When I get irritated at my so-called lack of material success, I remind myself that I am making more than my parents ever made, even accounting for inflation. In fact, I am solidly middle-class, which is nice considering that my roots are solidly working class.
Now, a new study out of Princeton tells me that I am the point of maximum happiness related to the amount of money I make.
The crucial amount is $75,000 per year. Up to that point, according to the study, more money would make me happier. After that point, having a greater income doesn't significantly impact my general day-to-day happiness.
What the Princeton economists measured was daily satisfaction. For all the whining I do, and for all the debt I have accrued, I find myself in agreement with their findings--I am generally financially happy on a day-to-day basis.
My income easily covers my mortgage, utilities, food and vehicle. If it doesn't so easily cover my credit cards, dining out, gifts to my kids, etc., well, those aren't expenses that are crucial to my well-being.
Do I want more money? You bet. Do I want more stuff? Uh-huh! Do I want the financial freedom that comes with being debt-free? Sure, I do.
But in terms of happiness, I already have it. At least according to the folks at Princeton.
Hmmm--I wonder how much they make per year?