“While happiness increases along with annual household incomes up to about $75,000, beyond that, earning more money has no effect on day-to-day contentment, according to the study….
“This study is consistent with a lot of other studies on the relationship between income and happiness or overall life satisfaction,” Maddux [a psychology professor] said. “What other studies have also shown is that money matters up to a point. But after a certain point, having additional money doesn’t make people like their lives better or feel better about themselves on a day to day basis.”
the above news item has popped up in lots of places, so i couldn’t help but share a few thoughts:
– lots of places are falsely saying that the ideal amount of money to make is $75k, which is a gross misinterpretation. obviously more money not making you substantially happier is not the same as it making you less happy, or does that money suddenly lose its power to buy things, or even be given away to help others. i hate when science is skewed to make better headlines. come on new york times, you’re better than that.
– i bet these stats differ pretty greatly for people with lots of college debt. there are probably plenty of newly graduated law or med students who could be a lot happier even at 75k.
– the fact that the median income is 52k explains a lot in light of this study. we’re a nation of people not quite financially comfortable enough to chill out about dumb things like where people build mosques. nor are we able to stop worrying about paying bills long enough to focus on bigger problems like ending wars (or even voting, for gods’ sake).
– lastly, how many people will cite this article when asking for a raise this year? “sure boss, a raise to 68k would be very generous, but for just a few thousand more i could be at optimum happiness!”