Money can buy happiness up to a point
We all need money to survive. With our basic needs are met and we have shelter and food and basic necessities, happiness levels naturally increase. Economists have shed light on whether money can buy happiness and from the results it appears that life satisfaction decreases among people living in the wealthier countries.
A new analysis led by Eugenio Proto at the University of Warwick, found that as expected, the poorest countries enjoyed increased levels of happiness as people were able to meet their basic needs. However, once that income reaches a certain point ($36,000-approximately £25,000 per year), life satisfaction levels peak after which it appears to dip slightly in the wealthier countries.
The reason for this drop in life satisfaction is due to the fact that with more money comes higher aspirations. If these aspirations are not met this leads to a dip in happiness. The inevitable comparisons ensue and the typical case of “keeping up with the Joneses” becomes evident. When we feel deprived we feel less happy. It is human nature to always want more and this gap between our actual income and the inconvenience aspire to have can be the source of discontent.
It makes sense therefore to foster an attitude of appreciation and gratitude for what we have in life rather than a constant hankering for what we do not have. There will always be those with more and always those with less. The trick is to focus on our own goals and our own progress.
Photo by Materials Aart