (icecream, a new book or movie, cigarettes) or with a vacation you plan and look forward to. Buckle down with small rewards or with looking forward to a trip in the future.

Not that these are bad things, but there's an issue with stress and hard times and going into debt because we're throwing money at our unhappiness.
 
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#24
to be fair, i think american culture (in paricular...) encourages living beyond one's means. its always "how many rooms are in their house?" "what kind of car do they drive?" "how much do they make a year?" "where'd they go for vacation?" even "how much do you think that hair color costs?" (no...really...I have pretty hair now, and I've heard people guess-timating where I get the $$$ and how much it must cost...seriously...).

not that we're all sinless, blameless drones, but...it can be very difficult, no matter what strata of society you're in. I remember the tension when my parents moved into their current house. I was 8, its an old(er) house (1840s), fixer upper...some of the comments...its what upwardly mobile people go thru, it seems. anyway...now my parents don't have those so-called "Friends," and they're very cautious about who gets to come inside their house (although...its kinda odd, because now they're more "well-to-do," and their house seriously looks like something out a magazine or catalog...).

i dunno. maybe as a "mental patient, from a 'good family' " I see things a bit differently. when I wore thrift store clothes, i was laughed and all. now, my parents buy me quality clothes and shoes (nothing lavish, but more than I could get on my own...), and I still catch static, but people are a little more quiet about it...status. clearly, someone with some $$$ takes care of me, so i rub people the wrong way, but they're less vocal about it. that's one reason Id like to eventually get a good job and be independent... not so much stuff or expensive tastes (LOL), just...freedom, that's the big thing.

so...yeah. in the end, as with life itself...Jesus is the answer. even there, social class issues arise...people get jealous, the higher ups don't know what the working class people go thru...it can get rough...

but with solid, dedicated, committed Christians...well, I'll give you a personal example. I get disability. my now, fairly recently "well-to-do" (for around here...) parents take care of me. my cousin emails me. he's got mega $$$, cuz his dad was a corporate big shot and so was he, till he got radically saved and used his $$$ to fund international ministries. true story. so...

he'll send me books i cannot afford or at least offer to, and he's open about social class stuff and so am i, but...its just stating the facts of life in these united states, it lacks the hyper-competitive, mean-spirited edge that you see and hear in the world. i mean...i shop at ALDI, right? great place, low prices. i don't have super expensive tastes, but I Have good tastes, especially in food. so...more than once, ive seen people staring--i mean, blatantly staring--into my cart, ive overheard people making comments about what im buying, and I Mean...c'mon; its ALDI. good food, low prices. that's the ALDI schtick, right? Right. ugh. -shudder-

done now. :)
 
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#25
One last thought before I go. If money doesn't buy happiness. What should we do to cope with unhappiness and stress. What things should we avoid.

...also, to Christ_Empowered. It sound like your making your way. Good job and glad to hear it. God is Good.
 
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#26
to be fair, i think american culture (in paricular...) encourages living beyond one's means. its always "how many rooms are in their house?" "what kind of car do they drive?" "how much do they make a year?" "where'd they go for vacation?" even "how much do you think that hair color costs?" (no...really...I have pretty hair now, and I've heard people guess-timating where I get the $$$ and how much it must cost...seriously...).
In college (1998 or so) I wrote a paper, "Consumerism as Ideology". In the paper, I made the case that the driving ideology in the USA is consumerism. Not democracy, freedom, capitalism, Christianity, none of them. Our driving ideology is consumerism.

I don't just think you are right, I got an "A++" for making the same case. ;)
 
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#27
Soooo,
I dunno...$200k/yr would probably be about right.
This is true for comfort level. My husband and I came from modest means. We grew up in Montana and his dad was a salesman and mom was a beautician. My dad worked in a mill and my mom was a secretary. Our parents never told us to get degrees or anything, but we kinda just knew how our path would go. We met when my husband was just starting college and I was in high school.

We just knew that he would finish his bachelor's degree and then go for a master's degree. We couldn't find really good paying jobs in Montana so we came to Washington state and my husband is a people person and he just kept getting promoted. The day that we could pay off all our credit cards, changed our whole money perspective. Money-wise we don't argue about it, but we didn't really when we were broke.

I swear there is a balance that God does when you have good in one area, then there is a different area that needs work.
 

StoveBolts

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#28
Well let's see... a few years ago I spent about 20 hours going through the wire harness on my 1968 Camaro just to get the lights to work properly. The rest of the wiring was in some pretty bad shape too.

I'm currently doing an LS1 swap and a "buddy" was "helping" me rework the harness for the tranny and LS1 that was going to integrate with the 68 factory harness. . The PCM wasnt going where I, you know, ME, cause its MY car... where I wanted it. Same with the new fuse block among other differing ideas...

About $1,300 later, and I got a new harness for both the entire car and the LS1. I made more progress yesterday working by myself than the past year with my buddy.... and stress free cause I'm getting what I want, because its MY car, and I dont need to worry about gremlins later one. So yeah, money bought some happiness! And it may have saved a "friendship".

As far as the debt, I didnt like spending that kind of money, but it will get paid off soon.
 

StoveBolts

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#29
Pizza
I understand what your saying. My Dad was born and raised in a one room log cabin in the northern mountains of Idaho. He was abused. My step Mom was raised on a NM reservation.
I moved in with them in 4th grade. We were dirt poor, well, truth be told he spent his money and time at the bar. Holes in our shoes and mismatched socks were the norm.
Material objects are nice, and I enjoy the material objects I have, and my wife and i have more than our share. I'm a hard worker and driven. I hated being poor.

