We at B&J are all about sharing bookkeeping and tax tips, both of which boil down to money. But did you know there may be a science to the need and want for money versus the actual outcome? We did a little digging and found an interesting study conducted April 2017 from the University of Buffalo. Below are our top 5 interesting findings from this money study.
1. More Money Does Not Mean More Happiness
Everyone gets depressed when they have to leave the newest piece of tech or pair of shoes at the store because they can’t afford it. However, this study suggests that placing an importance on financial worth is linked to a host of issues. Included on this list are: low self-esteem, decreased satisfaction in life, higher anxiety, symptoms of depression, and even physical health. Overall findings showed that those who based their self-worth on financial success were what led to these downfalls. The researchers actually conducted six different studies where they accounted for personality variables such as trait self-esteem, financially relevant constructs, economic hardship, and academic and health threat conditions.
2. Financial Self Worth Not Linked to Gender
With so much of our society divided by gender and other superficial factors, it was refreshing to see that we all have the same problems. As the researchers predicted, better financial self worth was linked to external factors such as the approval of others, physical appearance, and their education. So in normal terms, if you think you look good to yourself and others, you are more likely to have a positive financial outlook.
3. It’s Worse for College Students
Financial concerns are a huge source of stress for today’s college students. In fact, many of them are working and paying for college expenses themselves. A recent report from Georgetown reported that over the past 25 years, more than 70% of college students were working to pay for their education. Rising costs in college enrollment and student debt is not helping the situation either. When asked to write an essay on their finances, college students who strongly based their self-worth on financial success wrote with more negative verbiage.
4. Outlook Matters
Participants in the study with a higher financial self worth reported lower feelings of autonomy after writing about a negative aspect of their financial situation versus their academic situation. However, this result happened only when participants were asked to write about a financial problem. On the other hand, there was a change when participants were asked to write about their greatest strength in a financial problem. Participants wrote in a more positive manner. The results were repeated even after factoring for financial status, materialism, and financial goals.
5. Better Financial Self Worth was Linked to Better Spending
The study also demonstrated that individuals with a higher financial self worth were less likely to make extravagant splurges when they were told they would have a financially insecure future. The results came about only among those with high financial self worth but not in participants who based their self-worth on financial success. The same results appeared even when accounting for financial aspirations, materialism, and financial status. Results were not repeated when participants were not told a splurge could effect their financial future.
To read the study for yourself, click here.
Get Our Houston Bookkeeping to Take Increase Your Financial Self Worth
Although these findings don’t represent every individual, they do show how higher stress money-wise can affect your happiness. If you live in Houston and need some bookkeeping to take the stress out of your finances, feel free to contact us for assistance.