Some people will tell you that money can never make you happy. Others will tell you that money can make you happy sometimes. Especially when you don’t have enough to pay rent or buy food. But once you do have enough to pay rent, are you going to be happier than before? Probably not. Can money make you happy or not? Which is it?

Let’s examine what you can spend money on. You can go out to eat to a nice restaurant every day. But it takes a lot of time to go out to eat, so you will be trading your time for money. Time is more valuable than money because you can always make more money, but you can never get back your time. If you think that successful people spend 2–3 hours every time they eat, it makes no sense.

You will also not enjoy your other meals as much when you eat at home or when you travel because you will be comparing them to the meal at an expensive restaurant, and they won’t be as good. You will then be unhappy every time whenever you don’t eat out, so your overall level of happiness may decrease.

You can buy a nice car, shoes, and designer clothes, but will that make you happy? There is a concept called the hedonic treadmill that says that no matter what you get, your level of happiness will usually go back to what it was before. There is always a better car, a more expensive house, or someone better you could be dating. It never ends. If you were unhappy before this, you will be unhappy after. Nothing will change. If having money won’t make you happy, and not having money won’t, then what will?

Just a few years ago I had a 6-figure job, but I was unhappy. I didn’t like going to work, I didn’t like my boss, and I didn’t enjoy what I was doing there. I had anxiety and was depressed. I know what it’s like being depressed all the time. I could afford to buy anything I liked or have a lifestyle that I wanted, but I was still miserable.

I decided to quit to start my own business. I had to give up my salary. I was making zero dollars after I quit. I didn’t care because I didn’t want more money. I wanted to be happy. I have no doubt that I made the right choice, and I learned four things that made me happy:

1. Stop Wasting Your Time

If you spend a lot of time watching YouTube or Netflix, or if you are always on your phone looking at Instagram, you are wasting your time. What can you do instead? Anything productive. Go to the gym, find a hobby, work on your own business, start a blog, or go outside and meet people. If what you are doing feels like you are wasting your time, you probably are. You will notice that whenever you are wasting your time, your level of happiness will decrease, and whenever you are being productive, it will miraculously increase.

If you are being productive, you are not going to have time to be depressed. I have so many goals that I’m working on, by the time I’m done with even one of them, I already forget that I was depressed.

2. Stop Eating Fast Food And Drinking Alcohol

You don’t need it. I’m not saying you have to eliminate them from your diet completely, but at least cut them down to once a week or once a month. I tried quitting alcohol entirely, and it made me much happier. Alcohol is a depressant, so it makes sense that its effects won’t make you happy in the long run.

Fast food can make you happy, but avoiding it can make you happy in other ways that will last longer. You will be in better shape, have more energy, people may compliment your appearance, and you won’t need food consisting of mostly sugar and fat to make you feel better.

3. Meet New People

If you ever want to start your own business or improve your social skills, you have to make connections, network, and meet people in the same industry where you work. There is no way around it. The best way to meet people is to try to talk to people anywhere you go.

You don’t have to start making friends right away. I know how hard it is. I don’t have a lot of friends, and I never did. It’s always been very hard for me to talk to people. If you just go out with a purpose to make someone’s day better, people will appreciate it and, in some cases, they will become your friends or more. Or they may tell you to go away. It’s okay, too, because it will still help you improve your social skills.

4. Find a Job That You Like

It’s astounding how many people hate their jobs. Almost 70% of employees are not engaged in what they are doing every day. But at the same, I’m not surprised why because I was one of them. I understand why you have a job that you hate, but what I don’t understand why you would stay at that job. Why would you stay at your job for 10 years if you hate it? It’s not easy to find a new job, but what is easy in life? Is it easy to live all your life hating what you are doing every day? That’s much worse than going through the hard part of finding something you truly like.

Maybe you are not persistent enough. You can apply to hundreds of jobs, and then apply again. Write them a letter. Send them an email. Call them. What are they going to do? Hire you? Of course you have to be persistent in a respectful way. You don’t want to harass someone until you get it because that’s a sure way to not get it.

If you want to do something that doesn’t make money right away like you want to be a musician, a blogger, or a youtuber, you must realize that it’s the same for any business. If you want to start your own business, most of the time you are not going to make money right away. Only 40 percent of small businesses are profitable.

You have to be patient long enough that you don’t run out of your own money. You have to be conservative and look at your numbers every day. You can’t just put your business on autopilot and hope that it makes money one day. You can’t put your career on autopilot either. You have to try to work on improving yourself every day.

If you are doing something that you like, it will be really easy to do. It will not feel like a job. It will feel like a hobby. But it will make you money.