Would $75,000 Make You Happy? Me Neither


money buys happinessContrary to popular belief -- money does buy happiness. In fact, a Princeton study says that $75,000 annually is enough to buy you some happiness, but any more than that amount is really not helping you, happiness-wise.

How did they come to this conclusion?

Researchers found that lower income did not cause sadness itself but made people feel more ground down by the problems they already had. The study found, for example, that among divorced people, about 51% who made less than $1,000 a month reported feeling sad or stressed the previous day, while only 24% of those earning more than $3,000 a month reported similar feelings. Among people with asthma, 41% of low earners reported feeling unhappy, compared with about 22% of the wealthier group. Having money clearly takes the sting out of adversities.

I'm not buying it, but maybe I would if I had $75,000.

I will give the researchers this: If both my husband and I were making $75,000 a year, I would worry a lot less about paying for college, saving for retirement, and finding a home we can afford in a good school district. But where it breaks down for me is the idea that a $75,000 salary would ease my worries. Since unemployment is so scary right now, I could lose that $75,000 job, and if the $75,000 is what's making me happy -- then I'm going to spend a lot of my time worrying about becoming unhappy if the job goes away.

Additionally, feeling trapped in a job because you KNOW it's the source of your income/happiness is an incredibly fast way to get to unhappy.

Which puts me in the camp with lottery ticket buyers, as I KNOW $1,000,000 would make me very, very happy. I could buy a house without gaining a mortgage, have money for college, retirement, and still work for a living -- but without having to worry about debt and future debt-inducing life events.

Excuse me while I head to the 7-Eleven ...

How much money would buy you happiness?

Image via kevin dooley/Flickr


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Sweet... SweetPieMama24

I make decent money (for my age) - it's not close to $75,000 - but when you have a baby at home, another on the way, and own your own house - it gets stressful. Credit card debt racked up while I was on maternity leave, and now that I'm working again, every single dime I earn goes towards all my bills. It's definitely stressful. There are times we choose: "okay, either pay the cable and this credit card, or get groceries on our table" It gets tough. Cost of living has been increasing every year - and with this economy, I haven't seen (nor has anyone in my company) a raise in over 3 years.

29again 29again

Well, I suppose it just depends on what your personal standards are.  For me, earning $75 K a year would be just AWESOME!!!  But I guess I don't need a lot to make me happy, do I?  That amount would more than pay my bills, allow me a few luxuries, and take a lot of the worry away.  It would definitely work for me!

MyFam... MyFamilyOfFive

At this point, any little bit would help!  Hey, I'd even be happy with just an extra $5,000!  Sure, I'd be happier with a lot more than that, but when you are living on one income, every little big helps!


If I was just given the 75,000 I'd buy a house and put the rest in the bank. So yes that would be buying happiness... However if my way of life revolved around $75,000 a year...... I'd hope someone would smack me and make me realize how silly it would be to spend all that money. 

Carey... Carey2006

I always wished that I could win that lottery where you get $1,000 a week for life.....$75,000=would come in handy these days but I think the happiness would only be temporary.

Lynn Westrich

Money cannot buy you happiness but it sure does help. If you have bills and no money to pay them then money can make you happy because it eases the stress load. Anything that lowers stress can make you happier.

RanaA... RanaAurora

I think the phrase "money can't buy you happiness" is abused.

No, it can't, but living without money sure can make you UNHAPPY.

$75,000 a year for my family would be awesome. We live less than half of that and it's hard sometimes, especially when you don't put yourself into debt ever.

Mom2j... Mom2jngnc

Money can't buy true happiness.
Yet, having $75K a year would take the tension out of my current financial situation. I mean I feel guilty spending $3 on sleepytime tea a month to help me drift off when the bills get stuck in my head before bedtime.


Honestly,  just a steady income (my husband works on 100% commission) would make things easier for us,  but I would not say it would make us any HAPPIER.  Happiness is a state of mind,  not a paycheck. 

RanaA... RanaAurora

But when stress can come from uncertainty or struggles, a paycheck can make happiness tough.

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