Money and Happiness: A “Little” Paycheck Perspective

If you’re one of the many people on earth whose relative happiness seems to revolve around the dollar amount on your paycheck, the reality of starting out your career in an entry level position may just have you running for a cliff.

You (and I) may think that money is the key to living a happy life, but according to many experts, a six figure salary may buy you a nicer car, but it won’t buy you true happiness.

According to the blog Personal Finance Advice When Money Can Buy Happiness is when the amount you make meets your basic life needs: shelter, food and clothing. When those needs are met, it shouldn’t matter whether you make $100, $1,000 or $100,000 more, you already have the freedom to be happy.

And I would have to agree. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as superficial as the next 22 year old post-college sorority girl. I too dream of driving a nice car, having a closet full of cute new clothes and possessing the cash to eat out every night with my friends. However, when it comes down to it, my long term happiness (and yours too) doesn’t hinge on having the kind of money that makes those things possible.

The bottom line, as I’ve found out in the last six weeks of my new job, is money doesn’t mean happiness. Money means responsibility. None of us want to spend our carefree youth working 12 plus hour days because we have so much to do at work to earn that $80,000 paycheck. So, what we twenty-somethings need is not a bigger paycheck but a massive attitude adjustment. We have our whole lives to work ourselves to the bone chasing the ever-growing cash carrot. Why not enjoy living within our means (at least for now).

Not convinced? Check these out:

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September 17, 2008. Tags: , , , , . Career Advice, Life-in General.

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