Britain's "happiest" earn 50,000 pounds a year

Fri Jul 9, 2010 5:45am EDT
 
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Money may not be the answer to all of life's troubles, but earning 50,000 pounds a year -- and not a penny more -- could make you among the happiest in Britain, a survey found.

Workers who get paid 50,000 pounds ($75,840) a year were the happiest bunch among those in the 10,000 to 70,000 pounds wage bracket, with one in five people saying that they had never felt more content with their lives.

The wealthier, the more miserable, with people who earn above 70,000 pounds admitting that they felt less happy than those who take home 50,000 a year, a survey by money management website lovemoney.com found.

"With a salary of 50,000 you've got the combination of perhaps a personality where you're more easily content with your lot but also at a salary which is very much above the national average," Ed Bowsher, head of consumer finance at lovemoney.com said.

"Perhaps it's also partly driven by your kind of personality. The kind of people who have the ambition to get a job that is earning 70,000 or more may be the kind people who are never going to be satisfied."

Challenging the belief that that money cannot buy happiness, 72 percent of respondents confessed that having more cash would make them happier, with 40 per cent of people earning 20,000 pounds or less saying that they hardly ever felt truly happy.

The topic of money was also a major cause for distress, with 37 percent saying that they feel gloomy when they look at their bank balance.

Many respondents also said that having more time to relax, a better social life and spending quality time with loved ones were also factors that could make them more content.

"It shows that money isn't everything," Bowsher said.

"I'm sure it takes more than money alone to make you truly happy. There's no point having a lot of money if you have no family or friends or share it with."

(Reporting by Harpreet Bhal, editing by Paul Casciato)