Money CAN Buy Happiness!

nature beach vacation ocean

It’s true, the amount of money you make directly corresponds to your amount of happiness!  Finally the debate has been settled by a study conducted and published in the Nature Human Behaviour Journal.¹   

Lucky for us, the amount of money needed to be optimally happy may be just within our reach.  Studies show, the more money you make a year increases your emotional happiness – but only up to about $75,000 a year.  The study also showed that from making $20,000 a year to $50,000 a year, you are twice as likely to be satisfied and content with life but that happiness increase starts to plateau around $75K.

So you’re telling me if I made $200,000 a year, I wouldn’t be that much more happy than when I made $75,000 a year? Yes, yes I am.  The reason for the dramatic increase in happiness from $20K to $50K is due to basic human needs being met at $50K (i.e. clothing, food, shelter).  After the $50K mark, you start to fill your life with more “toys” which equate to “wants” rather than needs.

I know I may not be making a believer out of some of you because on the surface, I also feel I would be much more happy if I made $200K a year.  However, to further illustrate the point, right now in your life, are you truly happy and satisfied?  Are you beaming with happiness everyday and fully content with every aspect of your life?  If so, I congratulate you – because you are a unicorn.  The unfortunate reality is, Americans are the #1 consumer of antidepressants in the world yet we are some of the most wealthy individuals on the planet.²

Human beings are very adaptive in nature which is a primary cause for our discontentment.  Remember when you switched from a flip phone to a smart phone?  Those blackberries were out of this world!  I remember using the side scroller and texting on a keypad and felt I had reached the pinnacle of my cell phone days.  That is until Apple produced the iPhone.  The iPhone and others blew blackberries out of the water.  The same can be said for how “cool” pagers were in high school.  That was the thing to have and you were nobody if you didn’t have one.  Fast forward just a couple of years and you know how the pager story played out.  Each year we get bigger and better, then smaller and better, and then bigger and better again.

The more money you make, the more toys you can and will buy.  That flat screen keeps getting bigger because your old 50″ screen looks so small compared to the new 80″ ones.  Sure, you can go on big expensive vacations more often, but remember when going to the beach in California as a kid was the best thing ever?  Now you have to go to Europe to get that same high.  The truth is, we will never have enough money if we don’t focus on being content with what we have.  Our newest purchases rarely satisfy us for long so let’s slow down and be thankful for what we have.  For goodness sake, much of the world doesn’t even have clean water to drink yet we have it plumbed straight into our homes!

Businesses and marketers take full advantage of our discontentment.  There are monthly subscription services where a company will send you new clothes automatically each and every month.  Every month!  They are betting that you are bored with your clothes from a month ago and will be enticed, yet again, to buy something new.  This is a multi million dollar industry! With the whole world looking to capitalize on our discontentment, how will we ever find happiness and become debt free?

As stated before, to become debt free and to start building wealth, we need a complete change in our mindset.  I will tell you that being debt free certainly increases your happiness, but from there – stop looking at what the neighbors have and build the life that suits you so you can help others.  This life is about living and giving – the more you give, the happier you will be.  If you die with the most toys, you do not win.  It’s about how much good you can do in this world.  By eliminating your debt and building your future in both wealth and health, you will be able to help even more people as you traverse through this life.  You can do it my friends and I will be here with you!

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Please view my other related posts: When It Pays To Use Credit Cards and The Best Financial Advice for Couples




Author: Ryan

Hi!  My name is Ryan and I have a passion for personal finance and education.  I am married and have three children, a girl and two boys all under the age of ten.  My wife stays home with the kids so it can be challenging to live off one income.  Much of what I write is based off my personal experiences and what I have learned in the course of my life. My financial journey began when my wife and I saved up a sum of money and I didn't know who I could trust to invest it.  After several interviews with financial advisers, I still didn't feel like I could trust anyone.  That began my journey to educate myself by reading every finance book I could get my hand on and by attending financial seminars.  After getting a good handle on debt, finance, and investments, I decided to start this blog as a resource for others who find it difficult to trust people with their money. I recently started writing this blog about how to get out of debt and start investing to create the future you deserve. I have been in law enforcement for 14 years and I have seen the devastation left behind by people who mismanage their finances.  I started this blog because I want to help as many people I can by educating them on common sense money management. As far as my formal education, I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Master of Administration Degree from Northern Arizona University.  I am an adjunct professor at a local community college and I have been a student of finance for many years. This blog is dedicated to those looking to eliminate their debt and to mold a new way of thinking, living, and spending. Education, focused on financial stability and wealth, is the main purpose of this blog. This website is a new journey for me and I know there are areas that I could improve.  Please feel free to reach out to me with any critiques - I would love the feedback so I can be as effective as I possibly can and provide the most relevant information.  I look forward to writing for you and learning with you! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you! -Ryan

6 thoughts on “Money CAN Buy Happiness!”

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