The price of happiness


They say money can’t buy happiness, well a new survey has dashed this claim buy slapping a £5000 price on a permanent smile.

The investment group Skandia carried out the survey and their results found that 82 percent of people quizzed would be happy if they had five grand in the bank, the figure is an increase from last year when 66 percent claimed that same amount was what they required to be happy.

Skandia representative Colin Jelley said: “The catalogue of financial upsets over the past few years - from the credit crunch, stockmarket volatility and current belt-tightening that the Government and individuals are doing – seem to have re-based peoples’ expectations of how much they need to be happy.”

However despite these findings it appears that £5000 was still not enough for most people to completely clear their existing debts, only one third of the respondents saw this as an adequate amount, in 32004 44 percent felt it would be enough.

However recent times have seen British families saving less than they used to, and this combined with the “happiness price” could be a factor in the general malaise that has swept the country. The official ‘savings ratio’ a measure of how much money households are either saving or using to pay off debt, has fallen down to 3.2 percent from 5.5 percent, its lowest in almost two years.

Jonathan Loynes, chief European economist at Capital Economics said: “The higher the rate of inflation, the less spending power you have, and you are going to have to dip into your savings to buy the same amount of goods. But the main factor in the low savings ratio is the weak growth in wages. There have been large pay freezes. Ultimately, it is a combination of the two, and that’s why real household disposable incomes are down. Households have no choice but to dip into their savings.”