Fortunately, this is a question I have not had to answer yet because I not out on my own yet and still have the financial support of my family. However, in a few short months that is soon to end.
So, how much money do you need to be happy? In a column by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton said the magic number that defines a comfortable standard, although it varies across individuals and countries, in the US, it seems to fall somewhere around $75,000 a year. The column also goes on to say that the beneficial aspects of money taper off after the $75,000 cutoff.
I am most certainly not going to be making $75,000 a year come May, but I am confident that my basic needs will be met. Isn’t that all we need? Our basic needs met in order to be happy? The principle is true: more money does not make more happiness. I am not saying that those who make more money are not happy; it completely depends on the individual and their outlook on life. More money will not make someone who is unhappy, happy.
There are two circumstances that determine true happiness more than money:
Your Social/Personal Relationships
Choose a career where the people are happy. Do not ask yourself, “Does my job make me happy?” And, do not ask someone “Does your job make you happy?” Why? They will have too much invested and may answer yes in order to convince themselves they are happy with their career and love their job – even if they don’t.
Social and personal relationships are the most important aspect in an individual’s life. Keeping relationships close and healthy are what truly define happiness in our lives. Think about it. People who have a lot of money and personal relationships where they are unhappy, generally are miserable, even though they may not seem as they are.
Alternatively, people who have their basic needs fulfilled and great personal relationships are happy and may not be as financially stable as others. And these relationships I am talking about are both friendships and monogamous relationships.
These relationships are the most important factor when determining our happiness. Consistent, healthy and supportive friendships allow for us to confide in others when there may be no one else to turn to. It is so important to have that one person you can trust and someone who is on your side. Someone who will support you regardless of the situation, listen to you vent and be there for you, even at 3 a.m.
Consistent partners are also necessary in life. Regardless of past relationships and experiences, your current partner needs to be supportive, understanding and there needs to be open communication. Talking about everything and honesty are the keys to a happy relationship.
So, I ask again. How much money do you need to be happy in life? Does it matter that much to you?