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Can money buy happiness?

I ran across a study done at Princeton University recently with the title “High Income Improves Evaluation of Life But Not Emotional Well Being.” The study distinguishes between emotional well being (the quality of a person’s everyday experience such as joy, fascination, anxiety, sadness, anger and affection) and life evaluation (a person’s thoughts about his or her life on a longer time scale).

Interestingly, a person’s long-term view of their life (i.e. life evaluations) rises steadily with income; but their day to day emotional state (emotional well being) levels off at $75,000/year of income. That is, beyond about a  $75,000/year income, money does little for day to day feelings of happiness, enjoyment, sadness or stress. More money might help with a person’s long-term view of their life, but not with our day-to-day experiences.

Seems like money can buy happiness, but only up to a point.

What do you think? Does more money make you happier or only help with your long-term view of your world?

If you want a PDF of the study, send me an email at steve@finpath.com and I’ll send it to you.