Every week heralds some new study about what makes us happy. I always like the money ones. We all rather love to hear that having a lot of money doesn’t bring happiness. Thank the Lord, hey! Those poor rich suckers…barkin’ up the wrong tree, aren’t they!?
But what do you make of this new Princeton University study that shows that earning around $75,000 a year makes us most happy?
This is an American study, but I reckon it would hold sway, dollar-for-dollar, here, too. No one likes talking about income. I have no idea what my closest friends earn, or my siblings. We guard this information as though to let people know what we earn would reveal too much about …what…? ….how much we squirrel away, how easy we have it, how unfair we might have life, how incapable we are (to derive more $$ from our boss). That said, I can see that $75K would make most of us feel safe, that we can tick off the basic boxes (house, food, holiday) and deal with life from a stable footing.
The study points out that there are actually two types of happiness. There’s your changeable, day-to-day mood: whether you’re stressed or blue or feeling emotionally sound. Then there’s the deeper satisfaction you feel about the way your life is going — the kind of thing Tony Robbins tries to teach you. While having an income above the magic $75,000 cutoff doesn’t seem to have an impact on the former (emotional well-being), it definitely improves people’s Robbins-like life satisfaction. In other words, the more people make above $75,000, the more they feel their life is working out on the whole. But it doesn’t make them any more jovial in the mornings.