The Key To Happiness (And It's Not A Bigger Paycheck!)

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MoneySavingHappiness_1Illustrated by Emily Kowzan.
Sure, we'd all like to be earning more. But, even if that bonus check is nothing but a dream, LearnVest is here to help you make the most of what you've got — and start reaching your financial goals today.

Turns out, money can buy you happiness. But, as a new survey reveals, it’s not about spending more cash on pricey objects or raking in a higher paycheck. Instead, the findings of an Ally Bank survey suggest that the more we save, the happier we are.

RELATED: 7 Extreme Ways To Save Money That Really Work

For those Americans who currently have a savings account, 38% report feeling very or extremely happy — whereas only 29% of those without any kind of savings report the same. Respondents revealed that socking away their cash made them feel even better than exercising, eating healthy foods, or having an enjoyable job.
MoneySavingHappiness_2Illustrated by Emily Kowzan.
And, not surprisingly, there’s a connection between just how much you have in that account and how likely you are to be happy: 34% of those who reported overall happiness had less than $20,000 in savings, 42% had between $20,000 and $100,000, and 57% had at least $100,000 socked away.

While that correlation may seem obvious, there was another finding that didn’t seem as intuitive: According to the survey, saving more money was actually a greater contributor to happiness than earning more money. For instance, of those earning $50,000 to $75,000, 40% reported they were extremely or very happy; of those earning $150,000 or more, 45% said they felt the same — showing that, essentially, happiness plateaued after the $50,000 salary mark. In other words: It’s not about what you have, but how you use it.

RELATED: How Much of My Pay Should I Save?

Unfortunately, 53% of those surveyed fessed up to not having a savings plan. If you’d like to join the group of happy savers — but aren’t sure where to start — read up on savings 101, and find out how research supports the benefits of saving.

Sure, we'd all like to be earning more. But, even if that bonus check is nothing but a dream, LearnVest is here to help you make the most of what you've got — read their stories, use their tools, and talk to a pro planner about getting a financial plan custom-designed for you.