Before we can talk about the relationship between the two we need to define them. First, what do you mean by the word money?
Do you mean the pieces of paper in your hand? The number of them in your bank account? The number of them you get per hour, or in a year? The amount of labor produced by a nation?
Or do you mean the vision of the life you’d like to have? The freedom to do what you’d like? The ability to quit your job and do something else? Travel the world, maybe? Have a family? Create a more just society?
Second, what do you mean by the word happiness?
Do you mean the feeling you get when you lay in bed and watch TikToks? The 900th ‘like’ on your Instagram post? The look from a cute boy? The wave of calm as the alcohol seeps through your blood-brain barrier?
Or do you mean the feeling you get when you finish a marathon? Or the stillness upon seeing joy in a child’s face? The company of deep friendship? Finishing the draft of your first novel?
If we’re going to talk about the relationship between money and happiness we ought to define them, because it’s surprising how close the two definitions can get.