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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Happiness Has a Price Tag: $65,250

Posted By on Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 4:26 PM

We ballin'
  • We ballin'
Researchers at Princeton did a study that found Americans actually do get happier as they make more money -- but that after they hit $75,000, their happiness plateaus.

(Seems a little suspect to us -- we're pretty sure we could whip through a cool 75K over a long weekend and still have a burning desire for more shoes -- but hey. They are Princeton economists and we are not.)

So the good folks at the Wall Street Journal got to thinking, as they are wont to do. In a city like New York or Los Angeles, $75,000 is a much smaller chunk of happiness than in, say, certain humbler Midwestern cities priding themselves on cheap rent, among other things.

They massaged the numbers around using cost-of-living indexes and gave estimates for how much you have to make in a given city to hit the real version of that sweet spot. Here in St. Louis, you'd need to pull in $65,250 each year to top out on happiness. In Kansas City, it's $71,250 And in Chicago, thrills are dearer: it's $84,750 before you happy out.

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