Mo money, no mo problems: Study says increasing income increases happiness

While the common adage says “money can’t buy happiness,” that must have been written by someone who doesn’t have much of it, according to a new study. 

Matthew Killingsworth, a senior fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School, just completed an extensive study of 33,000 people, and he discovered “all forms of well-being continued to rise with income.”

Prior studies had found that once a person’s salary reaches $75,000, they stopped stressing about money — and the more money they made above that high water mark didn’t have any additional positive effect on them. 

Using a custom-made app that examined nearly two million data points from over 33,000 people between the ages of 18 and 65, Killingsworth determined that yes indeed, one’s sense of well-being does in fact rise as they stack that paper. 

Killingsworth’s study let people self-analyze as to their various happiness levels throughout the day, and those making more money — and certainly over $75K a year — experienced increased senses of well-being compared to those who weren’t making that much dough. 

“I don’t see any sort of kink in the curve, an inflection point where money stops mattering,” he said in a university release. “Instead, it keeps increasing.”

“When you have more money, you have more choices about how to live your life. You can likely see this in the pandemic,” he explains. “People living paycheck to paycheck who lose their job might need to take the first available job to stay afloat, even if it’s one they dislike…Across decisions big and small, having more money gives a person more choices and a greater sense of autonomy.”

That being said, Killingsworth insists obsessing over making more money isn’t healthy.