Can Money Really Buy Happiness? Yes and no
Coco Chanel is often quoted as saying, âThe best things in life are free. The second best things are very, very expensive. Is there any truth in this? We are investigating.
The moon. The stars. Flowers in spring. Love. All the things in life that come for free, according to Bing Crosby, and ultimately the only few things that can make us truly happy in life. It’s a pretty worn-out clichÃ© these days; the belief that money cannot buy happiness. Plus, it’s fine for privileged whites to say so.
But a new study from the University of Pennsylvania says that happiness comes at a price: about $ 90,000 in salary. And, here’s the kicker: you tend to be happier the more you earn.
âHigher incomes are associated with both feeling better day to day and being more satisfied with life in general,â wrote chief researcher Matthew Killingsworth, examining a sample of over 1, 7 million “happiness reports” from the United States, using its Track You Happiness Tool.
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Previous studies, like the one cited by researchers in 2010, concluded that happiness tended to stabilize around $ 75,000 (around $ 96,000).
âLow income is associated with both a low life rating and low emotional well-being,â he said.
In this most recent paper, however, well-being continued to increase as steeply above an annual income of US $ 75,000 as below.
Killingsworth concluded, âthat higher incomes may still have the potential to improve people’s daily well-being, rather than having already plateaued for many people in wealthy countries.
It is important to note that unlike Australia where various services like health and mental care are partially subsidized by the government, this is a very different case in the states where the study was conducted.
Medical bills, in particular, can destroy livelihoods and bankrupt families too easily. Indeed, 1 in 5 Americans who have mental health problems are in debt.
But Australians are by no means immune, with a report from the Australian Psychological Society citing personal finances as the number one cause of stress among Australians. It can also be a vicious cycle.
“Mental health issues can contribute to financial hardship, and vice versa, for example, not paying bills due to depression or having suicidal thoughts due to financial hardship,” says Mental health first aid Australia.
How can money make us happy?
So it’s fair to conclude that money buys happiness in the form of financial security, even life. He also buys options: like education and experiences.
âBuying things makes us happy, at least in the short term. In the long run, however, we get used to new things and although they may have made us excited and happy at first, the element eventually becomes the new normal and fades into the background, âwrites Sarah Gervais, professor. associate professor of psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
âThe happiness that comes from buying experiences, however, tends to increase over time. One of the reasons is that we often share experiential purchases with other people. “
And this is really the crux of this debate. Money as an abstract entity or physical manifestation in the form of possessions can’t actually make you happy in the long run, but it can if you have people to share it with.
If you are having financial difficulties and need to speak with someone, call National Debt Helpline at 1 800 007 007 or chat online with their financial advisors on weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.