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  • Writer's pictureJessica Proctor

Money and Quality of Life

Money equals happiness is such a controversial statement. Many agree, for example, it facilitates the ability to join the gym, experience more, and travel more. However many argue there is no point in having all that money if you are lonely and have nobody to do things with. It’s a complex idea that could be subjective to every individual. So this raises the question, what opinions could be formed if we changed the word happiness to quality of life? Is quality of life still achievable with no money?

Quality of life is formed by many factors, including health and wellbeing, opportunities, living situations, work, and social life. Arguably, these are the main things that would form a good quality of life. So which of these rely on money?

When discussing the economic factors, the global quality of life index is a good indicator of statistics on a worldwide scale. It is interesting to note that the U.K is 24th on the quality of life index when evaluated with some of these factors. Living situation seems to be one of the most prominent reasons young people especially could have a high or low quality of life impacted upon. With inflation and house prices on the rise, for example house prices in Liverpool going up by 40% last year alone, sales dropped by 16% as it is no longer affordable. According to the index, the property price to income ratio for the UK is 9.46, standing much higher than other countries. Could living in an expensive country be the reason for having a poorer quality of life? Reasons for this could include that without the ability to live alone, people lack being able to be independent, individual and have the sense of freedom other people in high-income scenarios may be able to achieve. Perhaps this also limits social interactions due to not having your own space to accommodate friends. This would significantly decrease quality of life, however as I mentioned this is subjective as some may really enjoy and reap the benefits of still living with their family.

Health and well-being is one of the main contributors to a good quality of life. If people are generally fit and mentally well they are able to do much more that the average person cannot, such as sporting activities and days spent out, merely increasing social life at the same time. However, there is a huge contrast in beliefs on how an economic situation can affect fitness and health. For example in America you must pay for healthcare, which can set many people back, It is also vastly unaffordable in low-income countries. In the UK, gym memberships can cost around £30 a month, which would be a luxury to those who would use this money to cover a basic living expense. Therapy for mental health issues and spa treatments for relaxed days can also be extortionate and unaffordable to the latter. There is the option of home workouts, however, it is said time equals money, and many people do not have the time as they must work. Additionally, this must be accompanied by healthy organic foods which are incredibly unreasonably priced, especially in urban areas. In conclusion for many this may hinder the quality of life as it is virtually unachievable to have good well-being and health without some sort of economic support.

How much does a good social life really cost? There is speculation about whether people can be involved in a social life with little money. The average night out in London can cost upwards of £100, and if your friendship group have higher economic status this may become difficult for the latter to enjoy themselves with fear of spending too much money. People don’t want to be uninvolved however find it difficult to budget especially In group activities, If money wasn’t an issue, would quality of social life be increased? The short answer is yes, depending on your situation. If your whole group of friends are all in a similar economic situation to you it may be much easier to enjoy this aspect of life without worry, therefore meaning your quality of life will not be hindered, but generally speaking this is not always the case.

These also relate to opportunities and work. It is evident in the UK that people with a higher socio-economic background may achieve a better education / have more job opportunities, and therefore an instantly better quality of life in the future with many options so they are not stuck in a boring job they don’t enjoy. However, it is interesting that even if somebody with a smaller amount of money managed to achieve this freedom of choice, it may still be unattainable. Many people move to urban areas for better job opportunities, however, these can be very expensive to live in and also cost lots to commute and travel in. For example in London the fee to drive in the city per day averages at £15, and to commute around £10 a day depending on where you are going. This means that despite having qualifications and optimism, people may still find it difficult to have this due to a lack of money. This supposed underachievement may weigh on people as they feel like they aren’t reaching their potential all of the time; when really it is out of their control.

For the vast majority, good quality of life just costs too much. With so many factors to consider, it is difficult to attain an all-around balance, but as previously mentioned, it is subjective to different people’s situations. Many factors will determine if people can have a prevalent good quality of life with lesser money, but due to factors out of general control, many would find this difficult.

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