Statistically. Once one has money to cover basic things like food, shelter, education, ect. .....money has very little effect on happiness.
The saying goes that money cannot buy you happiness but it is much more comfortable in a Mercedes during a rain storm than on a bicycle.
I think a lot of people think that if you have money you will be happy. Yes, money alleviates a lot of burdens in life but in the end it doesn't bring you true happiness if you as a person are intentionally cruel and bitter. I've known very kind generous people who have money and are happy. They are thankful for what they have and don't hesitate to help those in need. I also know people who have money and are mean,stingy,and critical of others. They have enough but it seems like they need more. A lot of the times people dislike them because of their bitter attitude. So I think money makes no difference in your hsppiness. Your happiness depends on your personality and how kind and giving you are with those less fortunate than yourself.
You said it all. I have the same beliefs. I have seen people so poor, who sleep on cold floors and live on less than a dollar a day even clean drinking water is a luxury that they cant afford. Still they are the happiest people you will ever meet. They never complain, they never go to a shrink, they never think the world owes them anything and yet you see people with so much contemplate suicide because they missed a meal. Sigh, *shakes head.
I'd rather be rich and unhappy than poor and unhappy that's for sure. Money doesn't create happiness but it does allow you many freedoms that aren't available to the poor. It also allows you the ability to experience many things that the cash strapped can't. Money can create many opportunities which can make you happier. It can also cause a number of problems.