How much money do we really need to be happy? While for many, there seems to be no specific number, experts say there are some thresholds.
And recent research, based on the Gallup World Poll data, by Purdue University sheds some light on the matter.
“It’s been debated at what point does money no longer change your level of well-being,” Andrew T. Jebb, the lead author and doctoral student in the Department of Psychological Sciences, comments. “We found that the ideal income point is $95,000 for life evaluation and $60,000 to $75,000 for emotional well-being. Again, this amount is for individuals and would likely be higher for families.”
A news release by the university clarifies the two terms.
“Emotional well-being, or feelings, is about one’s day-to-day emotions, such as feeling happy, excited, or sad and angry. Life evaluation, really life satisfaction, is an overall assessment of how one is doing and is likely more influenced by higher goals and comparisons to others,” the release explains.
Interestingly, higher income levels beyond the thresholds showed a reverse link to life satisfaction.
“After the optimal point of needs is met, people may be driven by desires such as pursuing more material gains and engaging in social comparisons, which could, ironically, lower well-being,” the university release notes.
Jebb does note that there are certainly variations depending on various geographic and demographic factors.
The study’s findings are published in Nature Human Behaviour.