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Money Can Buy Happiness – but Not with the Amount You’re Making

Conventional wisdom states that happiness can’t be bought and that money is the root of all evil. Researchers, however, disagree. According to a survey, there exists a specific amount of money which can promote optimal contentment – and anything above that amount won’t make you any happier.

How Much Money do You Need to be Happy?

Melbourne, AU

If you think that money isn’t important to be happy, you’re wrong. On the other hand, if you’re of the view that the more money you have, the happier you become – you’re still wrong. A new research shows that different paychecks can bring different levels of happiness in people’s lives but once you reach the optimum salary required for overall satisfaction, there is no further benefit to your emotional wellbeing, no matter how much more you earn.

Researchers surveyed more than 1.7 million people worldwide to reach the conclusion that the optimal amount of money that can bring the maximum benefit to your overall life satisfaction and emotional well-being is $95,000.

The number, which applied to individuals instead of families is an international average taken across 164 countries. Currently, on the list of countries with the highest salaries, Switzerland comes at the top with salary expectation for entry level workers at $79,000. No wonder these Scandinavian countries with the highest salary averages have also reported the highest levels of overall life satisfaction.

Different Countries Have Different Satiation Points

Factors such as family, friends, social status, and other relationships are extremely important to your happiness, if not more, than money

According to researchers, overall satisfaction and the happy feelings that come from day-to-day life events are two different things. Even though the average salary for the former is $95,000, the latter only requires $60,000 to $75,000. Although the benefits after reaching this amount still exist, they aren’t as significant as one may think.

Even though the average of all the countries was calculated at $95,000, the satiation level can differ from country to country depending of the cost of living. For example, the Scandinavian countries and the whole of Western Europe which are considered some of the most expensive parts of the world, the average income for optimum satisfaction tops at $100,000.

The number is even higher in North America where people admitted that it would take $105,000 to be happy. The highest income level was reported in Australia and New Zealand at $125,000, both the countries fall at number 12 and 15 respectively on the global list of cost of living index for 2018. Other countries in Eastern Europe and Africa reported the lowest level of income required to be happy at only $40,000.

Money is Important – But Only to a Certain Extent

In summary, it isn’t easy to pin down the exact amount of salary (or ‘satiation point’) required to be optimally happy since the number can vary from country to country, and even from city to city. While the average amount of $95,000 calculated in the study may be too little for countries like Australia and New Zealand, the number is more than double the satiation point in Africa.

Of course, money isn’t the only determinant of happiness. Experts say that it may be true that happiness and health can’t be bought, but having money does help to some extent.

The researchers speculated that once the salary exceeds the satiation point, it is possible for the emotional wellbeing to be affected inversely since the more people have, the more they desire, and the more they have to work in order to fulfill their increasing desires.

This research is important for showing that beyond the satiation point determined for the country you’re living in, the happiness doesn’t grow proportionally with the salary. This goes against what most people commonly believe about money and how there is no limit to the amount of happiness it can bring.

The current Bureau of Statistics for Australia is showing that that the average salary for full-time employees tops off at $81,000, which is much lower than the satiation point calculated for the country. This means that Australians may barely be able to attain emotional wellbeing, but they’re far from life satisfaction.

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