Does Money Make You Happy? The Latest Research Might Surprise You: Evidence that money does, in fact, buy happiness continues to surface (Emma Kerr and Jessica Walrack, 11/17/23, US News)
Another study released in January of 2022 and led by Jon M. Jachimowicz, an assistant professor at Harvard Business School, explored the many ways money can be used as a problem-solving tool that results in more overall happiness.
In the study, 522 participants with incomes ranging from less than $10,000 to more than $150,000 tracked daily events and emotional responses for 30 days in a diary. The results showed that although there was no significant difference in the frequency of stressful events experienced by participants across income levels, money reduced the intensity of the emotional response to those events.
And on the whole, researchers determined that people with higher incomes report greater levels of life satisfaction.
“It’s not that rich people don’t have problems,” Jachimowicz told Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge publication, “but having money allows you to fix problems and resolve them more quickly.” He explains that income increases a sense of control which can mitigate the intensity of distress and lead to greater life satisfaction.
“Money provides people with a sense of autonomy and freedom to live the life they want to live,” Killingsworth says.
“It’s not necessarily because they’re buying fancier cars and having nicer meals, though they may be, but a lot of what money is doing is allowing them to carry out their intentions and desires as agents in the world as opposed to being overly constrained by resources,” he adds.