When industrialist John D Rockefeller was asked how much money was enough, he famously replied, ‘Just a little bit more.’
But is that really true – or is there a level of earnings where people naturally feel happy?
Researchers writing in Nature Human Behaviour found that there is a level – and it’s around £43,000 (if you’re single).
Lead author Andrew Jebb of Purdie University said, ‘That might be surprising as what we see on TV and what advertisers tell us we need would indicate that there is no ceiling when it comes to how much money is needed for happiness, but we now see there are some thresholds.
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‘It’s been debated at what point does money no longer change your level of well-being. We found that the ideal income point is $95,000 [£68,000] for life evaluation and $60,000 [£43,000] to $75,00 [£54,000] for emotional well-being.
‘Again, this amount is for individuals and would likely be higher for families.’
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.
Jebb said, ‘There was substantial variation across world regions, with satiation occurring later in wealthier regions for life satisfaction.
‘This could be because evaluations tend to be more influenced by the standards by which individuals compare themselves to other people.’