Nov
13
2012

New Research Asks Not If Money Can Buy Happiness, But How Much Does It Take?

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Research shows money can buy happiness

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A recent global survey asked people in different nations how much money they need to make annually to be happy. The Wealth Sentiment Survey was commissioned by Skandia International, an international investment company, and surveyed 5,000 workers from Asia, Europe, North America and South America. The results showed that, on average, £101,000 is the annual earnings amount that workers say would make them happy. Does this number sound right to you? Or if you’re earning this amount already, are you filled will glee? Do you agree that more money can make you happier?

Workers in Dubai felt they needed the most money to obtain happiness - £173,780 in fact. Residents of Singapore and Hong Kong had nearly as lofty standards, saying they needed £143,364 and £124,552 respectively. In Europe, our aspirations for contentment are much more realistic. Not surprisingly, our more stoic German neighbours required the least rhino for joy at a mere £54,042. Judging from time I’ve spent in Deutschland, if they can afford sausages, beer, a TV to watch football on and an occasional outing to Ikea, they’re a happy people. I’d be happy with all that myself – who doesn’t appreciate Swedish you-build furniture and a pint?

Happy German with beer

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Austria and France wanted a little more money than Germany, but less than the UK, equating earnings of £65,820 and £72,036 with satisfaction. UK workers had the fourth highest requirements in Europe – most of us say earning £83,796 would enable us to be happy. What do you think? Are you earning at or near this amount or do you think earning nearly £84k would satisfy you?

Skandia’s marketing manager Phil Oxenham said, “There are many more things in life that can make people happy but there is no doubt that money can help. It is fascinating to see the regional differences in levels of income and capital that people think they need to feel happy and wealthy.”

Money and happiness

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Similarly, a government study sponsored by PM David Cameron for the incredible fee of £2 million showed that poor people are the least happy and people who earn more income are happier. Shocking results, right? Arbuthnot Banking Group economist Ruth Lea said of the PM’s study,  “Surprise, surprise. The Office for National Statistics has serious work to do, producing things like unemployment and inflation figures. It is supposed to produce serious information that the Treasury everybody else relies on. Its budget is finite and it does not have money to waste on things like this. Why don’t they forget about this nonsense and put their energy into researching something that might help the country?”

I found the results of the Skandia study interesting because it revealed comparative information about our national outlook on income and debt versus others, but Cameron’s study was to me – just a waste of millions of taxpayer money to tell us what we already knew. But there was one more money and happiness study I came across that I did find compelling.

Money and happiness infograph

Image source: MarkHumphrys.com

San Francisco University in the US conducted research targeted at why we spend rather than how much. Their results showed that if you buy something simply to impress others rather than because it’s what you truly want, you’ll be less satisfied. Assistant professor Ryan Howell who conducted the research said, “Why you buy is just as important as what you buy. The biggest question you have to ask yourself is why you are buying something. Motivation appears to amplify or eliminate the happiness effect of a purchase.”

I agree with the San Francisco study that why you spend is important. Trying to keep up with the Joneses will only frustrate and stress you out. Splashing out on shoes worthy of Victoria Beckham won’t make you Becks-worthy no matter how much you spend. And I also agree that if you spend your spare cash on things that are both meaningful and enjoyable, you’ll be more content. For me, shoe shopping is immensely enjoyable. For my husband, not being made to go shoe shopping is immensely enjoyable, but he does like splurging on nights at the cinema, while our son gets great joy when we splash out on a trip to a theme park. Similarly, their happiness at doing these things makes me feel good about spending money on them for these things – not sure my husband feels the same about my shoes though!

Happiness shoe shopping

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Having money to spend can ease worries and produce satisfaction – research proves this out. This is yet another reason you need to pursue your PPI claim – getting the full redress you’re owed will make you happy – social science proves it! If you’ve been rejected by your bank or subjected to delays, Empire Claims can take on your claim and get it pushed through with no more hassles to you! Contact us today to get your PPI claim started!

Empire Claims is the #1 choice for recovering money you are owed for PPI products, bank and credit card charges. Their No Win No Fee philosophy means you don’t pay a penny if they don’t win your claim. If you believe you’re owed a claim from your bank, lender or other creditor contact Empire Claims to get help right away!

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