Can Money Buy Happiness?

Greetings all, 

Thank you for joining us for another issue of the Bona Fide Monthly Newsletter. For this month, we’d like to wade into an age-old question, ‘Can Money Buy Happiness?’. At Bona Fide, we enjoy digging into the numbers and ensuring our clients use their financial resources as best they can to achieve their goals, but we also believe it is important to know why we are working to earn all this money. Will working more and earning more make us happier? Is it better to earn more or to work less while being more efficient with our resources? How much is ‘enough’? These are important questions and we hope the links below will help you think a little more about what makes you happy in your own lives. 

Read – 
Most people are familiar with the figure of $75,000 being the number often quoted as providing happiness. Turns out, it’s a little more nuanced than that. According to a Purdue study from 2018, $60,000 to $75,000 provides emotional happiness, and levels around $95,000 provide the opportunity for life evaluation. From Purdue “Emotional well-being, or feelings, is about one’s day-to-day emotions, such as feeling happy, excited, or sad and angry. Life evaluation, really life satisfaction, is an overall assessment of how one is doing and is likely more influenced by higher goals and comparisons to others.” Keep in mind that these are figures for an individual and the numbers would necessarily increase for families. Also creating a disparity in the numbers is the location in the country or world you live in. Spoiler alert…. “The study also found once the threshold was reached, further increases in income tended to be associated with reduced life satisfaction and a lower level of well-being.”

Listen – 
In doing research for this newsletter, we came across a great podcast called, Your Life, Simplified. Conveniently enough, they had an episode called, Can Money Buy Happiness? This is a good listen if you’re interested in another perspective, this time from Dr. Elizabeth Dunn, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia. We like this episode because it focuses on how to achieve “happier spending” and get the biggest happiness quotient out of each dollar that you spend. It’s a good thing to keep in mind when you are considering a purchase. Will this thing make me happier? If so, for how long and why? If you wind up deciding you have enough and it’s time to give back a little, you can also check out the following episode about community involvement and giving back

Watch – 
Still not convinced? Well, here is the video that started us down this rabbit hole. Titled, The Price of Happiness, author Benjamin Wallace sampled the world’s most expensive products, including a bottle of 1947 Chateau Cheval Blanc, 8 ounces of Kobe beef, and the fabled (notorious) Kopi Luwak coffee. If you’d like to read about those and other experiences Ben had, you can check out this GQ article. Both the article and the video are quite entertaining, so we highly recommend them. If money were no object, what is one thing or experience you would like to spend a large sum of money on?

That’s it for this month. We hope the above links gave you something to think about and reach out if you have any questions or comments. Also, if you haven’t, take a listen to our podcast, The FI Entrepreneur. We are closing in on a dozen episodes and think we are getting better with every show. What do you think?

Wishing you happiness, regardless of how much money you make, 

The Bona Fide Family