questionshow much money is enough to keep you happy or…

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Money does not buy happiness but $1,000,000 would be a nice round figure. This is kind of a trick question because human nature says that we live within our means. That is not written in stone but is proven on a daily basis.

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@driley1974: Until credit cards came along. Now we just have to live within our credit limit.

To answer the question, enough that I'm not checking my bank balance before I make a purchase. Not talking car purchase, but day-to-day Woot deals type stuff.

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More than I have now.

Really, enough to pay off the mortgages is all I really want.

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I have no idea how much money is enough to keep me happy or content... but I sure would like to find out....

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@driley1974: It's been shown that up to a certain point, people with money are happier.

It comes down to having enough money for the essentials. Food, clothing, housing. People who have enough money to comfortably afford those things with enough left over for a few luxuries are normally happier than those people who are constantly struggling to make ends meet. Less daily stress = happiness.

There is a dollar amount that I read that caps that theory. I forget what it was, but my gut wants to say that it's at about the $200k per year mark. After that if you're short on money it's more likely due to lifestyle choices rather than quality of life (buying a house that's too expensive, too many cars, etc.)

To answer the question, I think that if I were given $300-500k today, I could use that to make myself comfortable and happy for the rest of my life. I'd be living modestly, but I would be happy.

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I think enough money to be happy would have to be enough to;
pay off the mortgage
cover all the bills
woot a little
travel
go out for drinks/dinner a couple times a month
buy a LOT of books.

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I've spent enough time at the bottom of the chain that $100k per year would fend off finances inhibiting happiness. People at that earning level purport to share my financial constrictions, but I dare them to live at 23k per year with others to support. :P

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I make about 45K right now, and I am happy and content. It allows me to pay the mortgage on my cute little old house, pay off my practical little car, pay the rest of my bills and still create art, volunteer, enjoy my pets, and travel the world. In two years when I retire that's going to be going down to about $35k, but I expect I'll be even more happy and content as I will have a lot more time to dedicate to the things I love. Of course I'd love to get a windfall that would make it all easier. The specific windfall that I dream of is about $50K, which would allow me to pay off all my debts and retire comfortably instead of going into retirement with some debt still hanging over me. I agree with both sentiments expressed. Happiness is a life choice, not something you buy. But having enough money to meet basic needs certainly makes it easier to be happy.

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If we are talking a 1 time cash payment $3,120,000 would pay off everything and invest enough for a $45000/yr income (carefully invested to try to assure growth in line with inflation).

If we are talking yearly pay, I think I get paid at a very comfortable level, and my wife's income covers all "FUN".

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Happy and Content are two different words with two differente meanings.

Content: I'd be Content with 3,913,282.48 so almost 4 million. This would give me $2000 per month for the next 60 years with a 3% cost of living increase each year.

Happy: No money would make me happy because I am never happy. If I had a couple billion dollars, that would not make me happy. I have never found any hobby or anything that I enjoy doing so it's not a money issue. I've asked friends and family members to find something to make me happy and nothing has ever come up.

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@jkaleda: Ha, you did something very similar to me but used 70 years at $3750 per month not counting for inflation or cost of living increases.

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I earn less than $10,000 a year, and I am happy. I work part time, live in a decent but cheap apartment, eat cheap food (which is the kind I prefer, anyways). My hobbies are pretty inexpensive. I do not drive, so I don't have to worry about a car payment or car insurance.

I prefer to have a lot of free time, so I am happier living cheaper and working less.

I suppose I would be happier if I made enough that I could save for retirement.

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As long as I can go out to eat a few times a month and comfortably buy household items as I have need, I'm happy. As long as I don't fear hitting zero on the checking account. My wife and I have had a lot of ups and downs with income and a lot of unexpected expenses. And now we're spending hundreds a month just paying off debt, but we have enough leftover to enjoy life a little bit. That's all we really need. I'm happy and content right now.

Sure, there's lots of things I would like to have. But I know that many times in the past I've thought "I really need this" and once I have it, I rarely use it. So I just keep that in mind all the time and realize that I don't need anything. We don't own our own home yet, but that's not a requirement to be happy - it will be a source of headaches when the time comes, so no need to bring it on earlier than necessary.

