Everyone and their mothers—us included—keep telling you that it’s smart to spread your money. Have a savings account and an emergency fund (and no, they’re not the same thing). Invest early. Give a damn about insurance. Understand and take advantage of your work benefits. Still, most of us disregard all these financial tips until something big happens.
According to The Wall Street Journal, we don’t focus on all of that because it doesn’t feel good. Investments and savings accounts are important (#adulting), BUT it's actually the amount of cash you have on hand—in your checking account—that contributes to your overall happiness.
Joe Gladstone, research associate at the University of Cambridge, explains, “The amount of money you have in your bank account right now is a better predictor of happiness than your aggregate wealth. Having more money in their bank account makes people feel more financially secure, which leads to an increase in happiness.” And it’s true for both the poor AND the wealthy.
When your money is tied up somewhere, even if it’s making you more money, assuring you a financially stable future, and benefiting your loved ones, it “feels more abstract and inaccessible.” This is an important finding because it goes against the usual tip we get from financial advisers who are adamant about making your money work for you, but who could also forget about the significance of one’s psychological well-being. It doesn’t hurt to get a little guidance from the professionals, but don’t neglect your gut when it comes to money matters.
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