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More and more, money DOES buy happiness.

Good morning, money nerds, and welcome to Monday. That’s right. It’s time to start another week. To help you get up to speed, here are a few of our favorite recent stories about personal finance.

More and more, money does buy happiness. [The Washington Post] — “A new report finds that in recent decades, having more money has become increasingly associated with greater happiness. The Expanding Class Divide in Happiness in the United States, 1972—2016, published last week in the journal Emotion, found that among people age 30 and older, the correlation between income and happiness has steadily risen over the years.”

Debt freedom doesn’t equal wealth. [The Budgetnista] — “Debt freedom should be the byproduct of wealth. Think of it like this… there’s a hole in your backyard. You can either fill it with more dirt, or you can plant seeds. If you fill the hole with dirt, you have a smooth backyard surface — nice! If you fill the hole with (investment) seeds as well, you watch it grow and bear fruit — even better!”

The paradox of thrift while pursuing financial independence. [Medimentary] — “But this is precisely the beauty of pursuing financial independence. Those seeking it have consciously thought about their consumption and then adjusted their lives and budgets to meet their demand. It’s clear to me that happiness is derived internally, not from external consumption.”

To wrap things up, here’s billionaire Mark Cuban’s guide to getting rich.

That’s it to start the week. I’ll be back tomorrow with more great money stories. See you then.