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?

How you felt

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