They say that money can’t buy you love and won’t bring you happiness, but that is, up to a point, not true. You need money to be happy, to be in a relationship, to stay healthy. But how much money do you really need? I guess that this is where endless debates can start and cause sparks and fires and brutal executions (OK, maybe we won’t go that far).
Before I get to tell you how much money I need to be happy, let’s see why having enough money is extremely important to keep your happiness levels high:
– Money buys your house, food and medicine (when and if needed)
– Money helps you stay mentally sane by allowing you to get some items on your wants list (wanting is not the same thing as needing, but getting something that you want just for you, just to pamper yourself brings you a certain degree of satisfaction)
– Money helps you keep a healthy relationship and social life. One could argue that you don’t really need money for any of these, but look at most of the families that have money-related problems: they fight often, the stress levels are high and so on.
– Money helps you go visit places. Just imagine a life without being able to travel, a life that’s entirely spent in one place!
– Money pays your loans. Initially, I wanted to skip this because I personally have no loans, but most of us do. We all know how stressful they are and how apocalyptic not being able to pay your loans would be.
In the end, I guess that these are the core elements that are enough to bring you a decent level of happiness and that require money in order to make things happen. The good thing is that we don’t all need the same amount of money to make ends meet and be happy. Where we live matters a lot in this equation, with things like Cost of living, mentality and habit playing an extremely important role. I personally believe that people in more developed countries like the US or Western European countries need more money do be happy.
To see if that’s the case, here’s how much money a Romanian guy with a wife and newborn son decided that it would be enough for him and his family to be happy:
$2,500 per month (or $30,000 per year)
It might sound very little for many and hopefully many would consider this amount way too high. For me (and my family), it would be enough to:
– Save a lot of money for emergencies and retirement here in Romania
– Eat high quality, healthy food and live a more than decent life here in Romania
– Save enough money for at least 1 amazing vacation per year, but most likely two
– Give me the chance of being a digital nomad and spend at least three months in another country, working and getting to know a new culture at the same time
– Buy all that is needed for our home and then have something extra to spend on things that I really want
I am fortunate not to have any outgoing loans and I really hope that I will never ever have to take a loan. This, combined with the fact that I am living in a country where everything is cheap, makes it for this apparently low number. I say apparently, because I am sure that many Romanians would be happy if they earned a lot less than my ideal (and I actually wrote a post that it’s more than possible to live here on $1,500 per month and our last month’s total expenses were no more than $635.
So… what do you think? How much money do you need to be happy? And most important, if you’re not happy where you are right now, would you consider moving to a cheap country like Romania where your dollars would mean more?
[Photo by imaphotog]