This is crazy.

A new report from Moneyzine showed some interesting stats about how we think of money. They referenced a 2010, Nobel Prize-winning study showing that yes, making more money can make you happier, but only a little. Once you hit $75,000 for income, more money doesn’t mean more satisfaction. Moneyzine wanted to know if that would that still be true a decade later, especially after a pandemic that changed everything.

Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash
Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

They asked 1,200 Americans not only about their income, but also about how satisfied they were with what they earned, and how much more they needed to make in their job to be really satisfied. There were three points that stood out.

  • Nearly all U.S. residents report needing a salary of $100,000/year to be happy.
  • Retail workers need 407% more income to be satisfied.
  • Americans are avoiding vacations (73%), social outings (67%), and more due to financial unrest.

It's that first takeaway where New Hampshire was in a category all by itself.

This is a very revealing graph. The average income that workers across fifteen industries reported they needed to be satisfied with their jobs was $96,303. Here's where it gets discouraging. The average income in America is just under a third of that at around $31,000. That means most people earn about a third of what they think they should be paid.

But it's New Hampshire that stands out. Especially when you see Maine right next door. Mainers say they need $110,951 for ideal income, and New Hampshire comes in at a mere $42,000!

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Five states in total are fully satisfied with what they currently earn, and they actually report that they could earn less and still be happy:

  • Delaware
  • Indiana
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • Vermont

When you boil down all the data, the average American needs 150% of their current income in order to be happy with what they make in a year. Yikes!

Read the full report, because it truly is very revealing.

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