MONDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Money can help buy happiness -- at least if you're bringing in about $75,000 a year, new research shows.
While happiness increases along with annual household incomes up to about $75,000, beyond that, earning more money has no effect on day-to-day contentment, according to the study.
But that doesn't mean you should give up trying to get that promotion. While making more won't help your emotional state on any given day, people who had household incomes above $75,000 were more apt to say they were satisfied overall with their life.
Those who made, say, $120,000 reported more satisfaction with their lives and had a higher assessment of their life overall than those who made less, while those who made $160,000 evaluated their lives even better still.
"It's really important to recognize that the word 'happiness' covers a lot of ground," said study author Angus Deaton, a professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton University. "There is your overall evaluation of how your life is going, while the other has to do more with emotional well-being at the moment. Higher incomes don't seem to have any effect on well-being after around $75,000, whereas your evaluation of your life keeps going up along with income."
The study is in the Sept. 6 early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Researchers used data from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which surveyed 450,000 Americans in 2008 and 2009 about their household income, emotional state during the prior day and overall feelings about their life and well-being.
Both measures of happiness are getting at something different, Deaton noted. You might be feeling blue or unhappy one day because your boss hassled you or you got a speeding ticket, but overall, you think life is going pretty well.
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