• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
programming forums Java Mobile Certification Databases Caching Books Engineering Micro Controllers OS Languages Paradigms IDEs Build Tools Frameworks Application Servers Open Source This Site Careers Other all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
Marshals:
  • Campbell Ritchie
  • Paul Clapham
  • Jeanne Boyarsky
  • Junilu Lacar
  • Henry Wong
Sheriffs:
  • Ron McLeod
  • Devaka Cooray
  • Tim Cooke
Saloon Keepers:
  • Tim Moores
  • Stephan van Hulst
  • Frits Walraven
  • Tim Holloway
  • Carey Brown
Bartenders:
  • Piet Souris
  • salvin francis
  • fred rosenberger

Money can't buy happiness

 
Author
Posts: 6049
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
...at least not according to this article.

--Mark
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 904
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Interesting article..

And I must admid, that I - by far - agree with her.
 
blacksmith
Posts: 1332
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Er, that article claims that the first $40,000/yr does buy happiness!

And the author isn't rich enough to own a private jet ... having heard how wistfully executives used to talk about corporate jets, that actually might be the next magic number after $40k.
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 820
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A while back I met a pretty rich family. The dad is the editor of a major UK paper and the mum is an ex-model. At first I was very jealous of their house - it was large, in a nice area and full of modern hi-tech equipment. They had two cars and a chauffer. In short they had a lot of what most people aspire to.... but it didn't make them much happier then the average person.

In order to get all that money the dad worked very long hours, leaving little time to enjoy it. Despite having a cleaner, nanny, gardener and chauffer the mum spent most her time running around stressed about how much she had to do - she had adapted to her rich life style and found new things to be stressed about. The most stressful thing in her life was to be constantly "good enough" in comparison with the other stressed wives of rich people. If one of them had something better, or went to buy something new, then she felt tremendous pressure to do the same. Even the kids weren't that happy. Just about every week they got brand new toys from their parents, but weren't satisfied by them - there were just too many to play with and they were always looking forwards to the weekly present instead of playing with the new toys. When the eldest child got old enough he was packed off to a private school, where the pressure to conform to the other posh kids (at the age of 3) made him very unhappy.

After a while I realised that despite them having all this money, I wouldn't trade my life for theirs. I have a small flat, not much money, no car and all my electrical equipment is falling apart... but who cares? I've got what I need, I don't have to work long hours and the things I enjoy doing don't cost much to do.

At the end of the day happiness comes from improving yourself, not improving your stuff.
 
Joe King
Ranch Hand
Posts: 820
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Another point to consider. While the article (and I suppose what I said above) seems to imply that "poor" people can be happier then rich people, I think its a bit of a flaw to think of ourselves as "poor". Just about everyone who posts on this site does so because they have access to a computer and to the Internet. Most of us take for granted that we have a home to go home to at the end of the day and enough food to keep us healthy. For a large majority of the world that isn't true. When we think about the problems other people have, it puts it all into perspective a bit more. Instead of thinking "I would be happy if I could buy a new car", it would be better to realise that we already have a lot, and its more then enough to give us the opportunity to be happy.
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 5093
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
money doesn't make you happy but it sure helps

As to putting a specific number to it, that's pretty meaningless without providing geosocial data as well.
I guess the $40k figure is for a specific part of the US. But someone living in central New York or LA would be hard pressed to pay the rent and food at that income while someone in a small town in Minesota (for example) could live very nicely indeed on it.
And that's just inside one (albeit rather large) country.
For someone in say Indonesia a lot less will buy them the same level of earthly posessions that will cost $40k in that US town so he may need only $10k a year to be free of immediate financial worries.
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1211
Mac IntelliJ IDE
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Joe King:
At the end of the day happiness comes from improving yourself, not improving your stuff.[/QB]



Very true, Joe.

The biggest effect money or lack of it has on my happiness, is that not having enough money sometimes curtails my freedom to do things that I'd like to do. For example, if I want to go to a university but dont have enough have money for it, obviously I am not going to be very happy about it.

Again, it is ok if I have the options to make that money by working hard and honestly, but a lot of people dont have that option...

So..what I am saying I guess is that... money matters to a certain extant, but after a certain limit...more money does not equate to more happiness, IMHO.
 
Saloon Keeper
Posts: 22127
151
Android Eclipse IDE Tomcat Server Redhat Java Linux
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
"A poor person is not one who has little, but one who wants much".

The article in question is written from the point of view of an individual, who - unless I missed it - hasn't had to live on $40K recently. $40K can be a surfeit or inadequate depending on what you feel is "essential" for happiness, how many dependents you have, and what health care needs you must supply. And, of course, where you live.

There have been more scientific studies done on the topic, but they basically say the same thing. You can never buy happiness, and often the wealthier you are, the less you enjoy it. But the converse isn't necessarily true.

I could undoubtedly be significantly wealthier if I'd pushed harder to take advantage of various educational and employment opportunities. But I'm quite content to be where I am and be doing what I'm doing, and, in fact, these days, when I consider acquiring a new toy, I have to convince myself that I have room to store it and the desire to keep it happy (e.g. upkeep).

