We have all been told that money can’t buy happiness. While it sounds lovely, coming from a fortune cookie, years of scientific research have proven over and over again that it’s only true up to a certain point…if it’s true at all.
The latest data that comes from a thirteen year study done by Deacon University in Australia, says that the magic number for happiness in Australia is $100,000 a year. If you make that much money, have a meaningful personal relationship, and a rewarding hobby, you’re in what the team calls, “the golden triangle of happiness.” Make less and money begins to add to your stress and lower your amount of free time. You make more, you might be more comfortable, but your emotional state doesn’t really change.
That idea of a magic number comes from what economist call the “easterlin paradox.” It’s a 1974 proposal by economist Robert Easterlin that says “ a rise in the average income of a country does not lead to a rise in its happiness.”But there is some tricky things to take into consideration: Just how do you define happiness and can that actually be true across every country since we all have different cultures and ideals?
Earlier this year, a data released by Skandia International show that there is a magical happiness number across the thirteen different countries that they surveyed.
Here in the U.S., it is $161,000. That puts us somewhere in the middle of the list, Dubai came in at the top feeling that $277,150 can buy some real happiness. Europeans needed the least to feel content. With Germany calling it a good life around $86,000, France at $114,000 and England at $133,000 a year.
Even though these countries have different cultures and ideals, there’s still an income that sets everyone to their optimal happy place.
So what if you make UNDER your country’s happiness number or you make more and you still don’t feel content? It could be the way that you are using your money.
Studies have shown that the human brain values experiences over material things. Spending money to go out or help other people tends to make us feel better.
A University of Wisconsin study show that we don’t like having something as much as we like anticipating having something. Measuring the emotional state of someone’s saving to make a big purchase showed that they were happiest when they were thinking about getting it in the near future. Those happiness levels began to drop the moment they had it. So technically, layaway is the most joyous state of being there is.
What do you think? Is there a magical amount of money that would make you happy?