Researchers say that money CAN buy happiness, to a point, and that point is $75,000. Economist Angus Deaton and psychologist Daniel Kahneman reviewed surveys of 450,000 Americans and found that people’s day-to-day happiness increases along with their income up to about $75,000, and then happiness levels out with increased earnings. While happiness plateaus, as earnings rise above $75,000 to $100,000 and beyond, people’s sense of success and well-being did continue to rise. Based on my work with high income clients, I believe that increased income (beyond meeting basic needs) and happiness are positively correlated only if the work required to earn the income doesn’t conflict with other cherished values, such as time with family and friends and congruence with personal convictions about right/wrong.
In case you want to read the full study, here’s the reference:
Kahneman, D., Deaton, A. (2010). High income improves evaluation of life but not emotional well-being. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(38), 16489-16493.