Does money bring happiness?

People say “money can’t buy happiness” but scientific studies have proven that money can buy satisfaction, depending on how rich you are and how you spend it.

A 2010 study based on a survey and analysis of the lives of more than 450,000 Americans found that people with high incomes (about $75,000 per year) have a richer spiritual life than those with less money. Respondents said that money helps them meet basic needs such as experiencing life and building social relationships.

According to Lindsay Bryan-Podvin, a financial expert and author of the book “Financial Anxiety Solutions,” an American’s $75,000 annual income is not so ideal, but a measure of happiness. This revenue helps to meet basic needs for food, housing and health care. After that, the level of satisfaction increases when serving enough living expenses and personal preferences.

“The data also shows that when you are financially proactive, your mental health is also better. It can be stressful to always be in poverty,” Bryan-Podvin said.

The majority of Gen Z believe that money helps them become cheerful and happy. Illustration: Freepik

The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also said that adults with financial difficulties are more likely to experience depression and fatigue than those with an average or high standard of living.

The Harvard University study followed hundreds of men for 80 years, collecting data on physical and mental health. The results show that close relationships, including money or fame, keep people happy throughout life.

One popular theory is that spending money on experiences is more likely to make you happier than buying gadgets. A 2014 poll of more than 2,000 Gen Ys found that 78% prefer to spend money on experiences or events over material things.

In early 2022, luxury real estate brokerage RubyHome in California surveyed 1,000 Gen Zs in the US. 69% of respondents believe that money makes them happy.

But what is the price to buy happiness with Gen Z? Unlike previous generations, Gen Z (people born after 1997) think they can be considered “wealthy”, or enjoy a luxurious life with only $394,000. This number is significantly lower than the baby boomer generation, who need more than a million dollars to feel satisfied and happy. While, Gen X needs 887,211 USD and Gen Y is 721,020 USD.

But when it comes to financial well-being, or the sense of fulfillment and joy that comes with owning a fortune, Gen Z thinks just $74,950 a year is enough to make them happy. This number only accounts for 38% of the baby boomer generation ($322,651).

$74,950 can help Gen Z “buy” happiness, but can’t buy a home. A survey earlier this year by found that 61 percent of Americans can’t afford a home in the city they live in. Or in 2021, the non-profit consulting organization New America published a study “the gap between the rich and the poor of the Millennials is widening” showing that the percentage of home owners aged 25-34 has dropped dramatically. Another survey by Rocket Homes also shows that more than half of Millennials have to delay buying a home due to fear of incurring debt.

But not sure if you have a lot of money to be happy, because you spend a lot of money, or you don’t have time to enjoy.

“You could make $300,000, which sounds appealing in theory. But if you have to work 80 hours a week, what’s the use of the money you’re making?” “After all, money can increase the likelihood of life satisfaction, depending on how you spend it,” argues Bryan-Podvin.

Minh Phuong (According to NyPost, Insider)


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