DOES MONEY MAKE YOU HAPPY?

DOES MONEY MAKE YOU HAPPY?

This has been a hotly debated topic in numerous studies over the years. In some ways it can add happiness and in some ways it can’t.  Here are 4 reason’s why it can’t make you happy. `

1)      Studies have shown that there is an association between money and happiness up to about $75,000 per year in household income as this covers your basic needs of food clothing and shelter.  Above this amount, there is no significant correlation between happiness and money.  The challenge is this is a national average.  If we live in a high-income neighborhood and we see our neighbors with cars we don’t have or perhaps we can’t give our children the experiences other neighbor kids are having, then we can feel deprived relative to the people around us. This is a phenomena call “relative deprivation”.

2)      Money worship. Believing money will make you happy or that money will solve your problems has a bit of a downside. Studies by Dr. Brad Klontz have shown that if we have these beliefs, we are most likely to have a lower net worth, higher credit card debt in an attempt to buy things to make us feel better about ourselves. The more intensely we believe that money will make us happier, the more likely we are to sabotage our finances.

3)      The happiness treadmill.  When I ask a client who makes $50k how much would make them happy, they’ll say $75k.  If I ask a client who makes $75k how much would make them happy they’ll say $100k. For many, there is the thought that if they make more money, they’ll be happier is referred to as the ‘hedonic treadmill’.

4)      Happiness baseline. We all have a happiness baseline from which we don’t often stray too far. For some of us is genetically hardwired and for some of us it’s conditioned by life experiences and for most of us it’s a combination of the two. While there is a natural ebb and flow on how we feel day to day based on what’s happening in our lives, there is a tendency to drift back to our happiness set point.

We will often see that people who have achieved high levels of success that they have always dreamed of and have carried the belief that money and success will make them happy and when they finally achieve it, they quickly realize that they are still themselves and it didn’t change themselves, their family, and their relationships. When money and success was the primary goal and they dig a little deeper and discover that it doesn’t give them what they truly wanted, many struggle with finding true meaning in their lives.

The goal is to be as happy as you can be right now by paying close attention to the love and beauty that exists around us.  If you can achieve happiness in your current situation, then you will be able to make the most when money does come into your life and you will be able to use to improve your overall level of happiness.  “GRATITUDE IS THE FOUNDATION FOR ABUNDANCE”.

 

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