Harvard University and Science Journal are two places people go to learn some deep truths. And this time, I think they are on to one of the deepest of all. Their study was about how much money it takes to make someone happy.
Here’s the finding: If you live below the poverty line, more money seems to make you a little happier. Life gets easier; some of the daily pressures lessen. But…hear this…If you are above the poverty line, having more money does not make you any happier. Interesting. Hmm.
The study showed that even if a family who earns $45,000 per year has their income doubled to $90,000 per year, they are no happier than before. Michael Norton, professor at Harvard Business School said, “Most people think that if you make a lot more money, you are going to be happier, but our studies showed that this is not actually true.”
But there is something the study showed about happiness and money. And it doesn’t have anything to do with your earnings, but rather how you use your money. Norton went on to say, “It’s what you spend your money on that makes a difference in your happiness.”
Regardless of income levels, those who spent more money on others in need or gave to worthy causes reported greater happiness in their lives. Those who spent money on themselves were not as happy.
They then conducted a second study. Sixteen corporate employees were given bonuses, anywhere from $5000 to $10,000. And they were asked two months later how they used their bonuses. The results showed that the size of the bonus had nothing to do with their happiness. The only thing that related to happiness was that those who spent a portion of their bonuses on causes they believed in were the happier ones.
Next forty-six volunteers were given from $5 to $20 to spend that day anyway they wanted. You’re probably catching on by now, but just so you know, the ones who spent their money on others or gave it away were much the happier group. Buying someone else coffee makes you happier than buying it for yourself.
Now the SHOCKER! Harvard and Science Journal concluded… Are you ready for this?
“It is better to give than to receive.” I think I heard that somewhere before.