Can money buy happiness? It’s an age-old question that, at one point or another, everyone has probably asked themselves. After all, who knows how much money is needed to truly live within their own means. Many people think about how much money they need to buy a house, get the car they want, afford having a family, and for lack of a better phrase, many people wonder how much it costs to live the dream?
We know all too well that people will go to great lengths to try and figure out the answer to those questions — billions of dollars are wasted on lottery tickets every week. But even if a person were to get lucky and win the an absurd amount of the Powerball or the Mega Millions, can money buy happiness?
To help get an idea of the correlation between money and happiness, a new study from Harvard surveyed 4,000 millionaires, and asked exactly what the necessary amount is for them to be happy. Based on the replies, for these millionaires to be at the pinnacle of happiness, it takes a lot of cash.
Researchers from Harvard Business School recently asked more than 4,000 millionaires to rate how happy they were on a scale of one to 10. Respondents with at least $8 million scored higher than those with $7.9 million or less. But there’s a catch — the majority of all millionaires said that to be perfectly happy, they’d need to grow their wealth immensely.
That big existential question of whether or not money can buy happiness was also met with a shrug. Only at high levels of wealth ($8 million or more) were respondents found to be “happier” than those with lower levels of wealth, and the differences were modest — less than half a point on a 10-point scale.
Researchers aren’t exactly sure why $8 million is the tipping point. Maybe that’s the magic number that puts high net worth individuals ahead of their peers and boosts their perceptions of self-worth. Or maybe $8 million is the threshold where millionaires feel their money is secure enough to spend freely on luxuries such as charity and big gifts.
Yep, you read that right. Even for those people who made “just” $7.9 million or less — but were still millionaires — didn’t think it was enough. And if $8 million can’t make some people happy, it sounds like we’re better off without those millions. Money is nice, but we know that our friends and family are what truly make us happy. To even suggest that someone would need to make at least $8 million to reach true happiness is a little insane, right?
So, can money buy happiness? No one can ever get enough of it — just ask the richest person in the world, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, or any of his other fellow billionaires, who can’t seem to be happy with their already insane fortunes. So, yes, money can lead to, but not buy, happiness — at least in our opinion.
h/t Bro Bible
This article originally appeared on our sister site, FHM.