195 // Money and Happiness

Does money buy happiness? Absolutely yes, and definitely not! Depending on your money experiences growing up, your answer may fall on either side of this equation. Whatever your situation was, you may have evidence to back up either answer. Both sides are right. 

James dives into the aspects of happiness that money can buy and how having more and more money does not lead to experienced happiness. We know that to a degree, money can buy happiness. We also know that once a certain money threshold is passed, the increase in happiness stops.

 

Episode Highlights: 

[02:41] There’s a threshold where money stops producing happiness. These are findings from a 2010 study by Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton.

[03:12] The numbers may be old but the truth is timeless. They looked at emotional well-being or real experience of happiness and joy. They also looked at life evaluation which is our judgment of it. 

[04:18] Higher-income improves someone’s life evaluation over time. The more money they have, the happier they feel they are. 

[05:02] The effects of income on emotional well-being satiates fully around $75,000. At least that was the amount in 2010.

[05:25] More money makes us think our lives are better, but doesn’t actually make our lives better after a certain threshold.

[06:10] More money decreases fear and anxiety. These increases in emotional well-being are experienced happiness. Once we get past a certain threshold, we only think more money is buying us the same benefits. 

[07:59] Why do people experience less happiness when they accumulate more and more?

[08:32] Once we have all that money, we have to do something with it.

[09:15] Constantly upgrading everything adds more and more stress to our lives.

[10:50] The things that make us happy are being safe and comfortable and connected to each other.

[12:17] If your financial needs are already met, then more money will not make you happier. 

[13:42] Define satisfaction and contentment ahead of time. What does it take for you to lead a life that is fulfilling?

[16:56] Take a pause and evaluate the full experience of happiness. Stop chasing what you already have.

 

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