Can Money Buy Happiness?

They say that money can’t buy happiness.

Thankfully, to dispel any doubts, researchers have tested the theory and found it’s true… After a certain level of income.

Kill-joys at both Princeton University and the Marist Institute for Public Opinion put the saying to the test and found that between $50,000 and $75,000 a year will buy you a comfortable level of happiness.

After that, the correlation between cash and the good times tapers off. In other words, any cash you earn over these amounts won’t really increase your happiness by all that much.

money happiness

The first study, from Princeton, asked 450,000 people how they had felt the previous day to nail down the magic number: $75,000.

While a lower income didn’t cause sadness, it did wear people down on the daily problems they already had on their relatively smaller plate.

The Princeton professors found that the lower a person’s income falls below $75,000 a year, the unhappier they felt. But, regardless of how much more than that a person pulled in, they didn’t gain any greater amount of happiness.

And by happiness, we’re talking day to day mood.

The second survey, from Marist, managed to trim a whole $25,000 off the magic figure.

They asked a thousand-odd people about satisfaction with their lives – health, friends, how they spend their time – and those who made more than $50,000 were way more chipper about how things were going.

So, earn above that amount and you’re getting less happiness for your buck.

Now, on to whether happiness grows with your facial hair…

Image: Kamyar Adl via Flickr