Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Salary to Happiness Ratio

Recently, I've been thinking about salary. Mostly because I've had a few interviews for start ups that offer no salary! But then I started thinking...since I started working full-time, my salary range has run the gamut. To be completely honest, it has run the range of $23K-$100K per year. Where was my happiest? Somewhere around $40K...I'm just wondering if that says something or not. My salary to happiness ratio makes me think twice about happiness and how it can't be measured by salary alone. Thoughts?

It also reminds me of an old song, Mo' Money, Mo' Problems...I actually had the YouTube link to the video posted but it has been taken down. Anyway, in the video, there's a certain super rich mogul type someone dressed in a red jumpsuit dancing around like a retard. So, when I start making $100M/year, I too will buy a red jumpsuit and dance around like a fool...but I'll actually post it on YouTube and let everyone use the video without regards to copyright infringement because by then, I am sure that my happiness factor will be off the charts and I will just STFU and enjoy myself! :)


Maggie Mae said...

A dozen random thoughts on the topic:

1) If you can figure out how to be happy living within your means then I don't think it matters what salary you're making. Of course, this assumes your salary is enough to cover your basic Needs (food, clothing, shelter). If your basic needs are not being met then you probably are going to have a problem with your salary:happiness ratio.

2) I believe money (can) = freedom & independence, and freedom & independence (can) = happiness.

3) Related to #2, debt sucks. Owing someone else messes with your salary:happiness ratio.

4) I tend to prefer simplicity. Often increased salary leads to increased standard of living and higher expectations which leads to complications. In my opinion, complications can lead to unhappiness.

5) On the other hand, financial security (savings from a big salary maybe?) feels good --> happiness?

6) Happiness is subjective and often a choice. Salary usually isn't. I think you actually have more control over the happiness portion of the ratio than the salary portion.

7) There is always something to old adages like "Money can't buy happiness."

8) Wants and Needs are two very different things. If your Needs are met, then you probably have the basic tools to be happy. Most of us have more than we Need and end up complaining about Wants. What a luxury it is that we can do this. So do you Need a higher salary or do you Want a higher salary?

9) Besides, if all your Wants are met then you are probably at risk for being spoiled and ungrateful (and therefore unhappy).

10) I believe time, health and family are all more valuable than money.

11) A salary can't buy time or health. It might buy a family but remember you get what you pay for...!

12) Work in itself has a value. The reward for work isn't just monetary; work can also provide self esteem, satisfaction, achievement, a sense of accomplishment, pride, camaraderie, purpose, and more. All things that factor in to a person's happiness. And all things a salary alone can't cover.

chrrrrrs said...

omg, that was a whole lotta thinking!! i totally agree with you on all of the above!! especially 3, 4, 7, 10. apparently though, i can't articulate it as well as you, because i just tried to do so by posting a p. diddy video...

also i think i may sometimes fall into the number 9 category...sometimes. well, i think maybe i have been marginally close to that category since like 4th grade. i mean, when it really boils down to the nitty gritty, there's nothing that i actually NEED...everything for me is a want! and that can totally spoil my ratio! which is why i cancelled all my fashion and travel magazine subscriptions!!! they just make me want too much!!

viv said...

This whole job thing has definitely been a huge humbling experience but I still cringe at the idea of accepting a job with a low salary. It's like..incur how much in school fees, lost salary, opportunity cost for an entry level job.