Does being rich make you happier? All you need to know about wealth and happiness

by Ananya Bajaj

There’s a rather popular study out there that says money does buy you happiness – but only up until a certain point.

It says that after you make $75,000 per year, increasing your income is not going to make you any “happier.”

But the truth about wealth and happiness is much more complicated than whatever any study can say.

Take for instance the case of Evan Spiegel, the 27-year-old CEO of Snapchat.

Last month, the Wall Street Journal and others reported that Spiegel had turned down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook.

When people read these reports, they thought Spiegel was crazy.

But here’s the thing: Spiegel comes from a wealthy family. His dad lives in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

Also, Spiegel was able to sell some of his stock in Snapchat to investors for millions of dollars.

So the fact is, when he turned down Facebook’s $3 billion offer, Spiegel was not saying “no” to being rich. He was already rich twice over.

And what did that money – both his father’s and his own – buy him? It bought him a relatively risk-free chance to spend the rest of his life running a global technology company.

It bought him a life pursuit.

Having a pursuit that means something to you is not the same thing as having happiness, but it’s something like it that can’t quite be quantified in a study.

Many people in the tech industry know that, and appreciate, Spiegel’s decision.

Not everyone, though. One tech executive I met with last week shook his head in bewilderment when Snapchat topic came up.

He said that Spiegel was “taking food out of the mouths of generations of Spiegels.”

Obviously, the topic of wealth and its relationship to happiness is much more complicated than we ever could comprehend and conversations about it are often laced with judgement.


Here are some of the most candid thoughts, some of them heart-warming, others brutally honest or outright surprising, about wealth and happiness:

1. Money does not make you happier, relationships do.

2. After you become rich, you take it for granted … like all the other ‘blessings’ we have in life that we easily neglect, such as good health, great kids, great spouse or a loving family.

3. Having a lot of money makes you only want to make more.

4. When rich people start dying, they become less proud of their wealth.

5. Rich people get sad like everyone else.

6.After you get rich, you soon feel the same again.

7. If you are rich because of your salary you will end up working all the time.

8. Being rich makes you feel smarter and better than the rest of the world, and a thought like that can bring some form of fulfillment.

9. You will often get the respect you don’t deserve when you are rich.
10. The richer you are, the more expensive happiness becomes.

11. Being rich makes life less risky.

12. After you get rich, you will one day still ask yourself: “Is this it?”


Ananya Bajaj

Travelling is my obsession.

I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.

I’m a social girl from India with a big smile and 3 passions: People, Travel and the Social Media.

I just decided to combine my passions and have started a unique social travel project around the world.

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