And there’s a real danger that increased income can actually make you miserable—if your desire to spend grows with it.
But that’s not to say you have to live like a monk.
In one sense, people already know that their happiness is related to their income, but the details of how exactly that relationship works are important.
Income is often used as a convenient proxy for well-being in economics, but not every dollar of income has the same end effect.
Money can certainly help you achieve your goals, provide for your future, and make life more enjoyable, but merely having the stuff doesn’t guarantee fulfillment.
Money Brings Happiness Essays
This book will show you how to make the most of your money, but before we dive into the details, it’s important to explore why you should care.The paper looked at the level of negative emotion reported by participants in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics — a long-running longitudinal survey of thousands of Americans.People were asked how often they experienced negative feelings like nervousness, hopelessness or restlessness in the last 30 days (K9 scores).While the 2010 study found that three different measures of positive emotion (or lack of negative emotion) saw rapid improvement that slowed to nothing around ,000, it also looked at a fourth metric that continued to rise far after that point.That metric was "life evaluation" — a scale that asks the respondent to rate his or her life from 0, "the worst possible life for you," to 10, "the best possible life for you." It can be thought of as a measurement of how a person judges the success of their own life, rather than the feelings they experience while living it.That measure seems to be more sensitive to socioeconomic status, the authors noted.People naturally compare their lives and incomes to others', and even if they experience no negative emotions they may yearn for and be more satisfied with higher pay far beyond the level they would need to avoid pain or afford leisure.And for individual people, learning more about the relationship between income and happiness could help them find their own personal sweet spot — where income leads to life satisfaction without requiring additional sacrifices.There's still a lot of economics work that needs to done to fully understand that relationship.Previous studies have found a correlation between money and happiness, but the Case Western study used the data on individuals over time to demonstrate that income can a reduction in negative emotions.It also found that an increase in income can reduce the incidence of serious mental illness (defined as a score of 10 or higher).