Happy Endeavors

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What $ does for your happiness?

Does money make you happy? The short answer it to a certain extent, yes. However, anything beyond $75,000/year doesn't make you happier according to the 2010 World Happiness Report.

Published on: August 19, 2021
Topics included: experiences | income | money
rich lady with shopping bags

Money solves some problems, but it doesn’t ensure a happy life.

Once you earn enough to take care of your basic needs, additional money may have little effect on additional levels of happiness. Let’s explore the effect of additional money on your emotional well-being.

basic family meal

Level 1: Free

A psychologist’s list of activities that will increase your levels of happiness that don’t cost anything:

  • Meditating
  • Reading an adventure story
  • Walking in nature
  • Volunteering
  • Acknowledging – verbally or written – gratefullness
father and son walking in forest
middle class dinner

Level 2: Income of $75K/yr

A 2018 study found that at this annual income, you have attained the level necessary for emotional well-being. This means that you don’t have to worry about the costs of housing, health care, food, transportation and utilities. Any additional income may allow you to pay for services that will save you time. These may include:

  • Housekeeping
  • Yard Maintenance
  • Home Repairs
  • Babysitting
  • Home Security
  • Account/Tax Preparation

Source: Zitelmaan, Rainer, Does Money Make People Happy?

upper class dinner

Level 3: $75K+

If you are wealthy, don’t spend your money on material objects! They only bring temporary joy. Instead try spending on new experiences, pets/plants, and/or donating time/money. Why?

  • Experiences create anticipation, connection to others and long-lasting memories.
  • Pets/Plants incorporate the responsibility to care for something which makes you feel good.
  • Helping others has a side effect of boosting self-esteem.

The Living Wage Calculator: See what the minimum wage to get by is in your area.

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