Happiness is a joint bank account

Friday 06 December 2013

Article by Mozo

Money can't buy you love but according to US researchers, pooling your resources can makes for a happier life and more successful relationship.

Is happiness a joint bank account?

New research from the US has shown that the more you're prepared to pool cash with your significant other, the happier you are. The study showed that people who kept 5% or less of their income for individual discretionary spending were happier than those who kept things separate.

Correspondingly, people who pooled 80% of their income were significantly happier than those who pooled 70% or less. People who keep all their income to themselves in a relationship were found to be the least happy.   

Part of this is selection bias as if your relationship is struggling you are more likely to keep more as protection against the inevitable. Secondly, failing to pool resources led to more arguments over money by accentuating earning disparity.

Sharing income was found to reinforce trust as you work harder together to make the relationship work in difficult times, while separate bank accounts makes for an easier exit.

A far cry from the much touted "his, hers and ours accounts," research would suggest that the happiest couples are those who throw caution to the wind to pool incomes and savings goals.

Couples who want to maximise general health and happiness should also consider making savings a regular habit, according to the RaboDirect National Savings and Debt barometer. The research found a direct correlation between good savings habits, happiness and health.

An estimates 62% of regular savers reported that they were happy with their life, well above the national average of 48%. While  only 19% of 'unrestrained spenders' say they are happy with their life.

Commenting on the findings, Greg McAweeny, executive general manager of RaboDirect said "We've always had out suspicions that regular raving could put a smile on the dial and now we have the proof. And it's also interesting to note the link between savings and health."

So what's the winning combination for happiness? A shared bank account, a high interest savings account and good savings habits from both parties working towards joint financial goals.

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