People who manage their money are happier.

Recent research into the age-old question “Can Money Buy Happiness?” has resulted in some intriguing results. There is now empirical support linking several specific financial strategies to increased happiness and life satisfaction. These suggestions include delaying gratification, savoring positive purchase memories, making purchases that satisfy needs as opposed to desires, purchasing life experiences as opposed to material objects, and, ultimately, spending money in ways that increase psychological need satisfaction as well as in ways that are central to the self.

Also, in today’s world, many consumers do not manage their money well and end up suffering from overwhelming levels of debt. Prominent financial counselor, Suze Orman suggests that “You’ve got to Face it to Erase it”, referring to the need to start looking at and managing your debt. Students in my lab were interested in determining if how one manages their money can also influence happiness. To answer this question they examined people’s responses to several money and happiness quizzes completed by members of the BeyondthePurchase.Org community.

Results indicated that how an individual handles their money (i.e., do they repay credit card debt on time, track their purchases, or save money regularly?) had a great influence on their feelings of security. Also, when people felt more secure, they experienced increased happiness and life satisfaction. Specifically, we determined that individuals who manage their money were happier, more satisfied with their lives, and experienced less negative emotion.

“Our findings suggest that dealing with credit card debt and loans has the biggest impact on happiness,” says Grant Donnelly.

Has your credit card or student loan debt gone unchecked? Developing a repayment plan might not only improve your financial situation, but might actually make you happier as well.

That is one of the reasons we created BeyondThePurchase.Org where we help people make the connection between their spending habits – how do you spend your money and who do you spend it on – and their happiness. To learn about what might be influencing how you think about and spend your money, Login or Register with Beyond The Purchase, then take a few of our spending habits quizzes:

How do your current priorities impact what you buy? Take our Life Goals and Buying Choices and on your feedback page you will learn you will learn how current priorities impact what you buy.

How does your expected happiness impact what you buy? Take our Forecasting your Happiness and on your feedback page you will learn if happiness matters more when you are buying a life experiences or a material item.

How materialistic are you? Find out by taking the Materialistic Values Scale. Are you a compulsive buyer? Take the Compulsive Buying Scale and learn about your spending habits.

With these insights, you can better understand the ways in which your financial decisions affect your happiness.

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  • Angela

    I do track my purchases and save money regularly, and definitely feel pretty secure. Now I need to go take those two quizzes you mentioned!

    • Ryan Howell

      Yes! Those quizzes will help you learn about the link between YOUR spending habits and YOUR happiness. Any thoughts on why tracking your spending might make you feel happier?

      • Angela

        There was a point once I didn’t track anything and ended up overdrafting and was NOT happy!

        • Ryan Howell

          That’s what I would have thought :)

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