Money and Happiness – The Search for a Link Continues

The timeless search for a connection between money and happiness has spawned several new stories on the topic. A recent article on _Bankrate.com_, for example, said research has found some interesting variations in happiness by income. Most notably, while happiness increases a lot for one who moves from poverty to the middle class, beyond that, increases in income provide negligible increases in happiness.
The August issue of _Money Magazine_ also weighed in on the topic, citing three research-based reasons why money and what it can buy so often fail to deliver the joy we expect: We tend to overestimate how much pleasure we’ll get from having more; more stuff can lead to more stress if that five-bedroom house comes with a long daily commute; and, of course, we tend to compare what we have to what others have. What _does_ lead to happiness? One factor that has stood the test of time is good relationships.
h3(matt). Matt’s View
p(matt). A phrase that has entered the popular personal finance vernacular is “the latte factor,” which suggests that people could do a better job saving money if they changed small habits like skipping that overpriced cup of caffeine. While there’s some wisdom in that, the happiness research tells us that if a cup of coffee is what it takes for us to spend time with friends, it may just be one of the wisest uses of our money.

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