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Study finds maybe money can buy happiness after all
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According to a new study from the University of Pennsylvania, money can buy a certain degree of happiness.

For the study released this month, researchers had 33,391 employed people between the ages of 18 and 65 to use a smartphone app that checked in on their emotions throughout the day. The app asked them to rank: “How do you feel right now?” and “Overall, how satisfied are you with your life?” Data was collected for seven years.

The study, which was reported on CNBC, showed all forms of well-being did in fact rise with income across a wide range of income levels.

“It suggests that as people advance in their careers and their incomes rise, it has the potential to make their life genuinely better,” said Matthew Killingsworh, who spearheaded the study at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Previous studies have indicated people tend to feel happier the more money they make up until around $75,000 a year. The latest study suggests happiness increases even after the $75,000 threshold. And money is crucial to weather uncertainties in life, like the COVID pandemic.

“If you have a financial cushion, you’ll be more able to ride out a period of unemployment, and if you have a high-paying job, perhaps it’s more likely you’ll be able to work from home and keep your job in the first place, all of which would give you more agency over your life,” Killingsworth told CNBC.

There are many factors besides money that contribute to a person’s happiness. Other research has shown that social relationships and connection are the most important contributors to happiness.

Other studies have shown when people have jobs that give them meaning or purpose, they’re happier, regardless of how much money they make.

Despite his study supporting the fact high-income people are generally happier, Killingsworth is well aware that life comes down to more than just dollars and cents.

“If anything, people probably overemphasize money when they think about how well their life is going,” Killingsworth said in the release accompanying the study.