How much cash do you have left over to spend once all the bills and essentials have been paid for? Or, perhaps more importantly, how much do you need to feel "cash happy"? SunLife has taken a look, and perhaps unsurprisingly, there's a key link between happiness and how much spare cash we have available.
The survey found that, on average, UK households have £102 in spare cash each week, which is just shy of £20 more than last year, an increase of 24%. On an individual basis, people have £44 in spare cash each week, or £8.63 more per person than a year ago – which should mean that we're happier this year, too.
However, in order to be truly happy – and to be among the top 10% happiest households in the UK – the research found that households need £158 in spare cash each week, equating to £69 per person. This means that households only need to find an extra £56 a week to be among the happiest in the country, which on an individual level equates to just £25 a week or £3.50 a day.
The research also found that it's now easier to be among the happiest households in the country, as last year, households would have needed an extra £60 per week, on average (or £26 per person), to rank in the top 10%.
But just what should you be spending that extra cash on to boost your happiness even further? Well, the research found that more than half of UK households surveyed would save at least some of their extra £20 a week, while more than a third would treat themselves to a wardrobe upgrade. However, it's those who spend their spare money on experiences rather than material things that are the happiest overall, with bowling coming out on top!
"It is great to see that households in the UK are 'Cash Happier' than last year with £102 in spare cash each week – that's £20 more than last year," said Ian Atkinson, marketing manager at SunLife. "And the best use of this spare cash is to spend it on experiences, because it's these that make us happiest, not material goods.
"We can also see that you don't need to be a millionaire for money to buy you happiness. To be amongst the happiest in the UK, we need £158 per week in spare cash, which means we only need to find an extra £8.63 a day – which per person is just £3.50 – to be among the UK's happiest.
"Just by cutting out a takeaway coffee you can save around £2 a day, so becoming one of the most cash happy in the country could be much easier than we might think."
So, is it time to boost your cash happiness? As Ian said, it could be easier than you think, and all it could take is a few simple tweaks. For example, you could start by cutting out that daily coffee or weekly takeaway and see how much extra money you have left over – squirrel it away in a piggy bank, or even better, a savings account, and watch your happiness grow in line with your spare cash.
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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