As They Say, Money Isn’t Everything…

Money Isn’t Everything…

  • It can buy you a bed—but not sleep
  • It can buy you a clock—but not time
  • It can buy you a book—but not knowledge
  • It can buy you a position—but not respect
  • It can buy you medicine—but not health

Though research consistently shows that the more money people have, the more likely they are to report being satisfied with their lives, the data is slanted. Though money buys you things that make life easier and more satisfying, that relationship isn’t entirely linear, since there’s a limit to how much wealth can please you.

The happiness benefit of an increasing income is especially powerful among people who don’t have much money to start with, and diminishes as wealth increases. But studies also reveal that as average income levels have risen over time — in the U.S. and European nations, for example — residents of those countries have not reported being any happier than people were 30 or 40 years ago. It’s a paradox that while income and happiness may be associated within a population at any given moment, overall economic growth does not appear to correspond to a boost in national satisfaction over time.

Studies suggest that money matters, but only up to a point. Become rich enough, and a bigger paycheck no longer leads to more happiness. However, an individual’s rank, or status, appears to be a stronger predictor of happiness than absolute wealth. The higher a person ranked within his age group or neighborhood, the more status he had and the happier he was regardless of how much he made in dollars (or, in the study’s case, pounds).

~ Tom R.

Resources

The New Science of Happiness http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1015902,00.html

Study: Money Isn’t Everything — But Status Is!

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1974718,00.html

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