Does Money Bring Happiness?

Momma always said money can’t buy happiness.  Princeton University may have just proved her wrong.

The Sept. 27, 2010 issue of Time reported on a Princeton study showing that $75,000 seems to be the threshold to happiness. The further a person’s household income falls below $75,000, the unhappier he or she is.

Interestingly, the converse is not true.  No matter how much more than $75,000 people make, it won’t bring them any more joy.

The study, which drew its data from more than 450,000 Americans in 2008 and 2009, differentiates between two types of happiness. First, there’s your day-to-day mood which can change like the wind. Second, there’s the deeper satisfaction you feel about the path your life is taking.

Technically, the study doesn’t say that a high income will make you happier in your day-to-day attitude, but it will give you a life you’ll feel better about, which in turn can give you a greater sense of fulfillment.  At the same time, a low income doesn’t make you feel sadder, but it tends to make you more concerned or worried about other issues in your life like health and relationships.

So, what’s the magic behind the $75,000 income figure? It seems that money isn’t much of an issue for people at that level.  They tend to feel that their life is going well.  They feel more financially comfortable, and probably have more discretionary money to spend on hobbies and entertainment activities with friends and family.

So what do you think?  Is $75,000 the threshold to happiness in your life?

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