Savings comfort

A path to happiness

Money might not buy happiness but it can help ? that’s what the findings imply in our seventh savings survey, the ING International Survey Savings 2018.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents across Europe replied either “yes” or “most of the time” when asked if they feel happy in general. Only 10% said “no” or “rarely” and 32% “sometimes”.

Forty-seven percent of the happy group reported that they were comfortable with their savings level. Savings comfort was noticeably rarer among those who said they were happy sometimes (21%) and those who said they were unhappy (13%).

Of course, savings comfort may not on its own make a person happy. But our results suggest a link: comfort with the amount of savings one has readily available is clearly one of the many factors that can contribute to overall happiness.

Yet many still have no savings

Unfortunately, many people continue to tell us year after year that they have no readily available savings at all ? or only a small amount. In 2018, 26% across Europe say their household has no savings at all; over the seven years of our survey there has been little change to this figure.

At least three to six months of take-home pay is usually recommended as an appropriate buffer for covering emergencies. Having this amount saved could mean, for example, that unexpected car or house repairs can be paid for without going into debt.

The money-savings relationship also appears to reflect the degree of closeness in a couple’s relationship. Those who are in a relationship and who report being happy are also more likely to say the pair largely or fully combine their finances.

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