02 Aug Happiness is 29Pounds a day
What price happiness? Just ê_Ô£29 a day, apparently
MONEY can’t buy you love but it can buy you happiness, with a study putting the price of contentment at ê_Ô£29 a day.
The survey of more than 1,000 bank customers found just under ê_Ô£30 is the sum needed by the average British adult to pursue all their interests in their social and leisure time.
Individually, the cost of a happy leisure life adds up to ê_Ô£10,801 over the course of a year. Nationwide, expenditure on such items amounts to some ê_Ô£496 billion per annum.
The survey shows that the average person spends more on beauty (ê_Ô£478 per year) than they do on sports and hobbies (ê_Ô£410), but the biggest spending is on holidays (ê_Ô£3,764), home improvements (ê_Ô£1,783) and eating out and socialising (ê_Ô£1,295). Fashion accounts for a spend of ê_Ô£1,146, while travel – excluding the daily drudge of commuting – takes up some ê_Ô£1,090.
The results of the survey, published yesterday, show that above all people put the greatest premium on their time outside work, and most value their ability to spend their money on things like holidays, trips to restaurants, cinemas, nights out, fashion, beauty products, electronic gadgets, and hobbies.
Some 1,052 people were questioned by banking giant Abbey, with the results also showing that the ordinary worker would demand almost twice the amount they usually earn to forfeit a day off from their job.
Having adequate time off, according to one psychologist, is the key to happiness.
When asked how much people would need to be paid per hour to work on their day off, the average response was ê_Ô£19.21 – or nearly twice the average hourly wage in the UK. Over a full eight-hour working day, this equals ê_Ô£153.68.
While most people will not sacrifice leisure time for paid work, 38 per cent – more than 9.5 million Britons – have worked on their day off within the last year without extra pay.
Cynthia McVey, a lecturer in psychology at Glasgow Caledonian University, said it was important for people to remember that time is the most precious commodity of all.
She said: ‘some people might be prepared to sacrifice spending time with their friends and family, but that in itself is priceless. We can live without our cars or expensive hobbies, but having the opportunity to see your children grow up, or spend time with a parent who’s getting older, is the most valuable thing of all.
“These are the things that Epicurus held true centuries ago, and they’re still the most important things in our lives today.”
Steve Shore, head of banking at Abbey, said: “With the average Briton spending almost half of their annual wage on pursuits that make them happy, we place a high value on our leisure time.”
RICHES ‘NOT IMPORTANT’
WHO wants to be a millionaire? Not Britons, who seem to covet happiness over money, according to a new report.
Just one in seven people thinks getting rich is “very important”, with four in ten happy with their financial lot, saying being rich is “not at all important” or “not really important” to them.
More than a quarter of people claim they would not dramatically change their lifestyle if they came into money.
However, the Getting Rich report, from market analysts TNS, found men remain more aspirational than women. One in 20 men expects to be worth more than ê_Ô£5 million at the end of his life, compared with just 1 per cent of women – which researchers say reflects the continuing pay gap between the sexes as men continue to earn, on average, 12 per cent more than women.
The report, which polled 1,000 people, questioned what people think counts as rich in 21st-century Britain.