U.S. Markets close in 3 hrs 26 mins

Money doesn’t buy happiness — but savings do

Edmund Heaphy
Finance and news reporter
British people should take lessons from Sweden, one of the world’s happiest countries. Photo: PA

A small increase in monthly savings is much more likely to make you happy than a rise in income, according to a new study from Barclays and the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

In the long term, the research found, people who consistently have a savings account are more than 6% more likely to have a higher life satisfaction score.

The study found that saving an additional 10% of your monthly income also had a bigger impact than being happily married, and had the same impact as being in good health.

Despite that, more than a third of Brits think they would be happier if they earned more money. More than half think they’d need more than £1m in the bank to consider themselves “wealthy.”

The research comes as part of a report that encourages British people to take lessons from Sweden, one of the world’s happiest countries.

Swedes are practiced in the art of lagom, which means “just the right amount.”

Around a quarter of Brits have admitted that they never or rarely save. Those living in Sweden saved nearly 20% of their disposable income in 2018, on the other hand.

Dirk Klee, the head of savings, investment, and wealth management at Barclays, said that it was “easy to underestimate the benefits of saving or investing a regular amount each month.”

“No matter what the amount, it will build to give you that peace of mind that you have something set aside for a rainy day, and move you closer to your goals,” Klee said.

He said the report challenged people “to stop thinking about wealth in terms of money and to start seeing their finances alongside all the other important factors and goals in their life.”

The report also revealed that age is a big factor in how people view wealth. On average, those in the 18-34 age group think that it would take just £383,375 to feel wealthy, far below £1 million.

Around 10% of those aged 18-34 said they are already wealthy.