Does a higher salary lead to happiness?
"Money doesn't buy happiness." We've all thought about it at some point, right? That phrase has always been the one that I've either heard or told myself when I met someone who was wealthy (or at least LOOKED wealthy...the ability to finance stuff has made that blurry from the outside looking in).
Research says $75,000 is the magic happiness number
According to Princeton University, your salary can make you happier...but only up to $75,000 per year.
When I was a band director, I made a little over $50,000/year. Compared to a lot of starting wages out there right now, that seemed like a ton of money!
After starting my own business, I'm now on track to make somewhere from $80,000 – $120,000 over the next 12 months if I don't mess up. If you had told me that a few years ago, I would have probably been super jealous of my future self haha.
You can take a look at my latest income report to see how I'm making money online:
I've tried to give my new increase in earning a lot of thought lately. I truly believe that M$M can be a $1,000,000/year type of website (maybe more someday). There are SO many different ways you can make money online, and I haven't even tapped the potential of this thing in my opinion.
Has more money made me happier?
I'm not going to lie – I've been super happy lately. Every time I have a conversation with someone about what I do for a living, it brings a little smile to my face (after I convince them that I ACTUALLY make money online).
My quality of life is great, I actually like waking up on Monday's, etc. The extra money coming in is killer as well.
But how much of that is purely happiness based on $$$? In reality, not much. I don't feel happy when I cash an affiliate check or transfer money from my PayPal account. It's been a little surprising actually.
Here's the dirty little secret about making more money:
When you make more money than you used to, the milestone wears off freakishly fast. It's almost immediately replaced with "now how can I make more?"
This is especially true in business where you have more control over the amount of money that you can make in a given time period. It's easy to let your goals become financially driven, which is a slippery slope IMO.
Your career path and goals should be driven by higher level ideas, like how much impact you're making in the world or how fulfilling your work really is. I try not to bring it up too much, but we're all going to die someday and can't take the money with us.
That's the reality. We all die, and life isn't about the money.
What does make me happy?
If it's not the money, maybe it's the stuff right? Well...not really.
*GASP* My wife and I own a pretty sweet wake boarding boat. Before you get all upset with your hypocrite pitchforks, it was used and we wrote a check for it. It's ok.
The boat is obviously an example of something you can buy when you're good with your money and don't have any debt. But the boat itself doesn't make me happy – the experience of being out on the water does. There's a BIG difference.
Experiences drive happiness for me, but maybe not for you.
Some of the happiest times for Coral and I have been when we are doing something cool. I'm not a multi-millionaire (although I know plenty that would agree with me), and I can tell you that it's not all about the numbers in your bank account.
Money isn't a happiness creator, it's a tool for making life easier (and some people with a lot of it might argue against that as well). Don't overthink it. You should absolutely be trying to make money a focus in your life, but it can't be THE focus. You'll just never find true happiness there.
Here's the last problem with money:
Especially when it comes to comparing yourself with others – there's literally no point in using money as a measuring stick. If you're looking to find happiness by comparing yourself financially with the people around you, remember this:
THERE. WILL. ALWAYS. BE. SOMEBODY. WITH. MORE. $$$'S. THAN. YOU
RELATED: How to negotiate a higher salary
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