Most of us like to believe that money doesn’t buy happiness. While cold, hard cash may be a necessity of life, we don’t like to think that it can actually influence our emotions and feelings – but a recent study from Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School has found it does.
So how much does happiness cost? The golden number is $75,000 a year; the lower a person’s income fell below $75,000 the unhappier they felt, and people earning more than $75,000 didn’t report a greater level of happiness.
Two Types Of Happiness
For the study the researchers used the two main types of happiness as a measure of overall happiness. The first type of happiness is your day-to-day mood, which can move from happy to stressed to sad within a matter of days (or hours).
The second type of happiness is a deeper happiness that is linked to how happy you are with your life in general. The researchers found that while people who earn more than $75,000 tended to be happier with how their life was going, it didn’t actually increase their day-to-day happiness at all.
For the study, the researchers analyzed polls that asked 450,000 American participants how they felt the day before and if they were living the best life for them personally. Their income was also noted. The results found that 85% of participants felt happy every day, regardless of how much they earned. Most also said that they were happy with how their life was going. Around 24% of participants reported feelings of sadness, and 40% reported feeling stressed.
Why You Need To Earn $75,000 To Boost Your Happiness
But why is $75,000 the golden number? Researchers found that while a low income doesn’t cause sadness, it does worsen problems and make people feel more stressed. For example, the study found that 51% of divorced people who earn under $1,000 felt stressed the day beforehand, but only 24% of divorcees earning over $3,000 reported the same feelings. This shows that a lack of money can cause stress and anxiety, reducing a person’s overall happiness with their life.
However the effect stops at around $75,000; people who earn more than $75,000 are more emotionally influenced by day-to-day issues, and their emotions are rarely affected by their earnings.
Despite this it is important to remember that while money can help you to boost your happiness, there are still lots of other things that can give you the same effect. You can boost your happiness by spending time with loved ones, working on projects that are meaningful to you and even by exercising! There are lots of ways to find happiness, and money is only one of them.