How much money do you need to be happy? According to economists, $36,000. Anything after that won’t increase your happiness.
All around the world, people report increased satisfaction with life, until they hit about $36,000, provided you adjust for purchasing power. After that, satisfaction dips, and no amount of money will bring it back.
According to Dr. Eugenio Pronto, co-author of the study, “In our study we see evidence that this is down to changes in the aspiration levels of people living in the richest countries. As countries get richer, higher levels of GDP lead to higher aspiration. There is a sense of keeping up with the Joneses as people see wealth and opportunity all around them and aspire to having more. But this aspiration gap—the difference between actual income and the income we would like—eats away at life satisfaction levels. In other words, what we aspire to becomes a moving target and one which moves away faster in the richest countries, causing the dip in happiness we see in our analysis.”
So, after you hit that $36,000 sweet spot, you’ll need to find something else to keep you happy. We recommend Scotch.