How much money do Australians need to be happy?

Alison Banney 24 March 2017

happy gen Y 738

According to Rabo Direct’s Happiness Report, it isn't just about the money in your account.

The phrase "more money, more problems" may be completely true. New research reveals that the happiest Australians aren’t earning millions of dollars as we may have expected, but instead are earning between $80,000 and $100,000, just above the average salary.

Rabo Direct’s Financial Health Barometer surveyed 2,300 Australians to uncover what makes us jump for joy. The answer was relatively simple: mates and money.

So what does a "happy Australian" look like, you ask? If you’re completely happy with your life, you’re probably a Gen Y living in Melbourne.

The report revealed that those in Victoria were the happiest in the nation. 47% are completely happy, compared to 44% in New South wales, Queensland and Western Australia.

Comparing the generations, 49% of Gen Ys said they were completely happy, compared to 44% of baby boomers and 41% of Gen X.

On a national level, of those Aussies who feel completely happy with their life:

  • 64% have happy relationships with family and friends.
  • 61% have a good financial plan in place.
  • 63% are confident with their finances.
  • 53% stay financially informed.
  • 52% have good savings habits.
  • 51% are earning between $80,001 and $100,000.

Psychologist Nick Petrovic says that financial security is about much more than just the dollars in your bank account.

“Financial security can also mean a greater sense of freedom, peace of mind and a greater opportunity for happiness.”

“When you take control of your income and your spending, your financial goals, big or small, can be easier to achieve. Money may not be able to fix every problem, but it can offer you the time, space and opportunity to do the things that make you happy,” said Petrovic.

Despite the dominant ideology that young Aussies are too busy living in the moment to think about their future, more Gen Ys identify having a long-term financial plan as a key influence on their happiness than any other generation (24%, compared to 23% of baby boomers and 19% of Gen Xs).

If you’re looking to prioritise your finances, your savings are a great place to start. Check out our ultimate guide to savings accounts and make your money work harder for you.

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