Is materialism good or bad?

Why materialism always gets a bad press? Is the stereotype true that people who are highly materialistic (where their priority is money, possessions & status) tend to be more selfish? Research shows that highly materialistic people are largely selfish & prefer to build meaningful relationships with items they buy as opposed to people. Life becomes nothing but luxurious & unsatisfying and simply no fun.

“Their desire to acquire becomes the whole goal of their lives. This drive to always want more is based on the misconceptions that having more will make me happier, more important, and more secure, but all three ideas are untrue. Possessions only provide temporary happiness. Because things do not change, we eventually become bored with them & then want newer, bigger, better versions. Self worth & net-worth are not the same. Your value is not determined by valuables. The common myth about money is that having more will make me more secure. It won’t. Wealth can be lost instantly through a variety of uncontrollable factors” * (Purpose driven live).

But in all those things, there is also nuance. What if money could buy happiness? Money can be a key to happiness. Ask anyone who doesn’t have it. Someone wrote that “Whoever said money can’t buy happiness isn’t spending it right”. Spending money can increase your happiness if it’s spent in a way that fits your personality. In other words, consider who you are when you make that purchase, and that could make all the difference. Weigh your options. Are you the type of person who enjoys buying things for yourself, you look better for the society or prefers healthier bank account? So, before you pull out your wallet or click to order online, think about whether this purchase will really make you happy & why. Remember, the more money you earn- the more you want. You quickly adjust to your new wealth & everything new that you buy.

Consider spending money on others. Research shows that people tend to get happier when they spend money on others or donate it to charity. We shouldn’t feel generous only around Christmas. Gratitude beats any materialism. If you happen to have some disposable income, plan a spontaneous trip or take a class to learn something new. Materialism is a natural part of being a human. It undoubtedly has an ugly face but is here to stay. So when you’re shopping & you see an impulse buy-think…”will that make me happy”? Maybe not spending money will be better for your wallet & your very own happiness. 


“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like” – Will Rogers

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