People say money doesn’t buy happiness. But according to a new study from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, it kind of does to the tune of about $75,000 a year. The lower a person’s annual income falls below that benchmark, the unhappier he or she feels. But no matter how much more than $75,000 people make, they don’t report any greater degree of happiness.
The study points out that there are actually two types of happiness. There’s your changeable, day-to-day mood: whether you’re stressed or blue or feeling emotionally sound. Then there’s the deeper satisfaction you feel about the way your life is going. While having an income above the magic $75,000 cutoff doesn’t seem to have an impact on the former (emotional well-being), it definitely improves your day-to-day mood. In other words, the more people make above $75,000, the more they feel their life is working out on the whole. .
The authors found that most Americans — 85% — regardless of their annual income, felt happy each day. Almost 40% of respondents also reported feeling stressed (which is not mutually exclusive with happiness) and 24% had feelings of sadness. Most people were also satisfied with the way their life was going.
For more of the details about the money/happiness relationship check out this article in Time Magazine.