I’ve been reading these fascinating interviews on the Telegraph website’s Fame and Fortune column (free subscription – bonus!). These articles ask a set of money-related questions to a range of famous-ish people.
There’s a couple of common themes. Almost without fail, they came from financially humble backgrounds (this is likely to be the case with famous people, as opposed to some other groups, such as business leaders). If this is a surprise, I would highly recommend reading The Millionaire Next Door.
Secondly, when asked the question ‘does money make you happy’ which is of course a theme running through many of my posts, the vast majority say that same thing: not in it’s own (but being able to be generous does), but a lack of it makes you unhappy.
I particularly like Johny Ball’s reply to that question; “I am very happy, but I didn’t buy that. I worked for it.”
In other circles this is referred to as a hygiene factor: you don’t celebrate having a toilet and sink in your house, but you would instantly miss it if it were taken away! Salary is another examples used in my HR passed life. Although we need our salaries, paying someone a bit more is known to only motivate people for a very short time (simply thanking someone has a larger effect), however if you reduced someone’s salary, you would soon loose them.