Family and finances trump relationships when it comes to finding joy

More than nine out of ten UK adults would choose extended family or financial security over a partner or spouse when it comes to seeking joy, according to new research.

While 2020’s lockdown forced many to spend more time than ever indoors with their other half, new findings from Hitachi Personal Finance reveal people may have found more happiness locking down with extended family members instead.

In a survey of UK adults, three in ten (30%) revealed that spending quality time with family brings them the most joy, compared to just 11% who said the same about their partner or spouse.

The top five situations respondents said bring the most happiness are:

  • Spending time with extended family (30%)
  • Financial security (14%)
  • Spending time with partner/ spouse (11%)
  • Travelling with family/ friends (7%)
  • Being able to treat myself and buy whatever I want (6%)

The good news is that lockdown seems to have made us appreciate the joy of family, however, it may not be good news for the nation’s couples.

And whilst we may be a nation of animal lovers, with over 50% of UK households owning a pet, only 5% of people said animals and pets bring them the most joy. This is surprising as Google searches for ‘pets for adoption’ increased by a staggering 248%² and ‘dogs for adoption’ increased a huge 113% when the country was put in lockdown.

When it comes to finances, more than one in ten (14%) said that financial security makes them happiest, which could be good news for the 8% whose biggest lockdown joy was saving money on commuting and socialising.

Vincent Reboul, Managing Director at Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance, says: “When it comes to money, more than one in ten said that financial security brings them joy. The good news is, the figures point towards more responsible spending habits as restrictions prevailed; consumers continued to pay down their credit card bills during lockdown as credit card balances fell by 12.6% in the year to May while overall card spending in the UK was down 39% year-on-year³. This could suggest that many have used the past few months as an opportunity to re-evaluate their financial situation and place greater emphasis on financial security”.

While there are some silver linings to be found from lockdown, such as spending more time on self-care and less time commuting, the new insight also uncovered that one in ten (10%) don’t know what makes them happy in everyday life. To help combat this, hints and tips from Hitachi Personal Finance alongside expert advice, provides inspiration on how people can find a happiness boost in everyday life.

Explaining more about what makes us happy, Dr Rakish Rana, Executive Life Coach & Founder of The Clear Coach says: “Unfortunately in this day and age, social media and marketing is telling us what should be making us happy. Our brain is getting all these mixed signals, no wonder it’s a challenge to really understand what makes us Brits happy.

“Happiness isn’t something we can achieve. It’s something momentary that we can catch in fleeting moments. We can live a life of passion, purpose and fulfilment. So the idea is to fill your life with more moments of happiness and joy. Science has shown that we can achieve this through gratitude, music, helping others and exercise.”

To find out more about what brings us the most happiness, please visit: https://www.hitachipersonalfinance.co.uk/latest-posts/newsguides/hitachi-s-hints-and-tips-for-finding-and-appreciating-happiness/