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Just a little more than I make now. Always just a little more....:)

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All the answers so far are somewhat logical and just talking about self fulfillment. For me though, I'd need enough money that I can literally lose $10+ billion and not worry about it (like Warren Buffet). I'd want enough money to buy off every politician and be able to do anything I wanted in any country. Also I want to have money to just randomly throw at strangers.

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enough to buy a shirt.woot shirt everyday
oh and some extra for food, shorts/jeans, bandaids, stuff like that

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"Please de-condition yourself. It's not just money. It's happiness. It's the difference between happy and sad. It's the difference between having a home and living in the streets. That's what it is, It's not just money. It's so much more than that. Right now it's the difference you being able to go to a prom and disappointing your girl. 'cause i told you from the beginning i dont have money i have bills to pay. It meant nothing to you.
Ooo yea im gonna make myself a HOTlink when i get home
It meant nothing to you."

-Brownie points if you know what this is from.

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Finding a penny makes me happy

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It needs to be heads up though

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@wootfast: Lyrics to "Not Just Money" by Frank Ocean. But I confess to being google smart, not music smart, I had to look it up. Looks interesting, I'll have to stream it when I get home.

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@cengland0: The only thing that will ever make you happy is yourself. Get up in the morning and say, "I will be happy today." Love yourself. Be kind to others. Help those you can. See the beauty in the world around you. One day you will find it doesn't take any effort to "put on happy" it will come to you as naturally as breathing. Fake it till you make it.

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But in all honesty, I agree with @moondrake.

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@moondrake: Well that's the problem. I cannot make myself happy just by thinking I'm happy.

Imagine these facts. I'm 47 years old and this is the best time of my life. I will not get any healthier and can only get worse in time. I have a job and I could always lose it. In fact, everything I have could be lost and there's no hope in getting anything better than what I already have. Any material things like a larger house would make me more satisfied and content but not happy.

What makes people happy? Delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing: to be happy to see a person. No item or person makes me happy to see them/it. I do not look forward to any future events. I do not like to travel, play games, talk on the phone, listening to music, etc. My favorite thing to do is taking naps.

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@cengland0: Those are choices you have made. It makes me happy to sit in my back yard and read. This happiness flows form being happy about many things associated with sitting and reading. I am happy that the baby trees I planted this spring are growing. I'm happy that the birds fly down to get drinks from the sprinkler and take little bird baths. I'm happy that it might rain this weekend. I could choose to be unhappy that my yard is tiny, the neighbors are noisy and the cops fire their guns all day and night at the shooting range up the hill. I could be unhappy that grass doesn't grow in the desert, that my big tree is struggling, that I lost all the small plants I planted. I could be unhappy that the birds poop on my lawn furniture. That there's been a drought and I am paying a fortune watering my few plants. But I choose to rejoice in what's right, and to let go of what's wrong. Choose to be unhappy if you wish. But you have other options.

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@cengland0: I find happiness in naps too. :)

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Money can buy you the ability to not worry about meeting your needs - food, shelter, medical care , creature comforts, no worries about the "what ifs" such as auto break,downs something going wrong with your home, loss of job. Therefore, it can take away worries that not having enough funds to cover necessities and "surprises" and this certainly affords a certain amount of peace of mind. However, as we all know or should consider, it cannot replace love, good health, family relations,

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I could be happy with an income of $25-30k/year, or I'd retire if I had $800k.

I don't have any debt other than a mortgage, and that will be done next year. I don't need a new car every 3 years or a lot of fancy stuff. My needs are simple, and I've learned that satisfying the material wants isn't the key to happiness. Some of the best things in life are free.

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@samstag: "I could be happy with an income of $25-30k/year, or I'd retire if I had $800k."

For serious, I think dollar amounts just tend to go hand and hand with where you live.

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@cengland0: So sorry you find life so difficult. My heart goes out to you. When one is depressed (clinical)' suffers from panic and dysphoria, life can appear or I should say is very sad and leaves one feeling helpless and hopeless. Might I suggest without offending you in any way consulting with a mental health expert? Even when feeling sick or having a physical disease, being able to talk with and perhaps getting some medical help could make all the difference between feeling bad and feeling totally miserable. I do so wish you well.

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Enough so I can be worry free.

