Data on how happiness relates to health and to where people live was released this week by the Office for National Statistics. This makes sense. Both affect people’s well-being.
What’s missing, though, is anything about how managing money underlies these and the other measures used to track happiness. Worth noting:
- Managing money is a life-skill that is key to well-being. It helps people operate in society and to become who they want to be.
- Poor money management leads to ill health.
- The way we manage money affects our well-being now – and also has a lasting impact on life satisfaction in the future.
- Feeling in more control of your money makes a bigger contribution to psychological well-being than an increase in income.
These points were all made to the consultation on setting up the measures by the Money Advice Service. (Download the MAS consultation response as a pdf). The ONS has responded by including two experimental measures:
- Percentage of the population who report that they are finding it quite or very difficult to get by financially
- Percentage of the population who are satisfied with their household income
Data on these will presumably be published sometime in the future. Meanwhile the ONS says it is still looking for a measure of financial security. And it welcomes further comment on this and on the financial measures above.