We all have worries in life – most tend to be small or minor but occasionally we are faced with big, and even crippling worries (or at least that’s what they seem like to us). Perhaps understandably, there is a strong correlation between the amount of worries you have in your life, how you cope with them and ultimately, how happy you are. There is an unhealthy expectation nowadays where people believe that money will make all their problems and concerns disappear. But how true is this?
A lot of research out there suggests that the degrees of happiness to be gained from the amount of money you have drops dramatically once you have enough to cover your basic needs. In other words, if I’m making enough money to live on and if all other factors are balanced, I’ll be a lot happier than the person in crippling debt but not much less happier than the person who is making twice as much as me.
There are few more stressful worries than whether or not you can pay the bills at the end of the month, where the money for your next meal is going to come from or how you’re going to keep a roof over your head. But once you’ve got those bases covered what’s next? The number of worries that can be fixed through financial means (certainly for the comparatively small amount basic needs can be met) drops off significantly.
And this is where things turn upside down – more money can actually bring a different set of worries. If you can afford to buy a house, that brings the additional strain of having to pay a mortgage. Similarly, if you have enough money to put your children into a good school, that’s another large expense you could be lumbered with for over a decade.
Of course, this is not to say that you should just stay in a low-end job to cover your basic needs, forget the dreams of having your own home or drop the desire to give your kids a good education. But it does demonstrate that associating money with fixing all the worries and problems in your life isn’t necessarily the right thing to do – as much as the marketing industry would like you to think otherwise. We all hate it when rich celebratories, musicians and actors moan about their lives but if we put aside the money-envy for a moment, it does show that an healthy bank balance brings it’s own share of worries and problems.