We hear a lot about how money can’t buy happiness. However, in some cases it really can. Recently, a study pointed out that $75,000 was the salary for happiness. Many might argue that they are perfectly happy with less than $75,000 a year. And that is probably true. However, the report does point something interesting out: Money can contribute to happiness.

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It would be nice to think that money can’t really buy happiness, but you would be hard-pressed to be happy without some of the basics that money can buy. Before we can be happy, many of us need a few things:

  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Some degree of security
  • Clothing

It takes money to be able to access many of these things. Even those who grow their own gardens may need money to supplement — or may need to buy the equipment necessary to save their produce for later use during winter months.

In the end, money buys the things that makes life bearable. You can enjoy better health care if you have more money. You can ensure that you have adequate heat during the winter if you have the right amount of money. If you have enough money to make rent or pay the mortgage, you have the security of knowing that you won’t be evicted from your home.

There are a number of little ways that money adds to life. Without the basic necessities, finding even a ground state of happiness is difficult. And, of course, money can add to life’s little pleasures. It doesn’t have to be about stuff, though. The $75,000 report points out that once you start earning more than that, your happiness level does not increase as much.

Clearly, materialism is not what makes us happy. The ability to buy more things does not generally lead to satisfaction with life. Instead, we are happier when we can enjoy the things we do have. And that, I think, is where money can contribute to happiness. Once you have the means to provide the necessities of life for you and your family, then it becomes a little easier to be happy.

What do you think? How much happiness can money buy?