In the recent past, the question “how much money does one need to be happy?” was answered with “there is never enough money.” With time, this expression has become obsolete. According to the poll conducted in late 2012, the majority of Russians now have a clear idea of how much money they need for a happy life, and it turns out, this number is very low.
According to a study conducted by the Foundation “Public Opinion” in October of last year, Russians do not need luxury villas on islands, garages filled with expensive cars, yachts, vineyards or chambers full of gold to be happy. The average Russian wants to earn about 107 thousand rubles (~$3,200) a month to be happy.
At the same time, in contrast to the average citizen of Russia, people in the capital need a bit more to be happy. Muscovites would ideally like to have a salary of 120, 000 rubles (~$4,000). Earning this amount each month, they could enjoy living in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
Interestingly, the wants of the population of provincial cities with populations under 250,000 people are much higher – for a happy life, they need 184,496 rubles (~6,000). The study also showed that the average citizen of Russia needs 31,000 rubles (~$1,000) a month to have a decent life. 10 percent of respondents would only need 10, 000 rubles (~$330) for a modest but acceptable life. 15 percent of respondents said that they could live on 10, 000 – 15 000 rubles (~$330-500), 26 percent would be OK with at least 20 000 – 30 000 (~$700-1,000). 7 percent would agree to make 30,000 – 40,000(~$1,000-1,300), and 12 percent said their limit was 40,000 – 50,000 rubles(~$1,300-1,600) a month.
Only 7 percent of respondents said they would require 50,000 rubles per month to be happy. Three percent were unable to determine the answer. A similar poll was conducted last year by American researchers among U.S. citizens.
The results indicated that the Americans would be happy with $6,000 dollars per month. This number is similar to the number named by people living in remote and small towns of Russia.
Alexander Razuvaev, Candidate of Economic Sciences and director of the analytical department of “Alpari” has his own idea of how much money the Russians need to be happy:.
“There is an old saying that one cannot have too much money. On the other hand, one cannot earn all the money in the world. In fact, it is quite easy to calculate how mucn money a Russian citizen needs to be happy – $2 million. A decent apartment in Moscow is a million dollars. Likely, the majority would love to do creative work, travel, and not work every day. If we look at interest rates in reliable banks or dividends on shares of first-class companies, it is rather easy to predict that they are somewhere around six to eight percent per year.
That is, using these financial instruments, with a million dollars one can make 60-80 thousand dollars a year. This is a good amount for a decent life. Of course, $2 million is a large sum, but some people have it. These are probably people who inherited real estate from their relatives. It is no secret that many people in Moscow earn by renting apartments. Some may have shares of first-class Russian companies as many received them for free during privatization. But most people still do not have $2 million, and it is difficult to earn this kind of money just working since there are ongoing expenses.
Of course, one can successfully invest in the stock market, create a high-tech company, then resell it to an industry giant. Russian internet market is growing at 30 percent a year, and in principle it is quite a profitable business. But it is still an exception. Therefore, there is a big difference between successful and wealthy. Most people have to work all life long, and they do not have those $2 million, but the satisfaction from their status and self-fulfillment likely still outweigh the positivity and enjoyment of the well-fed and carefree people who have this amount. ”