When it comes to saving vs. spending, which activity makes you happier? Ally Bank has published a study that shows folks that saved more tended to say they are happier than folks who didn’t save.
According to Ally’s survey of 1,000+ Americans,
…among those with a savings account, 38 percent report feeling extremely, or very happy, versus 29 percent of those without a savings account.
Ignoring the fact that Ally’s self interest is in encouraging folks to save more, this finding makes sense to me. Having money saved helps people feel secure or successful, and those tend to create feelings of satisfaction. What I like most about saving money is precisely this feeling of adding to my financial security. I do get a lot of enjoyment out of spending money, though, especially on specific things – a vacation, a good book, the really warm jacket with a hood that I got last Christmas, good food, my favorite foundation and lipstick, etc. Still, it’s always a balancing act in figuring out how I can optimize my happiness with saving and spending.