There is a famous saying that money does not buy happiness. I have heard it dozens of times. But is it true?
Money doesn’t buy happiness is something poor people say to get over the fact that they are not wealthy. I am not implying that just being rich is enough to suffice for your being happy, but it certainly does not hurt.
Let’s look at some examples:
If you can’t afford to feed your family, you will be unhappy.
If you can’t afford to buy your children presents during the holidays, you will be unhappy. (Not buying presents when you can afford it just makes you cheap.)
If you have a car and can drive places on your own schedule, you will be happier than if you have to take public transportation. (In most cities in the United States – there are exceptions)
If you really want a shiny new laptop and you can’t afford it, you will be unhappy. If you buy it, you will be happy.
There are certain things money can’t buy. It can’t buy health. It can’t buy you love. It can’t buy you a wonderful family. It can’t buy you a feeling of satisfaction with your life.
However, it doesn’t hurt.
Does More Money Mean More Happiness?
A study from Princeton says that money can buy you happiness, but only up to $75,000 per year. Up to that amount, earning more money every year has a measurable impact on life satisfaction. Beyond that, people do not become incrementally happier earning more.
The psychology behind the study is interesting. Low income levels correlate to higher stress and lower happiness overall. Higher incomes have less stress in their personal lives and report feeling more positive overall.
Beyond $75,000, the study authors found that people have enough disposable income to pay for what they want in life. That is where the wealth effect ends and interpersonal relationships and other parts of your life drive incremental happiness.
What Do You Think?
I think making more money makes me happier. I can do what I want, buy what I want, and experience what I want if I have more money. Of course, money is not everything, but it doesn’t hurt.
What do you think? Can money make you happy? Can you buy happiness? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
Image by stevendepolo.
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