With romance in the air this month, you’ll probably hear some common phrases about money and love as couples wind down from Valentine’s day. While these quotes might be cliche, there could also be some truth hiding behind these hackneyed expressions! Let’s take a closer look at some popular idioms.

“Money Can’t Buy You Love”

While this idea may be immortalized in a Beatles song, there’s actually been quite a bit of scientific research done on the subject. Several studies, including a Gallup World Poll, found that happiness—a key component of love—increases with salary only up to $75,000. Once your annual income passes this level, emotional well-being evens out. This “sweet spot” is likely due to the sense of security that comes from not working paycheck-to-paycheck. When groceries, bills, and mortgage payments aren’t stress factors, happiness can skyrocket in that level of financial freedom. But once you top off at 75K, money isn’t going to buy you happiness or love.

“Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow”

This phrase is common amongst new hires and seasoned pros alike. Simply put, if you find a job that makes you happy, the big paycheck you desire will soon follow. While this could sound like a load of nonsense, many incredibly successful people who started with nothing swear by it. Steve Jobs, the late CEO of Apple, paraphrased it by saying, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” Success, fame, and fortune can only come when you’re happy at work. If you let money guide your career decisions, it’s a recipe for unhappiness that will likely result in fewer promotions, fewer new opportunities, and fewer pay raises.

“You Get What You Pay For”

Alright, while this doesn’t directly address love, it can certainly be applied to relationships! Think of it this way: you need a microwave so you buy the cheapest one on the market. It breaks after 6 months, so you replace it. This keeps happening over the next few years and winds up being far more expensive than if you had originally bought the more expensive microwave that wouldn’t break. While people certainly aren’t the same as kitchen appliances, investing your time in relationships that aren’t meaningful will never make you satisfied. Taking your time to develop connections that are worthwhile will mean much more to you in the long run.

“The Best Things in Life are Free”

It’s true! While money can buy plenty of fun experiences, the friendships you share, the romantic words that are said to you, and the beautiful moments of everyday life are free. Many studies, including one from the University of Michigan that looked at 11,000 adults, found that symptoms of depression drastically decreased when subjects frequently spent time with loved ones. Across ages groups, ethnicities, and most importantly, economic groups, money didn’t matter when it came to happiness—personal relationships did.

The next time you whip out one of these common idioms, think about the meaning behind the words! Money and love can certainly go hand-in-hand, but at the end of the day, making time for loved ones is truly priceless.

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