Why do people at higher incomes have increased anxiety?

From this post: Canadias and Debt, I posted this graph and made a comment about how it was surprising to me that people with higher incomes would be less satisfied with the current state of their finances.

By at least 15% – 20%!

So why are people unhappy with more money?

We all know money doesn’t buy happiness and you cannot earn it either, and here are the key factors of happiness.

The threshold income for happiness is a $75,000 income. Any higher and you don’t get a major jump in happiness.

  1. Increased pressure to keep up a certain lifestyle tied to their income & spend
  2. More things available to buy because they’re within reach to purchase
  3. Constant upgrades of your lifestyle as well: private school, new car, McMansion
  4. Lottery winners get stressed with so much money because they’re paralyzed for choice
  5. High income is just one breadwinner in the household, with a SAHP (stay at home parent) and kids
  6. Don’t know how good they have it, not having lived at poverty level or minimum wage
  7. Don’t know how to manage their money to invest for the future, and not lose it all
  8. More overall debt because of all the nicer, upgraded toys they couldn’t afford?
  9. Job insecurity because replacing a $100,000+ income is not as easy as a $40,000 one
  10. Recent recession blues; the higher your income, the higher the fall when your investments drop
  11. .. or maybe they sold too early and didn’t wait for the comeback

I’ve always believed that it is far harder to be poor without choice, than to be rich and be spoiled with choice, so I have very little sympathy for high income earners who give me the “I deserve” speech when there are people out there who make do with a lot more, with a lot less.

The best path to follow is that at any income, you should always watch your bottom line.

Even if you’re making a million dollars a year, if you spend every last penny, you are no better off financially than someone who makes a fraction of your income and does the same.

In fact, you could be worse off, having more in debt to your name, because of all the high and easily obtainable lines of credit, and all the luxuries you’ve gotten used to.

Why do you think the rich are so dissatisfied?

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.