The Price of Happiness

But first an apology. Has it really been nearly a month since my last post? Yes. Most of what has happened in my life has been mundane (we held a yard sale), annoying (my upstairs neighbors), terrifying (job interviews), or requires too much retrospective (I got a year older). You don’t want to hear about those things. I’m going to start writing about things you do want to hear about soon. I promise.

I couldn’t let this article get away. There has been a study of 450,000 Americans where it has been determined that the perfect salary is $75,000 per year. Anything higher than that has no positive effect on your daily happiness. It seems that they’ve found the threshold where mo’ money really equals mo’ problems.

I’ve received a lot of career advice – some of it good and some of it garbage. One of my very first managers in my very first job out of college was a little Oompla-Loompa of a man named Ted. Ted was (and I presume still is) a really great guy. Family man, hard worker, expert on everything, but not in that not-it-all kind of way that makes you want to punch him in the face. One of the things he warned me of (and I can hear his voice as I type this) is that you sell part of your soul for every rung of that ladder you climb. It’s no secret at all that the higher you get in an organization and the more money you earn, the more work you have to do. The article doesn’t go so far as to say that the fun stops at $75,000, things just stop getting more fun.

It’s hard for me to imagine my life without striving for the next step. That’s just how my career has been going. I’m young(ish) and there are a lot of jobs I’d like to have before I slow down. I can’t imagine hitting $75,000 and being all set. So does this mean that I’m setting myself up for several (say, 30) years of unhappiness? The article goes on to say that salaries higher than $75,000 aren’t going to make you happier on a daily basis, but it can give you a better life. I believe one of the comments mentions that you’ll have more money to spend on hookers and blow, and how could that *not* make you happier? Not earning $75,000, I can thinking longingly of all the things it could afford me: the 4-bedroom Colonial I’ve been drooling over every day on MLS, one of those crossover SUVs with a backup camera, several sweet vacations… I could keep going, believe me. It’s really nice to buy really nice things. But at what point to you switch from having stuff to stuff having you? Does it do my (very distant future) children any good to have all the best hockey equipment and coaches and camps if I don’t get to ever see them play because I’m working to pay for them? No one probably knows initially, but when you find out, it’s too late. You’re already in the job with the house and the lifestyle and that’s a pretty hard thing to walk away from. There probably isn’t a person alive that wouldn’t be willing to take a crack at it. There’s always the exceptions!

About Tara Salvi

I'm a 30 year old woman living and working in the 'burbs.
This entry was posted in In My Head, Working Girl and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Price of Happiness

  1. danielle says:

    i kinda loved this blog.

  2. jeff says:

    It’s true!!

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