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The Minimalists
The Minimalists are Emmy-nominated Netflix stars and New York Times–bestselling authors Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. Alongside their podcast cohost, T.K. Coleman, this simple-living trio helps millions of people eliminate clutter and live meaningfully with less. Learn More.

Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness, Neither Does Poverty

People have strange conceptions about money. When we don’t have it, we often believe that money will make us happier. When we do have money, however, we tend to want more.

The odd thing is that we all know, at least intellectually, that money won’t buy happiness. But unfortunately, we’ve been steeped in a culture so heavily mediated  that we’ve started believing the lies. The cars, the houses, the stuff—living the so-called Dream will make us happy. But of course this is not true.

The opposite, however, is also not true. A life of poverty—a life of perpetual deprivation—isn’t joyous either.

You see, there’s nothing inherently wrong with money, just as there’s nothing innately wrong with material possessions or working a 9-to-5. We all need some stuff, and we all have to pay the bills, right? It’s just that when we put money and possessions first, we lose sight of our real priorities. We lose sight of life’s purpose.

And so maybe getting some of the excess stuff out of the way—clearing the clutter from our lives—can help us all save money and make room for the most important things in life: health, relationships, growth, contribution, community. Money helps accentuate these areas, sure, but the size of your wallet is much less important once your priorities are in line with your beliefs.

Additional reading: What It Feels Like to No Longer Worry About Money.