Happy Money

Surprise — money may buy happiness

Here’s a shocker for you: Money may, in fact, buy you happiness. Recent studies have found that as income levels increase, so does happiness. Whether or not you find this surprising (as the research through the years has been mixed) what’s undoubtedly true is that money unlocks opportunities.

In 2010, a study from Princeton researchers found that individuals’ happiness increases with income. However, that study indicated that once you hit $75,000 annually, your happiness does not increase. Well, a new report found that there is no cap on this happiness. The more money you earn, the happier you might be. A team at the University of Pennsylvania studied more than 33,000 people and found that all measurable forms of well-being increased as income did. The main reason for this increase in happiness was not that the participants bought more material possessions — it was the freedom they gained from their income. Higher levels of income allowed people more opportunities to live their lives how they wanted.

A separate report from the Harvard Business School found that money also makes life less stressful. As US News reports, the study tracked people who made between $10,000 and $150,000 per year. The results showed that people who earned more money were not as stressed by life’s events as those with less money.

These studies show that, as many people assume, money makes life easier. You have more freedom, more access and well, more everything. Money definitely isn’t everything, but it is clearly something important.

Chris O'Shea

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