We’ve all wondered about the age old question of whether or not money can buy happiness. The answer I think most of us have determined is yes, money can buy some happiness. Of course, I think we all also realize that money can’t buy complete happiness. So how much money do we need to make before it stops making us happy? I’ve always thought that amount was whatever you need to be surrounded by fried chicken buckets and gold toilets 24/7 but apparently that is not true.
Two new research papers have determined that people don’t gain significant amounts of happiness beyond a salary of $75 000 a year. Here is a quote from the linked article:
“The authors found that while hedonic well-being — or happy feelings — rises with income, it plateaus around $75,000 — although life satisfaction ratings continue to improve.”
Wow, so all it takes to feel relatively happy is $75K per year. Interesting. Yeah, but what if I continue to make more, that surely would make me feel even more happy. Here’s another quote:
“Our data … do not imply that people will not be happy with a raise from $100,000 to $150,000, or that they will be indifferent to an equivalent drop of income. Changes of income in the high range certainly have emotional consequences. What the data suggest is that above a certain level of stable income, people’s emotional well-being is constrained by other factors in their temperament and their life circumstances.”
I think this makes sense. The tabloids are full of stories about people who will never have to worry about money for the rest of their lives. Yet the stories aren’t about their money, it’s about their drama because of other things in their lives, like relationships or addictions.
So there you go, find a job that makes you $75K a year and you’ll be good to go.