Money and Happiness – Can we have both?


What causes attachment to money? How is it that a person who has grown old working hard all his life to earn, yet is so attached to money that he can't spend on himself, on his needs, will be able to enjoy money?

—Tanya, India


Dear Tanya,

I don’t know the relationship between you and this gentleman. Maybe your father, but I am just guessing. Is he unhappy that he is not spending his savings? Or is it you who is feeling he should be spending them? I do hope that I will cover whatever is useful to both you and the gentleman that you are writing about.

There could be a number of causes for the attachment: fear of not having enough; a desire to accumulate money just for the sake of it; or he may not see himself as valuable enough to receive it. If he has spent his life saving money it may be difficult now to change that habit. My parents were so used to saving that they didn’t spend hardly anything after they retired. They didn’t seem to feel that they were missing out on anything. Maybe he wants to leave his savings to someone .

Money itself is neutral, neither good nor bad. It is energy to be used however we choose. If we choose wisely in its use it will bring us happiness. It will especially bring happiness if we share it with those less fortunate or those in need. However, if we hoard it for selfish reasons then it will cause a blockage in the energy flow in our lives.

Money also symbolizes value. Money is what we exchange for what we want or need that is valuable to us. Will these things bring true happiness? What will bring true happiness? I think you will find, like so many others that it is not money that brings us lasting happiness. Happiness is within us, it is a choice. We choose each moment to be happy or unhappy. All situations are neutral. We choose how we will respond.

If we are using our money for the betterment of our spiritual self and to help others then it will bring us lasting happiness.

I recommend the following: Money Magnetism, a book by Swami Kriyananda that will help the reader gain a greater understanding of money and how to use it.

How to Be Happy All the Time, a book by Paramahansa Yogananda that teaches us how to be happy regardless of our financial situation, or any other circumstance in our life. Both books are available through