Money doesnt buy happiness, but like it tell my kids. Life has it's own set of problems and money will be another one of them if you dont manage it properly. My youngest kid gets it. He is making big money at age 19 as a commercial roofer and is banking it for a rainy day.

Money foesnt buy happiness, but if you dont have enough of it, it can bring about additional stress in ones life. Manage it properly and it can ease the burden when something bad happens, like your car breaks down and you need your car to get to work to make money to pay rent. So I really think it's a balance.
 
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#30
Pizza
I understand what your saying. My Dad was born and raised in a one room log cabin in the northern mountains of Idaho. He was abused. My step Mom was raised on a NM reservation.
I moved in with them in 4th grade. We were dirt poor, well, truth be told he spent his money and time at the bar. Holes in our shoes and mismatched socks were the norm.
Material objects are nice, and I enjoy the material objects I have, and my wife and i have more than our share. I'm a hard worker and driven. I hated being poor.

Money doesnt buy happiness, but like it tell my kids. Life has it's own set of problems and money will be another one of them if you dont manage it properly. My youngest kid gets it. He is making big money at age 19 as a commercial roofer and is banking it for a rainy day.

Money foesnt buy happiness, but if you dont have enough of it, it can bring about additional stress in ones life. Manage it properly and it can ease the burden when something bad happens, like your car breaks down and you need your car to get to work to make money to pay rent. So I really think it's a balance.
Best post of the whole thread.
 

WIP

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#33
I remember living without hot running water, without sufficient heat in the winter, without clean clothing much of the time. I remember too much of it all.
I know quite a few neighbors that live pretty much like this all the time and it is by their choice. The have no electricity, no automobiles, no running water, have to heat their water when they want hot water, grow large gardens, do most of their farming by hand, and so forth.

Does that mean they live in poverty? No!

My mother didn't have electricity in her home until she was a junior in high school in 1956. She was 14 years old before they got their first automobile. She talked about how they used a bucket in the house at night so they wouldn't have to go outside to use the outhouse during the cold winter nights. For as long as they lived in the house, my grandparents never heated the 2nd story where the bedrooms were. It was completely closed off from the rest of the house and I do recall spending the night when it was -20 or -30 degrees outside and there were no flannel sheets either.

Does this mean my grandparents were living in poverty and my mother did until she left home? No!

When I was young, my parents always had a large garden. We grew all our own vegetables and never bought them from town. My dad was an iron-worker in construction and was laid off often when jobs were finished. He maintained memberships in two different unions to improve his chances of getting new opportunities when he was laid off. Because of that, we weren't able spend much on unnecessary things because we didn't know if and when the next lay-off was coming. I remember not being able to have the nicer name brand or quality things my friends had such as sporting goods, clothing, etc. I also remember taking a little grief from other kids because of it too. I also remember wearing clothes that were patched together instead of new clothes. I remember being fortunate that I was the oldest of three boys and didn't have to wear my brothers' hand-me-downs. Well....that lasted until they began to outgrow me and reverse the roles. I guess that's an example of karma. But I will never forget when two of my sisters also outgrew me and I began getting their hand-me-down jeans and such.

As an adult I have lived in times with plenty as I do now and have lived relying on the help of the good citizens of our state through the welfare programs but truth be told, I never really thought of myself as poverty stricken.

I don't recall ever feeling like I was living in poverty. I think that most of the time poverty in the United States is a frame of mind. Yes, there are some that truly are living in poverty but our definition of poverty is related to our society's definition and our society is a materialistic one.
 
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#34
$7552.65 - the total cost to move me out here. I think I'm worth it. :)

See, the company told me (and a lot of us) back in February that, in order to stay employed, we had to move from Georgia to Dallas, Texas. I initially resigned when I found out how good the severance package was going to be, but they kept talking to me and we came to an agreement that I'd come out here for a year in return for a raise and moving expenses. At the end of a year, I am free to quit.

I just got the reimbursement for my Texas Driver's license - so I am now a full Texan and my move is complete. In all, the company spent $7552.65 (plus a week's pay while I was looking for a place to live and a week's pay while I moved).

In this case, $7552.65 DID buy happiness, as I am happy here. It has been an adjustment, and the adjusting goes on, but I think this was the right move.

As to quitting in a year, well, my job is a bit different and they are sending me to Milan, Italy for two weeks next month for training. I can see they expect me to stick around and, in fact, I think I want to. Some interesting things continue to happen at the corporate level - the move was a scary change but some of the other changes excite me. It is hard to say where I and the company will be in a year, in five years, etc. (Well, I expect to be retired in less than ten years, that much I can almost predict...)

Italy? Well, I know that I will go to Japan next year (and usually every spring) but I never planned to see Italy. I've never traveled internationally and I do want to see the Cathedral in Florence - so this is quite a treat.

The Lord had things for me in this move that I had no clue about. I really didn't think this was where I belonged, but it seemed like he was leading me here. It made no sense to me. It didn't even make sense when I was moving into my new place - but I felt as tho I should do it. Now it makes more sense.

I guess "trusting God" is not TRUSTING when you have it all figured out, when you are all comfy. Trust is only trust when you do it but you dont' know why you are doing it, other than that He is leading.
 

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