Why Being Generous Will Make You Happier Than Being Rich

Whether you’ve got a lot of it or very little of it, money seems to be at the center of most our lives. I’m by no means saying ‘money is the be all and end all’ but it certainly features in day to day life, as much as you’re a fan of that or not.

Even if you’re a trendy hipster sticking the two fingers to societies financial hierarchy, you’re likely to have some form of relationship with money. In truth, money is something we all view differently but are all forced to view or ponder frequently.

From a personal perspective, money is there to be spent. I’ve been encouraged to ‘save up’ all of my life but have never specifically told what I’m meant to be saving for. This tireless and dull journey in pursuit of wealth? There seems to be an obsession with building up a huge collection of cash, and the bigger the figure in your bank account, the bigger your balls are apparently. Well, I don’t have balls anyway so I think I’ll just buy the whole bar a round of drinks, thank you very much.


I have the utmost respect for people who are saving for a cause, like getting a foot up on the property ladder or buying a new car but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong for doing it differently and this is a defense for those who just enjoy spending their hard-earned cash. Working hard, playing hard, isn’t that how it goes?

Let us for a moment consider Maslow’s hierarchy of basic needs:


Assuming you follow the 5 basic human needs essential for human happiness, according to Maslow, it’s pretty clear to see that experiences far outweigh collections of cash or designer labels.

From the basics like food, sex and sleep (living the dream) to the self-actualisation stage, which includes spontaneity. Maslow has pretty much nailed it. It seems increasingly obvious that we live in a world full of restrictions, deadlines and what we ‘must, should and could’ do. There’s nothing quite like letting go of convention, hopping into the sheets and blowing a small fortune by having a fucking good time.

Naturally, the morning-after regrets when we check out mobile banking app’s are still forever present. Conditioned to believe if we don’t have that safety net of funds behind us each month, we ought to panic. As long as you’re paying your bills and covering the basics, why not enjoy the rest while you’re still around to?

Does this sound like a lack of control to you? While the person who appears to be the most frugal could be viewed as the one with the most self-control,  a lot of what goes into self-control requires moderation and the person forever looking to tighten their own belt is equally as extreme as the person who’s addicted to spending.


It’s absolutely critical to live your life and reward yourself for all the hard work put in, so as much as saving can equate to that luxury car or the penthouse suite, I’d argue regular nights out with good friends and enjoying life by the day will offer the greatest satisfaction in the grand scheme of things.

Money isn’t as precious as many of us treat it, as though if we let it go, we’re never going to get it back again. Money is constantly circulating and if you’re determined enough to work as hard as you play, you will regain it. However, the memories or opportunities that you passed up on whilst saving up are less replaceable.

Life is experience. Money is dormant. Stop letting one control the other; while it is always momentarily pleasing to see the figure in your bank account grow, if you have no intentions of ever spending it, does it even exist? When it’s not being used, money has no value at all.


This is by no means a rant against those who are responsible with cash, I’m all for tucking a little aside for a rainy day and paying my bills each month but this insane desire for pointless wealth, arrogant wealth, empty wealth, that, I can’t quite understand.

Next time I bump into any of you in a bar, the drinks are on me.



From Around the Web