Polls / October 29, 2013

If you were given EUR100, what would you do with it?

About four-in-ten respondents to the latest eZonomics online poll would splash out on a treat for themselves if they were given a surprise EUR100. Saving the money was the next most common response, followed by spending it on loved ones.

What a lovely little treat
It’s not every day that you get an unexpected EUR100 – so a surprise like that can really brighten your mood.
But what’s the best way to use a modest windfall?
Under some traditional economic theories, writes researcher Nathalie Spencer, the amount is so small compared to a lifetime’s income that it shouldn’t change buying habits. However, we don’t all live in a way that conforms to these theories. And, as this poll suggests, many of us would use the cash for a treat. One of the pitfalls is that little windfalls, such as winning the office sweepstake, being gifted a small bonus or inheritance, can lead to spending we otherwise wouldn’t do. Then there’s the chance that we “top up” the small fortune to get something that costs even more.

Want to increase the happiness?
If spending the windfall is what you have in mind, research suggests how it is used can multiply the happy effect.
Giving to charity feels good. So donating the surprise EUR100 to good causes may be a way to help the charities and get a warm glow back in return.
Buying experiences (such as a language class or tickets to the cinema) are said to lead to longer lasting happiness rather than buying items (such as a new toaster or shirt). Reasons might include the memories created and the fact that experiences are often shared with loved ones, which is also credited with a feel good factor.

BiasHappinessMental accountingFungible

eZonomics team
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)