How to be happy on a budget

Catherine Jones has the lowdown


How to be happy on a budget

 With all this talk of money, and not having any of it, I am seeking comfort in psychology.

For one thing, there are key differences between those of us who save and those of us who talk about saving but don’t make a terribly good fist of it.

study of several years of the Dutch DNB Household survey followed more than 1,000 people who planned to save — the huge majority were successful but some completely failed. What the researchers discovered was that successful savers experienced a different ‘time horizon’ than the failed savers. Rather than living for the moment they were more future focused.

They also used handy techniques to rein in their spending such as setting up a transfer into a savings account each month, relying on automatic processes rather than willpower — as a tip, a strategy that failed savers used was to carry just a small amount of cash in their wallets.

Either way you cut it, though, we don’t have a lot of money to save so it’s good to know that having less will not will reduce happiness levels nearly as much as we fear — so long as we focus firmly on the bright shiny debt-free distant future. That, and setting up an automated bank transfer into a savings account.