Thursday, November 04, 2004

What do you make?

According to this post on The Occupational Adventure:

Looking for happiness through financial success? Wondering what is the magic number that equals satisfaction? It's $40,000 a year.

In fact, the rule is well established in research: The first $40,000 makes a big difference in one's level of happiness. After that, the impact is much smaller. The difference between someone making $40,000 and someone making $15,000 is far greater than the difference between $100,000 and $1 million.

 If you think about it, $40,000 vs. a lower salary makes perfect sense.  When I came out of college I was making $40K per year.  I was able to afford a car payment, an apartment payment with utilities and cable, and still have some money in my pocket to go out to eat and go to bars.  I can't say that I was saving an extraordinary amount of money on a monthly basis (I think I was contributing 1 0r 2% to my 401K), but I had shelter, food, water, and wheels: the necessities of life.

1 comment:

Charlie said...


I'm employed by a non-profit organization. The first time I made $40,000 was, looking back on it now, the best year financially I've ever had. Bought a house, upped my 403b contribution, life was good.

Now, a few years later, my wife is working again, and we're making more money than ever before, but with two car payments and a son in college, and the added expenses, we sometimes feel like we're drowning.

If I knew then what I know now, $40,000 just might be the right level.