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By Tom Corley

My 5-Year Study Of Rich And Poor People Shows That Money Can Buy Happiness


You've no doubt heard the saying "money doesn't buy happiness."

It's very likely you heard it from your parents, grandparents, or some family member.

Even more likely, the person who shared that message with you was probably poor or struggling financially in life.

The problem with that message is it's not true.

Money can buy Happiness

Let's look at some of the data from my 5-year study on the daily habits of the rich and poor:

  • 82% of the wealthy were happy, while 98% of the poor were unhappy
  • 87% of the wealthy were happy in their marriage, while 53% of the poor were unhappy
  • 93% of the wealthy were happy because they liked or loved what they did for a living, while 85% of the poor were unhappy
  • 0% of the wealthy were unhappy due to finances, while 98% of the poor were unhappy

Money problems have a ripple effect on your life

They can result in an overall sense of unhappiness, and they can create marital stress, making both spouses unhappy in the marriage.

That stress can cause health issues and, even worse, it can negatively impact the lives of your children.

Being rich creates an overall sense of happiness, improves your marital relationships, eliminates stress associated with money problems — which improves your overall health — and enables parents to give their kids a superior education, which lays the foundation for success in life.

I think most parents would agree that when their kids are doing well in life, it makes them happy, and when they are struggling in life, it makes them unhappy.

So when someone says "money does not buy happiness," they're wrong.

Being wealthy can increase happiness in many areas of life.

Wealth and poverty have a domino effect on all aspects of your life, so if you improve your financial condition in life, you will increase happiness in other aspects of your life.

Let's take a look at just one of those domino affects caused by poverty: marital problems.

Various studies identify money problems as the leading cause of divorce in our country.

Researchers at Kansas State University surveyed 4,500 couples and found fights about money are the biggest contributors to divorce.

When it comes to marriage, money does buy marital bliss.

If you want to increase your overall happiness in life, you have to end your poverty

n my research I identified three strategies the wealthy used to accumulate their wealth that you can use, too:

1. Live below your means

wedding couple on coins - money concept

In my research, 94% of the wealthy stated they were wealthy because one of the Rich Habits they learned from their parents was the 80:20 Rule.

They were taught by their parents to set aside 20% of their net pay, which forced them to live off the remaining 80%.

2. Expand your means

Jay Leno famously said that he always had two jobs in life.

He spent the earnings from the first job and saved the earnings from the second job.

Expanding your means can be accomplished by taking on a second job, starting a side business, creating something that has value to others, taking risk to start or grow your business or taking risk and investing your savings in some way.

I have many wealthy clients who started out with one rental property and expanded to many rental properties during their lifetime.

3. Do both

Living below your means and expanding your means is what the wealthiest do.

About Tom Corley Tom is a CPA, CFP and heads one of the top financial firms in New Jersey. For 5 years, Tom observed and documented the daily activities of wealthy people and people living in poverty and his research he identified over 200 daily activities that separated the “haves” from the “have nots” which culminated in his #1 bestselling book, Rich Habits – The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals. Visit the website:

I totally does create happiness and opportunity. I was raised hearing, ‘money doesn’t grow on trees, money doesn’t buy you happiness’. I knew this was a belief of denial and ignorance. Some 15 years ago I built wealth and was moti ...Read full version

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