How Much Money Can Make You Happy

Image from iam1percent

If I pose the question, how much money can make you happy, I might be hearing answers like millions or even billions. Want to know why? I’m a psychic. I can read your mind. Nah, don’t believe me. It is just human nature to answer such given that kind of question.

Once in our lives, we have that desire to be rich and to be wealthy. I for one admit that. I want to be able to have the money to buy anything I want, go wherever I want and do whatever I want. I want to have the resource that if there’s something I would like to buy in the mall, I can easily buy in an instant. With those desires and hopes in life, it drives us to work really hard in order to achieve that. As for my case, I add other sources of income in order to alleviate my initial money pool. I juggled works and more. I keep track of my money carefully and I save up and all. I was able to attain my savings goal yet I still work hard. Then it hit me.

Why am I doing all of these? What for? Am I already satisfied? Am I happy with that? Should I stop or not? And all other questions were running in my mind.

We have that connotation that a high income or millions in your bank is a measure of life satisfaction. But the real question is, just how much money you really need. What exact amount will satisfy you? How much money can make you happy? Think about it. Is a million enough for you? Or do you want more?

Humans as we are, we are never contented and satisfied. There is that constant quest to yearn for more. And that is not a bad thing at all. No wonder, even if I attained the desired amount in my savings before, I still work. There is that connection that the greater your money, so is your happiness level. However, it does not boil everything to money. Even more, it could not guarantee that you’ll be happier with it.

To determine the amount that would make you happy, there are varied ways for you to do such.
The first approach involves calculating for your magic number. In order to identify how much money you really need, you simply need to look at two areas in your life. First would be your expenses and the next one would be the necessary indulges. Add the two and the sum would be your magic number. This means the amount of money you need to live a life you love and enjoy in the future. Let me explain.


We all have expenses. There are many things in life that we need to pay and constantly pay like out water bills, electricity and more. Hence, add up your basic living expenses that includes your debt and also the important stuffs likes your food, gas, medical bills and more. Include here as well how much money you would constantly allocate for your emergency fund, retirement and investment. When calculating for your expenses, only define the things that you need. I am sure you don’t need a monthly allowance for chocolates right?

Necessary Indulges

The next thing to look at would be the things that will make you happy. However, don’t go overboard here. You might think that everything can make you happy. When we talk about necessary indulges, these are the wants that will help cultivate you and your loved ones. It might be travel with the whole family or gifts for them. Or you might want to buy books for yourself or learn a new hobby or a new skill. Whatever rocks your boat.

Another approach would be not in virtue of money but in terms of maximization of your funds. This virtue revolves around money use. Regardless of salary, you are able to draw certain activities and things that can contribute to your happiness. What we do with our money has an important role that connects to our happiness. There is this thing called indulging a little less than you usually do that holds a key to getting more happiness. This is an extension of Dunn and Norton’s concept of underindulgence. "This means indulging a little less than you typically do- may lead you to a place where you achieve more happiness for your money. The concept is that by denying yourself the excess that you may ultimately desire may allow you to savor and appreciate the finer things in life. Dunn gives the example of indulging in chocolate sparingly -instead of in excess- may actually make you appreciate the taste and texture much more."

The last approach would be using your money for others. There is that satisfaction when you spend money on them rather than on yourself. There is a great feeling of reward when you inculcate the feelings of sharing and contentment. No wonder when other people are asked what makes them happy, they would typically answer if they can just eat three times a day, that would be enough for them. This approach in a way or another relates to the second one with regards to money utilization.

In summary, how much money you need to be happy revolves around meeting our everyday expenses while getting a little fun and sharing it with others. We must understand that we are just money steward and it is our goal to be able to use this sparingly and effectively. More than generating money for ourselves, it is also best to consider others and seek opportunities where we can share our wealth and indulge less. In the end, it’s not the money that matters; it’s how you use it that determines its value.

P.S. To those doing the 52 Week Money Challenge and 52 Week Money Challenge Version 2, it is Week 37 already! Did you deposit the next amount yet?

P.P.S Want to know more about investing, savings, stock market and more, check out my reference here. You can download free ebooks and resources too.