When we say, "You do not need money to be happy" we are saying two things:
1) Money, in a capitalist society, is not necessary for happiness although it may be sufficient
2) We are making a general statement about the human condition whereby monetary success and material accumulation are not preordained as naturally human endeavors, and thereby are not necessary or sufficient to human happiness
Both claims are matters of ontology. The first appeals to the ontology of those within capitalist societies whom may see consumerism as part of their lived experience and phenomenology through internalisation of capitalist ideals. The second makes 'higher' claims as to the ontology of the human race, our condition and archetypal existence.
For many in capitalist societies there is an experience of ontology within ontology. Whereby lived-experience is both simultaneously and contrarily infused with notions of existential well-being and existential angst. Individuals within a capitalist society make have both experiences of: a) "I wish for monetary success" and 2) "I wish to be free from the need for monetary success and to adhere to the normative trajectory of society wherein my success is ascribed not only by material gain, but what it symbolises about both my 'self' and my willingness to conform".
This latter argument presupposes that capitalism is not a natural state of the human condition nor an inherent part of societal 'evolution'.
For those whom experience this ontology within ontology where there is equal wish to express both 1) and 2) there is one ontology that is lived and the another that is imagined. They co-exist in spatial-temporal proximity and yet one denounces the other of a 'natural' quality to life whilst the other has no external comparison and thus is inherently unable to ascribe itself any 'natural' quality at all.
If we were to imagine 'happiness' to be a emergent quality such as the 'wetness' of water or 'consciousness' in the brain, it would require substrates which constitute and enable the possibility of emergence. For example, 'wetness' requires the existence of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom joined by covalent bonds (H20), in a further state -- liquid, i.e. water and not ice or vapor.
If there were such qualities which may result in the emergence of happiness, perhaps they would be: security, love, stimulus, growth (personal - and opportunities for), fulfillment of wants/needs/desires and success in those opportunities we choose to pursue. Importantly there are no variables here which may inhibit the effect of these properties and accepts obsession, compulsion, environmental imbalances (e.g. too much or too little stimulus) as all are subjective for the emergence of happiness. For example, one individual may need constant stimulus and another very little.
Seven boxes to represent the seven properties (love, security etc) mentioned above. If over the life course (four different stages of the life course represented by the four different configurations) these properties were to change e.g. there were no opportunities for growth or the person felt unloved it may show red. This may change in ten years time whereby those properties become green but other qualities (e.g. stimulus) has fallen away.
Each scenario may depict how variance in our happiness may lead to overall unhappiness (when a majority fall away) or when it may emerge in the spatial-temporal moment (e.g. the bottom configuration when a majority are green). To account for individual differences you may simply adjust that each property has a subjective need to be fulfilled, to varying degrees. Whereby 'love' may become green for one individual in a new relationship but another in consideration of the strength of their family ties. Each individual may prioritize the seven properties differently, and importantly, each may turn green for them, when that property is fulfilled to their individual needs.
It may also be assumed the changes in the configuration are constant and are subject to extreme flux in space and time. For example, during an individual's favourite band performance or after taking drugs. The effect of outside influences are accepted, and recognised, as part of perceptual, lived experience and also variations in the life course as to the importance of one property over another, over time. As is accepted: individual autonomy, and control of thoughts and decisions.
Capitalism and 'success'
It could be argued that capitalism is often incapable of providing many of those seven properties in a stable manner, whilst also placing pressure on the acquisition of those properties to achieve just one of them: success. Thus, those experiences of love, opportunity and safety become funneled into one property: 'success'. Perhaps inflating a property that within many individuals may have been much more understated, thus de-regulating individuals into a state of constant inability to fulfill their own personal, subjective happiness without 'success' as it becomes the marker of all other properties. It is also not recognised that each individual is capable of achieving differing levels of success.
For example: the internet is flooded with images within social-media of what it means to be 'happy'. To 'consume' these trainers, to 'be in love' with another person (and what that love should look like) and how your attitude towards education should be to 'fit in'. All tell us how to proceed in our society if we wish to appear successful. Telling us to just 'be happy' as individuals whilst being simultaneously being told exactly what we need to do to look happy to others, in what medium to present it (and who to), and to what degree. This inherently inhibits individual differences which may result in subjective, individual happiness. Again, used here as an example of 'success' as negating and regulating all other properties of happiness. As inspired by capitalist, economic 'success' as infusing other areas of social-life with an overbearing notion of the capability, and need, to be 'successful' overall, in whatever aspect of social life we enter into.
The images below are taken from the website 'tumblr', a very common social-media site particularly amongst younger people. It's cliché images are 'light', 'airy', and colourful in pastel blues, pinks, purple and oranges with 'motivational' quotes projected. All quotes appear to take a tone of 'reform your lifestyle to pre-capitalism and simplicity' where we go back to the 'good old days' of simply wants, needs and pleasures. Whilst the only way to be sure you've presented to other people that you've achieved such simplicity, and happiness, is to post it online via your smart-phone thus undermining the notion of happiness as sufficient without material consumption. As would be the 'simpler lifes' prerogative and thus undermining the original message.