The Other I

November 12, 2010

Inflationary cost of happiness

Filed under: Intriguing Science,Just Stuff,Uncategorized — theotheri @ 1:52 pm

I’ve been thinking about my post yesterday describing research finding that income increases up to $75,000 are correlated with reported levels of happiness among the half a million people interviewed in 2008-09.

This represents a significant inflation since a similar study found an annual income of about $20,000 would do it.

Personally, I think we benefit from recognizing the role money plays in reducing life’s stresses.  As my step-mother used to say “Money might not make you happy;  but it sure helps solve the problems that make you unhappy.”

Yet I’m inclined not to go overboard about just how much happiness money can buy.  Along with moderating our worries, I suspect money often makes more room in our lives for those things that do bring us positive happiness – love, work, friends, learning, music, all the beautiful things and places and experiences that bring us joy.

But I have to make an effort to achieve for those things.  Money doesn’t come with any of them automatically attached.

At least it sure doesn’t look like that to me.


1 Comment »

  1. Interesting connection between money and happiness. In my first marriage, lack of enough income to pay the bills etc. was a constant worry. I juggled, started my own business with kids at home, eventually went back into teaching, borrowed money from those creepy payday loan places, and basically tried to cover for my deadbeat husband in every way I could! He was – of all things- a lawyer,and could have been a good one, but didn’t value his work as worthy of pay. Ended up as a religious fanatic doing work for free for all his churchy friends.

    When he left, I could at last be free but still worried constantly about money. I had dug myself into a hole and couldn’t get out! By a total fluke (fate?) I got caught in a travel snafu on a plane in a snowstorm and met my current husband. In addition to love, I found out what it is like to live with no worries about money and to look forward to a retirement that’s not in poverty.

    But I have been reflecting on happiness this week after reading a blog by Ronni Bennett (“Time Goes By”, fabulous!) and feel that although now I can breathe freely without always worrying, having money is not what creates happiness. But not having it can really make it hard to be happy. I still spend money on travel but not on much else unless it’s necessary. I hate to shop. I research everything and read reviews before buying anything! I guess it’s the carefule ex-nun in me with the vow of poverty! Well, i lived it more outside the convent than when i was in it!
    My blog is at:


    Comment by katiekono — November 13, 2010 @ 4:08 am | Reply

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