If the thought has crossed your mind that a higher income could increase your happiness, you’re not alone. It’s easy to look at rich celebrities, for example, and think, wow, they must have such an easy life. But does more money really correlate with a higher level of “happy”?
The Research on Money and Happiness
Recent research from the University of Michigan found that with more income comes more life satisfaction. This finding contrasted earlier claims that after basic needs are met, a higher income does not continue to influence well-being.
The analysis of 155 countries included about 95% of the global population. And the specific finding that happiness levels grow as the money grows makes sense – After all, if it were the opposite then those who are rich would be, well, foolish for achieving wealth. Furthermore, no one would aim to be rich as it would make them unhappy.
Does that Mean Money Brings Happiness?
After discussing the research, the logical answer seems to be yes. But let us qualify that.
Money can bring more pleasure into your life as it provides a means to accomplish different things, such as going on vacations. Plus, there’s less stress when you have the funds to pay this month’s bills than if you’re having trouble making ends meets.
However, as with most things, it’s not that simple. In countless cases, people make a high salary but are dissatisfied with their lives. Money cannot always change a disposition.
Moreover, a sudden influx of money can create more problems for a person. For example, a big lottery win can lead to rash decisions and pressures from family and friends to spend the funds in specific ways.
The reality is that money is only one part of a joyful life.
What Happiness Entails
More cash enables you the means to do more of what you like, such as golfing or going to the spa. But what’s more important to keeping you happy over time than monetary funds are creating experiences that mean something to you.
Thus, having the money to take a trip with your spouse likely means more to your long-term happiness than buying the latest smartphone. While owning new tech is fun, it’s probably not going to create lasting memories; material things aren’t often capable of doing so.
Also, the money will never be able to provide pleasure to all areas of your life on its own. Currency is only part of the equation.
The other part of the formula is building and nurturing relationships, which starts with the connections we form with our parents when we are young. Finding purpose in our careers is also important to overall life satisfaction.
Final Words on Money and Happiness
With more money comes a more comfortable way of life, which is terrific. While the pleasures derived from purchases are likely short-term, a more lasting feeling of happiness comes from having the funds to invest in experiences with loved ones and not worrying about whether you have enough money to pay bills.
While money cannot buy happiness, it can make it easier to pursue your passions and priorities in life. That takes work in many different areas of your life, but it’s well worth it for a full life that’s rich in spirit.
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The information contained within this site has been provided as general information only and prepared without taking into account your financial position, objectives, and needs. You should consider its appropriateness and seek financial advice before making any financial decisions.