It’s been said that the answer to “How much money would make you happy?” is always, “Just 10% more.”
I have one friend who was honest enough to admit that 10% just wouldn’t cut it. About 50%, she said. That might do the job.
But the truth is (and you don’t need me to tell you this), money doesn’t make you happy. Sure, it can make you look better. It can alleviate some of the things that cause regular arguments (who is going to do the laundry this time?). It can make other people want to be your “friend.” But it can’t make you happy, because “happy” isn’t a product that’s for sale.
What can make you happy? Apparently long-term marriage can.
The Guardian reports: “Evidence suggests that people in long-term marriages are significantly more content than those who are not; one piece of research even suggested that it had the psychic benefit of an annual salary of £65,000.”
For those of you not up to date on your Euro conversions, that’s about $107,000.
The quote comes from an interview with David Brooks (okay, I know some of you just threw up a little … sorry), conservative political commentator and (new) student of brain research. In the article, Brooks explains:
“The relationship between money and happiness is very tenuous; the relationship between personal bonds and happiness is incredibly strong,” he continues. “So joining a club that meets once a month produces the same happiness gain as doubling your income. It’s all about the number of people you associate with and how intimately you associate with them.”
So essentially, if you’re in a content, long term relationship … you have the happiness equivalent of being one of the world’s richest individuals. (Plug £65,000 into http://www.globalrichlist.com/ … if you earned this annual salary you’d be among the top .53% richest people in the world.)
Thanks, David Brooks, for reminding me of that.