- At least a couple million per person stocked away for retirement - it's really what you need.
- About $300k for each child to raise to age of 18
- About $350 now for each child's college - it's the max contribution to a 529 plan per person
- Enough too pay off the mortgages, various loans, etc
- Enough for parents and wife's parents

Round numbers, about $5 to $10 million which doesn't mean that's enough so I don't have to work.

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@klozitshoper: +1 for your nice comments.

If you were to visit a beach and then return the next day and a grain of sand was missing, would you care? Would you even notice?

Our lives our so insignificant in the big scheme of things. Our earth is just one of billions of planets out there making our planet just a grain of sand in the universe. We are not as special as we like to think we are.

What skills do I have that someone else can't do better? What knowledge do I have where someone else isn't better? I'm just mediocre and that will never change. How can anyone be happy with being average?

I once had a job where I where I had more authority and responsibilities so I could influence change. I made other people happy with the changes I made in the company. Seeing other people happy due to something I did made me feel warm inside and did give me a good feeling; however, it didn't make me happy.

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What I make now. We pretty much get what we want but are also dumping heavily in to investments and retirement. I'm not real needy I guess. I think the pleasant part is that we have enough to get things we want, but have to save a bit to get some of the bigger things. Being able to buy pretty much anything would certainly reduce the thrill in acquiring something I would think.

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@pemberducky: I'll give you that dollar if it will make you happy. How would you like it? Paypal?

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I'd just like enough to not to HAVE to work. of course i'd get bored so i'd like to keep busy, but i'd rather keep busy with hobbies and interests and not something that if i lose, my life comes to a screeching halt. All i want out of life is a decent little house on about 10 acres of land and if at all possible a hot tub or pool. i dont care about mansions and yachts. i just want to be able to chill and enjoy life and stop feeling like i'm being run into an early grave.

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oh, @cengland0, i cannot accept your money. you make me happier than that dollar ever could!
although, i suppose in a roundabout way, i have already accepted your dollars...

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@pemberducky: Let's just see - how many people post/read here? If each one sends you $1 how much would that be? I am not good with math and too darned lazy to try. But, you have my $1 promised!!!

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@cengland0: You are correct about grains of sand and each of us being among them. However, I would venture to argue that we as human beings should not aspire to be exceptional which WILL be impossible to maintain in all things. Going for "average" and patting yourself on the back for doing just that and thereby easing the anxiety helps a great deal. Pressure by oneself and others (parents, for example) to be heads above and smarter, wiser, more clever than is self-destructive. I am a victim of such thoughts or was for a good deal of my student and work life for the first ten years or so. Actually, I read a couple of books by Dr. Abraham Low from Chicago as part of a class I was taking at the time, and so much of what had been bothering me and what I was doing to myself as a result of it made sense to me. You know, when I reread what I just wrote, the popularity aspect here is kind of a downer for people whose self esteem demands exceptional and/or being at or near the top.

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Since I have young adult kids, I've researched incomes.
In Dallas TX, $50,000 is middle class.
In the NYC area $120,000 is.

So it depends where you are.

There are places cheaper than Dallas to live.
There are places just as expensive as NYC.

This is why people are mad at taxes. $300 grand in an expensive area is a very comfortable middle class amount.

In other places, you are rich.

But both pay the same taxes.

OH, the question....Enough so you pay all your expenses and can put money away. So maybe double basic middle class for your area.
Too little money...that is all you think about.
Tons of money...doesn't make you happy.

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@dontwantaname: Do more research. You're misunderstanding of taxes is inacurate. Yes, we're all subject to the same tax RATES (not amount) in FEDERAL taxes because that's what goes to the federal level which covers federal things and some of which is distributed to the states for them to spend as needed. You also pay taxes at some state level whether it's state income, property taxes, and/or sales taxes. In some states you pay for all three, some you don't pay sales but have higher property, and other configurations.

Further, the difference of things like income and rent is less about taxes and more about economics, i.e. supply-demand. Rent/real estate prices in NYC and SF for example is so high because there's so little of it and there are so many people living there which drives up prices. And taxes are higher in those places because stuff costs money - it costs to have the infrastructure and public services for all those people.

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If I get the answer correct will I be awarded that amount? You know, kind of like "The Price is Right"?