Money and Happiness: Why I Don’t Want to be Rich


I come from a wealthy family. Wealthy in the sense that I could participate in extracurricular activities, had the chance to go to a private high school, and have a brand new bikini for the summer. Wealthy, in the sense that I have never been scared that my needs would not be met.

By growing up in abundance, I also got to be surrounded by people that were in the same financial situation as me. When I started working at minimum wage, I got to know people that were in more difficult financial situation, and for whom getting a massage when my back hurt was not an option. However, what surprised me the most is that the people that aspire and dream the most to be rich is often the one that already has the glass half-full. How come is that?

So what does being rich mean? According to, the average Canadian salary in 2020 was $54,630 per year for a full-time employee. Knowing that it costs about $5,230 per month for a family of four per month to live comfortably (newcanadianlife), it means that in a year, $8,130 is left at the end of the year. That being said, being wealthy could be defined as having abundant possession and buying luxuries like a costly meal at the restaurant, pretty often.

However, the dark side of those extras is that some people try to find in them some kind of fulfillment.

Photo by Andre Taissin on Unsplash

When I hear someone say: I want to be rich! I often ask in return: What for? Most of the time what I get for an answer is: Because I don’t want to have to worry about anything and want to be able to have everything I want. When I get this answer, I think of two possible hypotheses:

1- This person did not get the chance to grow up in an environment where every of his/her basic needs was met, therefore wanting something different for his/her future.


2- This person did not lack anything while growing up, simply wants to be rich in search of fulfillment.

The second option is the one that is the hardest for me to understand. I recently read an article about The Science of Happiness, a special Time edition, and it said at some point, we tend to overestimate how much pleasure we will get from having more. So we think that by having this new car, we will be happier and fulfilled. We expect an overrate burst of happiness from this purchase. In other words, we are never satisfied. So how can we change that?

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Setting more precise intentions. So you want to be rich, what for? To have your dream closest, to travel more, to have a big house? I believe that there is always a more precise desire behind the aspiration of being rich. Instead of working towards wealth, why not working towards real dreams? I feel like working to gain money is much more meaningful when it is for a specific desire, such as doing a party on a yacht instead of something vague such as I want to be rich.

Moreover, another way to get out of the never-ending wheel of unfulfilling spendings is to shift to experiences instead of material things. Why? Because experiences create life-long memories, which are more precious than every gold toilet in this world…

Photo by Paul Gilmore on Unsplash

Finally, I also believe that wanting to be rich hides some insecurities. The fear of being rejected, or not accepted in a group. The fear of needing something. The fear of not having a safe roof. The fear of not becoming the best version of ourselves. Still, those fears are basics needs, and while some of them can be purchased, the majority are some insecurities that require some inner work.

But the good side of it is that this vague desire for wealth also hides our precious values and what is really important for us. Achievement, balance, fairness, friendship, inner harmony, for example. Or wanting to make everyone around us happy. Wanting to give a safe roof to our family. Or simply our wish to be surrounded by the people that we love.

Being able to let go of those insecurities and live by the true version of ourselves is what I consider wealth. Because wealth is about so much more than just money, it is about what really cares for us.

And this is for you to find!

A bientôt



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