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Could saving money be the key to happiness?
More money, fewer problems
Happy savings!
Happy savings! (Courtesy Shutterstock)

Turns out, money can buy you happiness.

But, as a new survey reveals, it's not about spending more cash on pricey objects or raking in a higher paycheck.

Instead, the findings of an Ally Bank survey suggest that the more we save, the happier we are.

For those Americans who currently have a savings account, 38 percent report feeling very or extremely happy — whereas only 29 percent of those without any kind of savings report the same. Respondents revealed that socking away their cash made them feel even better than exercising, eating healthy foods, or having an enjoyable job.

And, not surprisingly, there's a connection between just how much you have in that account and how likely you are to be happy: 34 percent of those who reported overall happiness had less than $20,000 in savings, 42 percent had between $20,000 and $100,000, and 57 percent had at least $100,000 socked away.

While that correlation may seem obvious, there was another finding that didn't seem as intuitive: According to the survey, saving more money was actually a greater contributor to happiness than earning more money. For instance, of those earning $50,000 to $75,000, 40 percent reported they were extremely or very happy; of those earning $150,000 or more, 45 percent said they felt the same — showing that, essentially, happiness plateaued after the $50,000 salary mark. In other words: It's not about what you have, but how you use it.

Unfortunately, 53 percent of those surveyed fessed up to not having a savings plan. If you'd like to join the group of happy savers — but aren't sure where to start — read up on Savings 101, and find out how research supports the benefits of saving.

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