We have all heard the cliché “Money can’t buy happiness.” But is this really true? If money can buy happiness, how much money do you need to reach a maximum level of happiness? One study that was done claimed that happiness plateaus after an annual income of $75,000. This is the salary that allows you to live relatively comfortably. So why are some people so greedy to be rich if it does not make them happier? We must analyze the end goal of money in order to figure this out.
A decent salary that can get us a home, car, and enough money to support a family will make us happy for obvious reasons. It takes away the discomfort of not being able to live life the way that one should. It fulfills happiness on a personal level. So how do we become more happy after $75,000/year or so? We use that extra money to buy things that we don’t need such as fancy cars, a pool, a 70 inch plasma TV, etc. If we don’t need these things, why do we think it is going to make us happier? It is because we mistake material goods as the end goal of happiness, when in reality there is something more.
The thing that we are truly seeking is relationships and positive experiences with other people. This is what can increase our happiness after we have enough money to survive. We use money to buy material things because we think it will help us achieve this goal. For example, the rich guy who throws a party at his fancy mansion does so because he wants everyone to see how successful he is and therefore admire and respect him. In a way, these luxuries indirectly buy him positive experiences with other people. However, it is important to remember that we can also have positive experiences with others that don’t involve material goods. A great example of this would be donating charity, since the only thing you get in return is the feeling of doing something good for someone else.
Of course, I have just given a brief overview of this complex topic. Feel free to weigh in with more thoughts in the comments down below. Don’t forget to like the post and share with your friends as well.