Now here is a subject that people talk about all the time, the elusive search for happiness. How to find it, how to keep it, exactly what makes people happy and can money buy happiness? Don't be ridiculous, of course it can! But what amount does it take and why?

There always seem to be more questions than answers, so one must then turn to statistics. Statistics accumulated by asking people questions which are hard to answer about something that is hard to quantify (Sigh!).

Let's turn to someone who has some answers. Eric McWhinnie is a writer for The Cheat Sheet with a degree and background in all things financial and he provides some sobering and informative facts from a recent Ally Bank survey.

  • The more you save, the likelier you are to be happy (Duh, really?). Of those who said they were extremely or very happy, 57% had $100,000 or more in savings, 42% had $20,000 to $100,00, 34% had less than $20,000 in savings and 29% had no savings.
  • Saving money affects your happiness more than how much you earn(Not that a big paycheck necessarily translates into big savings, but I'm guessing your odds are better!).
  • Happiness peaks when people reach an earning level over $150,000 (I'd like to discover this for myself. Perhaps in another lifetime!).

I know there are people who manage to squirrel away significant amounts of their money, no matter what their salary or pay level. I have never been one of them. There always seemed to be a car needing repair, a pet with health issues, a laundry list of unexpected minor and major tragedies that we all face with whatever we can muster financially and emotionally.

I am somewhat comforted by the fact that I am not alone. A new national survey discovered that fully one-third of American workers have less than $1,000 in savings and investments that could be used for retirement (This sadly includes both of my siblings and me at a time when personal health issues are being added to the list of "things I need to do something about when I have the money!").

Well, there is always the Powerball!