Since time immemorial, we have heard people say that ‘money can’t buy happiness’– a trope which is often doled out in order to encourage you to be content with what you have. But researches and studies in the past have confirmed that the old-age phrase isn’t necessarily true. A study conducted by study by Nobel Prize winning economists in 2010 even found that more money does make us happier, but our emotional well-being stops improving after an income of $75,000 (Rs 54 lakhs).Also Read - 5 Reasons Why Happiness at Workplace is Important
However, a new study has now found that money actually can buy happiness and you might even be infinitely happier with more money. The study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, based on 1,725,994 samples, says that despite what people say, money can buy happiness and there might not be an upper limit. Researchers found that higher incomes are associated with both feelings better and being more satisfied with life.
Lead author of the study, Matthew Killingsworth, reportedly collected real time reports from 33,391 employed adults in the United States wuth the help of smartphones, and found that both measures of well-being did not diverge, potentially increasing infinitely with income.
“Past research has found that experienced well-being does not increase above incomes of $75,000/y. This finding has been the focus of substantial attention from researchers and the general public, yet is based on a dataset with a measure of experienced well-being that may or may not be indicative of actual emotional experience (retrospective, dichotomous reports). There was no evidence of an income threshold at which experienced and evaluative well-being diverged, suggesting that higher incomes are associated with both feeling better day-to-day and being more satisfied with life overall,” the study, titled Experienced well-being rises with income, even above $75,000 per year, states.
“It’s a compelling possibility, the idea that money stops mattering above that point, at least for how people actually feel moment to moment. But when I looked across a wide range of income levels, I found that all forms of well-being continued to rise with income, Killingsworth told Medical Press.
“When you have more money, you have more choices about how to live your life. You can likely see this in the pandemic. People living paycheck to paycheck who lose their job might need to take the first available job to stay afloat, even if it’s one they dislike. People with a financial cushion can wait for one that’s a better fit. Across decisions big and small, having more money gives a person more choices and a greater sense of autonomy,” Killingsworth added.