I could buy more room if I were wealthier, but when you have to start paying people to keep your toys up, they're not really your toys, anyway, as fars as I'm concerned.
 
lowercase baba
Posts: 12856
52
Chrome Java Linux
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
To paraphrase the wise old sage "Weird" Al Yankovic:

"Money can't buy happiness, so I guess I'll have to rent it"
 
Svend Rost
Ranch Hand
Posts: 904
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Warren Dew
Er, that article claims that the first $40,000/yr does buy happiness

And the author isn't rich enough to own a private jet ... having heard how wistfully executives used to talk about corporate jets, that actually might be the next magic number after $40k.



According to Maslow's hierachy of needs, in order to be happy/feel
personal growth one needs to have shelter over their heads, food on the
table ect. I guess that's why the first 40K is important.
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 77
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There is no such a commercial product called "happiness" in any stores, with a price tag on it.

Sure, more money does not necessarily mean more happiness.

But more "what" means more happiness?

Happiness is an individual business. We can interpret money here as "occupation of material" --- and we can probably say money probably is not sufficient to gurantee happiness, but necessary.

All it was saying, I mean the article, is "if you are not very greedy and you can make $40K then you can be happy".

See, still $40K here. He thinks $40K is an easy thing.

What a mess.

You may be very happy at $40K --- then I guess $50K would not hurt your happiness. It's another issue that another guy is not happy with his $100K!

Happiness is an individual business. and a subjective business.

Some argue to get $50K you need to work harder. But if it does not require more work, it's OK.

This implies, money is not an issue. How you make the money is.

Let's be plain clear. For an average worker, money means what he earns from hs labor. We can asume it's generally true that an average worker will not oppose a payraise which does not require more work --- i.e., he DOES not enjoy his work so much that he will feel it unfair to let him do the same amount of work while being paid more.

So money, we can assume, for an average person, is nothing but his sweat and blood which he generally would not enjoy shedding.

Tell him that he would not feel happier if he reaps more money with same or less sweat!

And it's nonsense to discuss whether or not having more money means more happiness. Someone may enjoy dining out at a certain rate more than he hates sweating as a programmer paid at a certain rate --- so he chooses to sweat more at work so that he can dine out, which he feels happier than working less for less money but cooking for himself. Some other guy may hold exactly the opposite view.

All if all, it's the preference of individual choices.

It may be barking at the wrong tree to teach someone who's not happy with his money that he has enough money to be happy if he curb his greediness a bit for money.

Many people are unhappy because they have to sweat to earn money and they think (1). many others sweat less to make the same money; or/and (2) they should also sweat less to make the same money; or/and (3). they should make their money by a way of sweating they enjoy or by not sweating at all.

And indeed, let's not forget many a person in this world is sweating more than 10 hours a day to just fill his stomach. Tell him he could be happier to eat less and sweat less.

Did you ever see one person who feel unhappy about some extra effortless money, such as a payraise, a lotterey hit, jeopardy winning prize, etc.?
 
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand
Posts: 5093
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Svend Rost:


According to Maslow's hierachy of needs, in order to be happy/feel
personal growth one needs to have shelter over their heads, food on the
table ect. I guess that's why the first 40K is important.



If you pay $3k+ a month in rent or mortgage for your appartment $40k a year won't do all that...
And in many big cities that's fast becoming a reality (if not already the case) even for small apartments.

He's indeed unlikely to have had to live on $40k a year in the last 10-15 years, if ever.
20 years ago $40k would be quite a lot, today it equates to what a $15k income would have been back then.
 
Svend Rost
Ranch Hand
Posts: 904
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jeroen Wenting
If you pay $3k+ a month in rent or mortgage for your appartment $40k a year won't do all that...
And in many big cities that's fast becoming a reality (if not already the case) even for small apartments.

He's indeed unlikely to have had to live on $40k a year in the last 10-15 years, if ever.
20 years ago $40k would be quite a lot, today it equates to what a $15k income would have been back then.



Im not from the US, and I dont know what you pay per month for an appartment, but in those countries I know (Denmark, Germany & GB) you
would get a pretty nice appartment for 3$/month.

Ofcause, living costs are higher in a "big city", which are why the
pay is equivalent high. But everyone doesn't live in a big city.

Personally, I aim higher than 40K$/year.. then ofcause, I live in Denmark
where one has to pay around 50% income tax ([rant]and even more, if you earn more than $53K/year [/rant]).

/Svend Rost
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 199
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yo'll missed da main point. There is a subtle message there. Read the following again.

From the article: Happiness is dependent on being able to meet basic needs for food, shelter and clothing.

The message being, there should be no tax on the first 40K of your salary.


From the article: After meeting those needs you need to turn to something other than consumerism because additional money has negligible impact on how happy you are.

You must not complain about the high tax rates above 40K.

Penelope Trunk probably gets paid by the federal government
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1759
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Money can give life and a living.
Don't forget to donate to Band Aid 20.
 
