Tuesday, August 31, 2004

All you need is $40k, everything else is wasted

In my search for a job I have received two emails today. One asking me if I want to buy into an international business consultancy and one link to the article Millions won't make you happier.
The rule is well established in research: The first $40,000 makes a big difference in one's level of happiness. After that, the impact is much smaller. The difference between someone making $40,000 and someone making $15,000 is far greater than the difference between $100,000 and $1 million.

Happiness is dependent on being able to meet basic needs for food, shelter and clothing. After meeting those needs you need to turn to something other than consumerism because additional money has negligible impact on how happy you are. Your level of happiness is largely dependent on your outlook.

And I believe it's true. When they say, "It's all about the journey," it really is about the journey. And if you cannot find contentment with where you are today, you will not find it where you are tomorrow.

That being said, I like spending money on the finer things. Sure, a frozen dinner is still good eatin' when your hungry, but--having learned to appreciate a well prepared salmon or filet mignon--I do have my druthers over which one I want on the plate in front of me.


Sister Sunshine said...

Good luck finding a job. BTW... I like your 101 things list. I'd always heard of it as "101 things to do before I die" or some such. Maybe I'll make a list... I had one on my old hard drive, which crashed... and like an idiot didn't have it backed up, so I'll have to start over. Anyway... just dropped by while blogsurfing and thought I'd say hi.
: )

xxxx said...

That was certainly true in my experience. I was incredibly poor in college. I subsisted on $0.35 bagels and $0.35 Diet Coke. When I got my first job, I was only making $31K, but it felt like a million. I could afford to eat the occasional meal in a restaurant, I could see a movie (and not just the matinee!), I could buy new clothes. It was amazing. Each year after that, I got fairly substantial raises, but it never made much difference in my lifestyle. I think you tend to waste a lot of "raise" money on disposable things like books, Starbucks, vacations. At the end of the year, you're never quite sure what you did with all of it. :-)