Does money make you happy is a question asked over and over again. According to research, they may have put a finger on how much spare cash happiness is.
Once upon a time, I would have immediately connected money with happiness. You need money to live, to do extra special things, to eat well and to travel far. If you want to dress nicely, get a regular hair cut and look good then you need money.
Feeling good, looking good and having a home kitted out with all mod cons will make you feel happy. Well that’s what the adverts, magazines and marketing teams tell us, but does it really?
Maybe that’s how I used to think happiness was made? Maybe I wasn’t really happy before?
Since nearly losing everything and having absolutely no money left in the bank to eat, I actually started to feel happy – proper happy.
I remember making our first ever fakeaway. We managed to get the ingredients in for £2.57 (total cost for four of us!), a snip of the price of a takeaway Indian which could easily have cost up to £30 for a family of four.
Instead, we started preparing the food sometime in the afternoon, taking a few hours to cook (I’ve since mastered the dish and it’s really quick now!) and created a mountain of washing up.
To some that may sound like a real drag but, to me, when I sat down with my family to dinner that night and saw what we were going to eat things changed. The love we had put into preparing a feast so we didn’t have to live without brought a tear to my eye.
That moment – even if only a few seconds of my history – is one of the happiest moments of my life.
We didn’t have much cash but we had delicious food and we had each other. We were fighting, we were stronger.
Yes, having money is great – don’t get me wrong! I do love money and enjoy spending it but now I consider more before parting with my cash and enjoy the idea of managing my finances to better my family.
Following recent research into happiness, it does appear that having a little spare money makes people happier.
You need £390 spare cash left per month after you have paid out for all your bills and food to be happy. So it could be that you don’t need loads of money but just need to have enough left over at the end of the month to do something with.
What the research seems to show is that big spenders don’t hit the top of the happy pot either. Just because it’s spare does not mean it needs to be spent. Those are happier put that money into savings, invest or protect themselves with insurance. Having the security of a nest egg to fall back on may make people sleep easier at night and be happier in the day.
So the budget conscious appear to be some of the happiest in the UK – all with an average of £390 spare a month.
When you compare two different quotes
All I ask is the chance to prove that money can’t make me happy
This chance (if that’s what you can call it) happened to us. By having no spare money, it proved that we were happy and could be happy with very little.
Until you try it, you will never know.
The problem with getting everything is you run out of reasons to keep trying, and human interaction becomes impossible due to imbalance
Markus is a billionaire and creator of the very popular game Minecraft. Recently he has taken to Twitter and it appears that his money has left him lonely and unmotivated.
When the total happiest you can be means you have £713 spare per month, it could be that Markus has too much money to be happy.
We are all different and where one will save another will spend. Where someone needs thousands of pounds each month to live other are happy with hundreds.
But the question still really stands; does money make you happy or does it just buy stuff?
Ricky Willis is the original Skint Dad. A money-making enthusiast, father, and husband to Naomi. He is always looking for unique ways to earn a little extra.