Can we end this “money doesn’t buy happiness” idea once and for all? I don’t even want to go into the nuance of it anymore. But here I go. It should be assumed money buys happiness and then there should be think pieces about how sometimes money isn’t enough to fully achieving happiness. Not the other way around.

Pay is undeniably linked to happiness. Wu Tang wasn’t lying when they said cash rules everything around me. Even if your unhappiness is linked to traumatic experiences that altered your brain chemistry, cash can help better than not having cash. Therapy costs money, healthcare to afford mental health medication costs money, fresh foods that help your brain function at its best cost more money than Top Ramen.

There used to be this caveat that, yes, money buys happiness but only to a certain point. That caveat stems from a study conducted in 2010. Us working class people have had to deal with the annoyance and gaslighting of the researchers’ paper ever since. The authors of the paper likely never intended for corporate America to misuse its research to keep us from asking for more. “We conclude that high income buys life satisfaction but not happiness.” To me it’s semantics, and cultural. I’d consider satisfaction happiness, but if I really had to choose between the two, I’d want an increase in satisfaction. The study also says happiness does increase up to about $75,000. The study was done in 2010, so that means in 2021, you can assume your happiness will increase up to about $94,000.

If you’re not making $94k at least from your job, then don’t let them pull the “money doesn’t buy happiness” card on you. And if you’re making more than $94k, let them know you’re interested in increasing your life satisfaction which the study shows continues to increase with more income.

Bottom line, don’t waste your time considering if more money will make you happier. Money is necessary in a capitalist society. You can be grateful for what you have and still work towards accumulating more wealth. Wealth is not evil, except in very rare cases, but if you’re reading my blog, I’m sure you don’t run a massive chain of factories where your employees have to pee in bottles to keep up with the demand of work they do.

Ask for more.


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