A favourite theme of e-mail forwards is that ‘money isn’t everything’ and ‘do what you love doing, answer your calling, money is secondary”. These mails make you feel good momentarily, especially when you don’t have too much money or not earning as much as your neighbor. The famous debates in Tamil TV channels invariably come out in favour of ‘love’ over “money” so that everyone can go home without regretting that they don’t have too much money.
Scientists don’t take such mail forwards or debates at face value. They dig deeper. They get hold of hundred people who are happy, another hundred who are not happy and question them to find out if money does play any role. Does more money lead to more happiness or less happiness?
Well, the answer is….
The researchers discovered that money is indeed a major factor in day-to-day happiness. You need to make as much money as to meet all your basic needs as well as cater to a higher Maslowian need- like buying an iPad product. But the money vs happiness curve reaches a plateau. In the US, the researchers found that the threshold was $75000. Up to this point, the happiness level keeps going up. Beyond this pojnt, it doesn’t make too much of a difference. A person making $250,000 a year has no greater emotional well-being or a sense of happiness than the person earning $75000. (source)
I wonder what’s the figure for us in India. What do you think?