Svend Rost
Ranch Hand
Posts: 904
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
@ Bhau Mhatre



/Svend Rost


ps. I wont - if the first 40K I earn is "tax free".
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 311
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

So technically, most of you should be happy.


I thought the median/average income in the US was around $28K. So the number making more than $40K is probabaly like 33%.

If you follow her advise about subtracting the cost of goods sold from sales to get real income then it's less and 33%.

If you have money, you get a job for fun or sport. You don't get one that has a bunch of head aches.

I see a strong dose of life is what you make it here. But then most everyone agrees too with - life is not fair.

Without doubt, my favorite part of the article was that she did not pass the collection plate.
 
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper
Posts: 22127
151
Android Eclipse IDE Tomcat Server Redhat Java Linux
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
$3K/month for mortgage is over twice what I'm paying for a pretty decent house in a pretty decent location. And I'm paying over twice what I did on my old house (though 20 years of infaltion is one reason why).

Last time I heard, $40K was somewhere about the median income for American households. That's HOUSEHOLDS, as in, in the modern-day U.S.: multiple people and/or multiple jobs. I know someone who's making $25K and hates it, but it's $10K more than just about anything else awailable for the skill set. Which would still be a nice increase over what most of the hospitality people down in Orlando get.

In a sense, those of us in IT are just as out of touch as the author about what it "really" takes to live happy. When we're employed, even the least of us would be pulling in over $40K - excepting those in Asia, where the cost of living makes up for it.

Taxes? In the US if you're living so close to the edge that your lifestyle is going to be seriously impacted by the rise and fall of American tax rates, you're already living on the edge of a financial cliff and one good illness divorce or other life event is likely to push you over. Time to rethink what types of "happiness" you really want to buy, and start saving for that rainy day.
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 451
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Possibly the most interesting thing in that piece was the multiple choice test. Thanks for posting that link Mark.

I thought about that for a while. I always was a 1 - 1 person (adversity makes one stronger and I'm good at making my own success). In recent years I've had some hard times and sort of degenerated into a 2 - 2 (Bad things happen to everyone - I got lucky).

Lately I've been bouncing back and finally it really clicked for me about 10 days ago. Now I'm back to being a 1 - 1. Big time. Pretty amazing or maybe just reversion to type.



I think she is pretty much correct. The figures will vary based upon where you live and work and whether you are single or have family to support. I think she's assuming a single person without dependents. I live in London, which has to be more expensive than virtually any city in the US with the possible exception of Silicon Valley.

I sat down and figured my finances. I can live decently on �24K take-home and pleasingly on �30-35K. Pleasingly being defined as a couple good vacations a year, long weekends in Europe, seeing a couple West-End shows a month and visit a nice restaurant perhaps three times a month. As well as other stuff.

Yet I want to make more and believe that properly used money can be used to increase happiness. Savings can be used to substitute for the now vanished job security to a significant degree. Savings can also give you flexibility.

Currently I'm between jobs and some great possibilities are opening up around here. I posted my CV on Jobserve and have been getting cold calls from recruiters for a range of weird jobs. I'm probably going to make more hourly on my next gig than I've ever done before. Not that it's critical. I might even cut my asking price to land the JINI gig I heard about today.

I think that money is far from the root of all (or even most) evil. But love of mammon is a very bad thing. Using the amount you make OR the luxury of your lifestyle as your marker of self-worth is incredibly self-destructive in the long run.

As I learned very well since 2001. The money can go away at least in the short term. We all depend on a market which can develop serious hiccups every decade or so. So it's well to have and build reserves.

When I decide what job to do it will be the best combination of money, work terms, and satisfaction that I can manage. If I run a surplus over my 'pleasing life' I'll save & invest the surplus. Maybe do a good deed or two, self-satisfaction is VERY important!

The big thing is I'm going to do what I want to do for whom I want to do it. Hand me too much grief and I'll finish out the contract and go elsewhere. Or not finish if the grief is intense enough! Give me a real challenge and treat me sufficiently worshipfully when and if I come through and you'll have to boot me out when you get tired of my ugly mug!
 
Homer Phillips
Ranch Hand
Posts: 311
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

I am good at creating my own success.



Yeah, that's the ticket... Decide you are going to get some certs and move into the lucrative java market.
 
Joe King
Ranch Hand
Posts: 820
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Society seems to say "Let money be the indication of success".

I think my personal measure is something like "I am successful if I'm happy".

After thinking about it a bit more, I think it should be something more like "We are all only successful when everyone is happier".
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 8943
Firefox Browser Spring Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Joe King:
Society seems to say "Let money be the indication of success".

I think my personal measure is something like "I am successful if I'm happy".

After thinking about it a bit more, I think it should be something more like "We are all only successful when everyone is happier".





 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1907
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
But I will be happy if I get success.
 
When all four tires fall off your canoe, how many tiny ads does it take to build a doghouse?
Devious Experiments for a Truly Passive Greenhouse!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paulwheaton/greenhouse-1
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic