Does More Money Equals Happiness
It is a general rule of life, in almost all societies on earth that one has to be gainfully employed, in order to receive an income. Those earnings are necessary if you are to comfortably function; i.e., live, eat and fulfill your basic needs, whilst procuring anything else you may desire. For this reason, our lives and societies are centered on us attending school, attaining certification, proving ourselves competent in a skill and then becoming employed. Further to this, we must contribute to society in an industrious manner. Money is the master of all things it seems and for many, money is also the source of their happiness, or is it.
What matters most? Making money or being happy? Does making a lot of money really add to your happiness levels, or does it actually add to your stress levels instead? A new study has been released on whether having a higher salary impacts your life satisfaction levels.
If we analyze these questions carefully, we could conclude that yes, money does impact our overall emotional wellbeing. However, this is true, only to a certain point. After this level, one will suffer from a case of diminishing returns and instead, it will be
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1.7 million Persons who lived in over 164 countries were surveyed to help bring statistical clarity on the matter. As it relates to single people, the salary threshold for optimum fulfillment was at $95,000. However, that was not related to the broad spectrum of your overall lifespan. For that, the figure was closer to $60 – $75,000.
Senior author from Fast Company, Andrew Tebb said, “Increases in happiness tend to diminish as you make more money. A $20,000 increase from $30,000 to $50,000 is likely to bring more change to your life than if you make $20,000 on top of $150,000.”
The research was completed successfully by both the University of Virginia and Purdue University. It supported the arguments made by both Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton, a psychologist and economist respectively. They posited that people’s satisfactory levels diminished once their incomes were outside of the range of $60,000 to $120,000. Upon looking at the arguments from these professionals and the study conducted by the Universities, Tebb emphasized that the study did not take into account life satisfaction but rather only emotional well-being.
In addition, he identified that the parameters of the study were only limited to the United States. The statistics showed that American households, on average earned approximately $65,000. However, only 25% or less was in the range of earning $75,000; this indicated that the majority of workers were not emotionally satisfied with their earnings.
Yes, those satisfactory levels would fluctuate depending on your geographical location. The satiation point in Western Europe is more around $100,000, unlike Eastern Europe which is around $45,000 and sub-Saharan Africa which is also at $40,000. Australia and North America fluctuate around $125,000 and $105,000 respectively.
The variation in these numbers makes it almost impossible to identify a single sum that would apply to all areas. However other factors do contribute to one‘s happiness. Social comparisons do play a part in your overall satisfaction levels. For instance, how much your co-workers and friends earn in comparison to your own salary.
According to Andrew Tebb, “Expectations and social comparisons are important. We’re very finely tuned social creatures, so those social comparisons occur in most human domains including career, income and the size of your house. Income is just one variable in the complicated equation of happiness. It’s not trivial, but there are other factors that are at least as important, such as meaning and significance and social relationships, family, and friends.”