• Here's how much money you need to live happily in Atlanta, according to study

    By: Courtney Kueppers, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


    ATLANTA - Can money buy you happiness? If it can, you'll need to be pulling in more than $120,000 annually to be happy in Atlanta. 

    Well, at least according to a new survey. 

    The study, conducted by Purdue University and GoBankingRates.com, looked at what whether people's happiness rose with their income level and how much money it took in order for people to be happy. 

    They found that that number varies depending on where you live. GoBakingRates took the conclusions from Purdue's research and projected what it takes to live happily in major cities across the county.

    In Atlanta, that number is an annual salary of at least $121,170.

    Purdue also studied at what level money no longer impacts your emotional well-being and "life evaluation" — or overall life satisfaction.

    Here's where Atlanta stood on those metrics:
    Salary you need to be happy: $121,170
    Salary you need for life evaluation: $109,630
    Salary you need for emotional well-being: $69,240-$86,550

    The researchers note that earning at this level can aid in "meeting basic needs, purchasing conveniences and maybe even loan repayments."

    However, while money can make life more comfortable, there is a limit on how much happiness it can bring.

    "The study also found once the threshold was reached, further increases in income tended to be associated with reduced life satisfaction and a lower level of well-being," according to a news release from Purdue. 

    Researcher Andrew T. Jebb said after the optimal income point is met, additional income could actually start to reduce someone's overall well-being.

    "These findings speak to a broader issue of money and happiness across cultures," Jebb said. "Money is only a part of what really makes us happy, and we're learning more about the limits of money."

    Nationally, the study found that the ideal income needed for happiness is around $105,000.
    A separate report released last year found that the average household income in Atlanta is around $90,900.

    Here's a look at the salary needed for happiness in some other major cities, according to the survey:
    New York: $219,765
    Los Angeles: $204,855
    Boston: $190,680
    Chicago: $123,690

    This article was written by Courtney Kueppers, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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