Richness formula

£37,000 – the UK’s ideal salary …

Work life balance is more important than earning lots of money, finds study…

Richness formula
The richness formula…

Claims people earning less than £35,000 a year happier than those earning over £200,000…

Many of us imagine earning more money will make our lives happier. But according to a recent survey, that isn’t necessarily so.

In fact a study found that an annual salary of around £37,000 is the nation’s tipping point – when the extra money isn’t worth the sacrifice, responsibility and stress that comes with it.

And almost two thirds of 2000 people surveyed even admitted they have considered taking a pay cut or demotion so they have a better work balance – with having a family life making all of us feel richer.

Indeed it also emerged that just one in ten believe money can buy happiness.

While the average Brit wants to earn a minimum of £24,270 to consider their life to be comfortable, anything over £37,396 has to be considered carefully to see whether the cons are worth the extra cash. And although some would be willing to accept the sacrifice, 88 per cent would, or have turned down a more senior job, or a pay rise, if it was likely to have an effect on their work life balance.

 But when it comes to priorities, being financially rich is only the eighth most important area of our life.

 Having a happy family life is most important to us, followed by being healthy, having a good work-life balance and having a partner or being married.

 Fifth most important is having a good circle of friends along with being happy at work, having a well-paid job, being well-off financially and having an active social life. Being pretty or handsome completed the top ten.

 It also emerged one in ten have turned down a promotion because they didn’t think the benefits were worth it, while one in four has reduced their hours or gone part-time. And despite potentially losing out financially, almost one in ten Brits have gone self-employed so they can control what they do for a living, with three in ten changing jobs completely.

 Others have accepted pay cuts and demotions, taken early retirement or accepted a redundancy offer in order to improve their quality of life.

 Nine in ten even feel it’s not worth having a well-paid job if they are too busy, stressed, unhappy or lonely to enjoy it.

 Researchers also found more than half of Brits (56%) would rather a job which had a low or average salary, but that left them open to have a rich and fulfilled life, than a stressful job which pays well.

And 66 per cent would prefer a job they loved, but that wasn’t particularly well paid, than one they hated but had a good salary.

Lucie Illingworth, senior brand manager for Anchor Cheddar, which commissioned the research, said: “While money is one of the main reasons we go to work, it seems there is a limit on how much we are prepared to earn if it is going to affect our lives in other ways.

“What truly makes people rich is the real good stuff, family, loved ones and a life outside of the office.”

The company asked a scientist to create the formula for ‘true richness’, to understand what factors play the greatest role in a rich and fulfilled life – and money has very little to do with it. Psychologist, broadcaster and best-selling author, Dr David Lewis, who calculated the formula on behalf of Anchor Cheddar, interviewed two thousand people about their attitudes towards life and contentment, coupled with factual information such as occupation, income, family status and hometown, with the results being mapped on a ‘richness scale’ of happiness and fulfilment.   Those working in fishing and forestry were found to lead richer lives than those in business and financial operations and people earning less than £35,000 a year actually outstripped high earners of up to £200,000 in terms of richness and fulfilment.

 The formula:

richness formula

Have you given up a lucrative salary to pursue a different style of life? Let me know below or if you would like to feature in a magazine or newspaper, get in touch!

Alison Smith-Squire

Alison Smith-Squire is a writer, journalist and media agent selling exclusive real life stories to newspapers, magazines and TV. She owns the sell my story website Featureworld.co.uk, which was set up to help ordinary people sell their stories to the press.

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