While we've all heard the old adage that money doesn't buy happiness, I tend to disagree. There isn't a single thing wrong with my life that doubling my net worth wouldn't fix. Well, billionaire Warren Buffett disagrees with this. The Oracle of Omaha has a personal net worth of $75 billion and he vehemently disagrees with me. He has said that having more money is not the key to happiness. He admitted to enjoying the days more when he had a smidgen of his current wealth.
On Monday's "Squawk Box" on CNBC, Buffett said:
"I wasn't unhappy when I had $10,000 when I got out of school. I was having a lot of fun."
Hmmm, I had about $600 (and $55K in student loans) when I got out of school. Buffett's $10,000 in 1951 is the equivalent of nearly $96K today, for perspective.
Buffett went on to say that people think that having more money will make them happier. He gave an example of this, saying:
"If you have $100,000 and you're an unhappy person and you think $1 million is going to make you happy, it is not going to happen."
Buffett said that when you'd end up with that $1 million and look around and see people with $2 million, your happiness will disappear.
"You will not be way happier if you double your net worth."
This brings to mind another old adage that I think Buffett would agree with: Comparison is the thief of joy.
Don't let your happiness be defined by what you don't have. Don't let how quickly you make money rule your happiness. Buffett said, "you can have a lot of fun while you're getting rich."
The Oracle of Omaha does have a point. We should never base our happiness on what we could or feel we should have.
Last year, Buffett admitted that he would be perfectly happy making $100,000 a year. Why? Because he already has an investment that has made him endlessly happy—the house he bought in 1958 that he still lives in. Though he has the wealth to spend any amount on a house, his house is the happiest in the world to him and no $100 million mansion could come close to that happiness.
Buffett has a point. Again, it's not about what you think you should have. It's not about what other people have that you envy. It's about your life now and the journey ahead of you. It is about an attitude of gratitude.