Want Vs Need as opposed to Happy/Unhappy spending

One of the areas I think could be adjusted within the app is:

I think the use of Happy/Unhappy spending should be replaced with a concept of Want Vs Need - I know many people who have turned their financial situations around just by getting a better understanding and visibility of what is a ‘Need’ spend and what is a ‘Want’ spend…

In terms of Happy/Unhappy - I might go out on a Friday night and spend £200 on alcohol and food and completely blow my monthly budget - but would I feel Happy or Unhappy about it?.. (I guess it depends on the hangover!!) - In most cases people would associate the Happy/Unhappy to how they felt about the expenditure and for people struggling with their finances they wouldn’t necessarily understand the spenders remorse concept that this currently lends itself to.

I think it would be a lot clearer and easier for people to understand Want Vs Need and to be able to use this as a tool for helping to identify where expenditure can be better managed.

For Example: (Happy/Unhappy)

Rent - Unhappy (who likes spending money on rent)
Travel to work - Unhappy (who feels happy about spending money to end up face first in someones armpit on the tube?!)
Lunch - Happy (hmmmm yummy food!)
Beers after work - Happy (relaxing time…)

Want Vs Need:

Rent - Need (got to keep a roof over my head)
Travel to work - Need (Not practical to leave at 6am and walk in)
Lunch - Want (I could make my own and bring it in but it’s such a hassle!)
Beers after work - Want (I really wanted a drink after work to unwind!)

Very quickly you can start to see unnecessary spending and identify ways to help reduce this…

What do you guys think?


This is a really good idea! I was debating how to best categorise some of my spends the other day. In the end, a lot just ended up as Neutral (groceries etc), which kinda feels like it’s defeating the point.

Thats exactly the thought I had when I looked at this - i struggled with identifying spending as a happy or unhappy spend without focussing more on how the expenditure made me feel as opposed to whether I felt spenders remorse or not…

All I’ve done is rate my spending as “Happy” because I needed it all and conflate that with being Happy that I did (admittedly I haven’t done a lot of spending on the Dozens card as yet).

But I think this conflation is due to me understanding the Need vs Want argument, whereas I think you are right that the happy scale doesn’t quite work as intended

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