Money can’t buy love or happiness, but having enough to spend can make you happier, according to new research.
The revealing study has found that cash and happiness are closely related, but people do not need to be wealthy to be happy – just £82 more than you need to spend every week does the trick.
The data comes from speaking to more than 3,000 households about their spending for insurance company SunLife.
Not only does the research show a link between money and happiness, but that happiness decreases as the pile of spare cash grows as well.
“Our research shows a strong link between happiness and spare cash – stronger than the link between happiness and income – and the good news is, you really don’t need to be a millionaire to be happy,” said director Ian Atkinson.
How much makes a couple cash happy?
“Even better news is that the happiest households have £194 spare a week, which per person, is £82. This means that if the average household wants to become one of the cash happiest, it doesn’t need thousands – just an extra £91 per week, which works out as less than £40 extra per person per week, or just over a fiver a day.
“This may sound like a lot, but when you think, buying a takeaway coffee and sandwich every day costs around £5, it doesn’t sound quite so challenging.”
Atkinson explained that the cash happy number varies with age and the number of people in a household.
Spending that extra cash
The happiest households are where two partners live together without children, when the cash happy amount is £878 a month and that represents 43% of the couple’s income.
Not every home is cash happy. While a quarter of homes have between £800 and £2,000 spare cash each month, and 13% have more than £2,000, many have no spare cash and 20% are always in the red because they spend beyond their means.
The happiest families spend their money on experiences rather than material things.
Although more than half save their money (55%), 39% like to go on holiday, 29% catch a movie, a similar number spend on day’s out.