Although most of us know money can’t buy happiness, at some point, we’ve probably all thought we would be much happier if we just had a few more dollars in our pocket. And according to a recent Marist poll, we might be partially right.

The study found that for most people $50,000 was the tipping point between feeling optimistic about their situation or feeling despair.

The Exchange, a Yahoo finance blog, gives more details:

The study, which looked at quality of life across generations, found that for Americans with household incomes less than $50,000 (93 million U.S. households), their financial situation spills over to shape a generally negative view of their future and life. No surprise — they’re more likely to say they’re not very happy and more worried about becoming a burden to their families.

Those with a household income over $50,000 (60 million households) cite a better quality of life in every category measured, including housing, health, finances, and free time.

Is $50,000 the new magic threshold to ensure a satisfactory life? Not exactly. The Princeton research concluded that as people’s income exceeded $75,000, the happier they feel overall, with levels of well-being rising along with income. But making more than $75,000 doesn’t have an effect on their day-to-day happiness; above a certain income level, people’s emotional well-being is constrained by other factors, like temperament and life circumstances, the study said.

With the economy still inching toward recovery, and with millions of people watching as their incomes and personal wealth have taken a hit, it’s no wonder we’re feeling especially antsy about our financial futures.

What do you think? Have you crossed the $50,000 mark? Do you feel happier than when you were below $50,000? 

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