Money Buying Happiness Study
General Thoughts and Fun Topics

Money Buying Happiness Study

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I was just reading this article on Yahoo’s news site that talked about how it is complex in trying to determine exactly how money creates happiness for people. The article is located here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061126/ap_on_bi_ge/be_happy_money .

I personally think articles like these are a bit over the top as it seems like people are simply trying to over analyze details that should be fairly straight forward. Here are some excerpts from the article:
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“They noted that in one study, people with household incomes of $90,000 or more were only slightly more likely to call themselves “very happy” overall than were people from households making $50,000 to $89,999. The rates were 43 percent versus 42 percent, respectively. (Members of the high-income group were almost twice as likely to call themselves “very happy” as people from households with incomes below $20,000.)”

“There is still another twist to the money-happiness story. Even though people who make $150,000 are considerably happier than those who make $40,000, it’s not clear why, says psychologist Richard E. Lucas of Michigan State University.

Does money make you happier? Or does being happier in the first place allow you to earn more money later, maybe by way of greater creativity or energy? Or does some other factor produce both money and happiness? There’s evidence for all three interpretations, Lucas says.”
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My personal answer would be that it’s not so much the money in general that could make a person happy, but rather with the way the economy works having a lot of money allows more options for one to create an ideal environment that would make them happy as they would in a sense have less worries and more freedom to do what they want. I would say it comes down to lifestyle. For example, in the article they mentioned how there was a small gap between people making $90,000 a year versus people making $50,000 to $89,999 a year who would consider themselves as very happy. The article kind of made it sound like it was a very complex thing to answer.

Usually people who make more money tend to spend it on more expensive and luxuries things and once you add everything up they are really on the same boat as someone who is similar that makes less. I kind of dived into this a bit on my spending what you have post awhile back. For example, let’s say we are going to get a haircut. The $90,000 person might spend like $45 a haircut for a specific hair stylist and the $50,000 person may spend say $25 a haircut that suits him just as well. In this case, it doesn’t really matter how much the person made as they both got something that gave them equal satisfaction according to their preference and it kind of worked out the same in terms of their income to spending habit ratio. On the other hand, there could be a guy that makes only $25,000 a year who likes to shave his head bald which aside from purchasing a shaver costs him nothing which makes him feel even better over all than the two people above. To me, it just seems like it doesn’t have to be as complicated as the article makes it out to be.

Once again, I personally think it is about obtaining a certain lifestyle that makes a person happy and obviously everyone’s definition of that is different. I personally just see money as a resource that can help you to achieve that lifestyle and having a lot of money by itself doesn’t give you happiness.

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