OK, ultimately, I would argue that nothing about money can create long-term happiness. That doesn't stop this from being a timeless debate. Researchers in one study has discovered that things don't make us happy because we get "bored with our toys." It is experiences that make us happy.
"The researchers found that experiences can bring us longer-lasting happiness than things can. Once our basic needs are met, bills paid, and savings set aside, spending what we have left on new experiences (versus new stuff) can actually make us happier people. That might mean traveling in another country, exploring a national park, jumping out of a plane, enjoying a dinner out, visiting a museum, or even just catching a movie. When you pay for an experience, what matters is that you leave with memories."
I would agree to a certain degree. Memories are longer lasting. At the same time, events or experiences have an even more limited time limit than things do. An adventure comes and goes.
We look forward to a trip, a friend coming down to see us, a getaway weekend with our spouse, etc. and it comes and goes away to fast. In some respects, that memory is sometimes nothing more than a party favor...it doesn't do the trick. There is a let down when it is over.
The point being is looking for happiness in money spent on things or events are both fleeting. When there is only one true gateway to joy - God. Yet, we get sucked into the world of money as the great deliver of happiness. The god of money (with the little g) can create happiness, self-confidence, security, power, etc. There is no denying that to be true. The problem is that they are all illusions and a journey towards an unfulfilled life.
A relationship with God brings a real, long-lasting sense of happiness, confidence, security, personal power, etc. They aren't illusions. They last a lifetime when we get invested and intentional about the relationship. So ask yourself a question.
What are you striving for? A quick fix, the illusion of happiness with the God of money or the real thing with the God of the Universe?