Is Scotland the Happiest Place in the UK?

Written by Karen Bryan

According to the results of the latest Cash Happy Survey by Sun Life, featured in the infographic below, Scotland is the happiest place in the UK.

The average monthly household take home pay in the UK is £1,970. Just over 80% of this income goes on living expenses such as housing, clothing, food, transport and loan/credit card payments. This leaves a national UK average of £381 spare cash per household per month.

Evidently, if your household has at least £390 a month left over after paying your living expenses, then you are likely to be happy. Scotland has the highest average spare cash at £454 per month per household.

Although average take home pay in the South East of England is higher, it’s a more expensive area in which to live, leading to a slightly lower amount of spare cash than in Scotland.

The East Midlands has the lowest household spare cash per month, at £218.

bcost of happiness in the uk today-infographic

Interestingly, the rate of increase in happiness relative to the increase in spare cash slows down once you reach £390 spare cash per month. Therefore, being very wealthy doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be a lot happier. According to the survey, monthly spare cash of £718 in a household brings optimum happiness.

The Sun Life research highlights that being organised with your cash, i.e. setting a budget and sticking to it, helps make you feel happier. I think that’s about being in control and knowing that you are not going to be short of cash by the end of the month. Plus, having some extra cash allows to enjoy leisure and travel, as well as build up an emergency fund to cover unexpected circumstances, and to plan for your future e.g. paying into a pension.