The adage that money can’t buy happiness might not be that accurate. Unlimited wealth won’t make you happy, but a certain amount of wealth — $75,000 per year to be exact — is essential for your happiness and well-being, according to a new study. It’s not that you can’t be happy with less money, but it’s harder to meet your basic needs when you’re in a lower tax bracket, and that can put a damper on your happiness.
The Amount of Money You Need to Be Happy
The study, conducted at Princeton University, found people who earn around $75,000 per year are happier than people in lower income brackets. The lower someone’s income falls below that minimum, the less happy they are. With that logic, people who earn far more than that should be even happier, but that’s not the case. Earning more than $75,000 per year doesn’t appear to increase happiness any further.
Why Money Buys Happiness
People who live near, at or below the poverty level — approximately $25,000 for a family of four — experience more anxiety, stress and sadness. What’s more, they may not be able to pay for healthcare, medications, healthy food and other items necessary to keep them healthy and happy. Without their basic needs met, happiness often remains just beyond their reach.
Getting out of poverty can increase your happiness, but it won’t make you as happy as you can be until you start earning a little more. Not only does earning a decent income allow you to do things that make you happy, it gives you a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment that only money can buy.
Money Does Not Guarantee Happiness
Conversely, earning a good income doesn’t guarantee happiness. Illness, relationship problems, stress and mental illness can zap your happiness, and money isn’t going to fix every problem. Your day-to-day attitude is also important. If you’re generally grumpy and sad on most days, money in the bank won’t magically transform your personality. Unless, of course, you’re grumpy and sad because you don’t have any money in the bank.
Money and happiness are intertwined. You need a certain amount of money to pay for life’s necessities and a little extra for savings and retirement. You also need to be able to splurge once in a while and buy those things that make life fun. When you don’t have enough money, you can’t enjoy life. What’s more, you may become depressed worrying about your financial obligations and lack of money. So yes, money CAN buy happiness. But it doesn’t guarantee it.
~Here’s to Your Success!
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