As the days become darker, and peak holiday shopping season approaches, it's easy to become dismayed at the gloom outside and the gross spectacle of consumerism.
And while there's a lot of social pressure on individuals to take part in holiday cheer, festivities and gifts can take a toll on our savings.
Holiday celebrations have become an opportunity for conspicuous consumption. People across North America, especially, use the season as an occassion to display their prosperity.
So it's natural to feel insecure about one's own happiness at this time of the year.
To make matters worse, perhaps, researchers at Purdue University have actually released a metric that relates happiness to monetary wealth. The study is from February of this year, but this seems like a good moment to revisit it.
The results are pretty depressing.
According to the abstract of the paper, "Happiness, income satiation, and turning points around the world," peak life satisfaction occurs at a salary of about $95,000/year.
"Emotional well-being," meanwhile, depends upon an income between $60,000 and $70,000 per year.
In her own article for Career Beacon entitled, "How much money you need to earn to be happy in Canada," Elizabeth Bromstein takes the average of these three numbers to arrive at an ideal income in Canada: $77,500/year.
That figure is, of course, far above what most people in Canada make and it's only going to get higher.
The cost-of-living is creeping upwards across the country. The price of housing is already unreasonably high in Vancouver and Toronto.
But Montreal, a bastion of affordable living on a largely unaffordable continent, has also seen costs inflate over the last few years as a wave of foreign investment spurs development in central neighbourhoods.
To achieve the optimal income for happiness, Canadians may want to explore employment in the top ten highest paying industries, according to data from Statistics Canada.
Of course, happiness should (ideally) depend on a number of factors, not just wealth. Smart Canadians should ignore these figures and continue to pursue their own, subjective definitions of happiness.