Money is not a basic human need. Its relationship to happiness is complicated. It has become so important, however, that we cannot ignore its role.
Money may, in its complicated relationship, be a good case for “ecological” issues around happiness:
Only focusing on this one factor will not make happy. Ignoring it would not work, either.
Too little is definitely a problem, but only ever chasing after too much isn’t a solution.
Ignoring how it’s made, where it comes from, is often easy. It comes at the cost of other things which may be just as important.
What shall we look at and consider, then?
Work, making a living, first of all. Not just, but also, for the money. Especially in its relationship with the wider world.
How much money is needed and makes happy, and at what point(s) it takes away from other things that make happy. (This is, of course, intimately related to having enough.)
What ways of dealing with money may actually contribute to happiness, because they contribute to such factors of happiness as mastery, autonomy, and purpose.
“Ecological” – environmental, sustainability, climate change – issues are always put into simplistic relationships with money. People have to be rich enough to afford environmental protection; change is costly; and so on.
This issue is a thorny one, and typically one that is societal and (macro)economic rather than amenable to individual action. We can still consider these large-scale themes when news on them come up.
On the other hand, the influence of a personal, individual approach to money is not usually considered in (and as) anything that has much of an environmental connection.
Between the ways we make a living, the new chances that may open up with ecological restoration – even with the work that climate change adaptation may require – there is a deep relationship.
And, managing one’s money, having an autonomous approach to it that gives a sense of independence and mastery, may well contribute a lot to happiness – and to better ways of living as parts of this our world, as well.