Monday 22 July 2019 9:36 am

Revealed: 20 purchases that prove money can buy happiness

They say money can’t buy happiness, but there’s no doubt retail therapy can help boost your mood.

Now a survey has revealed the nation’s favourite pick-me-up purchases, showing how Brits like to spend their hard-earned cash over the summer months.

Read more: Why families feel ripped off by overseas summer holidays

The research, commissioned by peer-to-peer lending firm Zopa, showed it’s the small things in life that give people the most happiness.


A bar of chocolate topped the list of best purchases, matched by a £1 donation to charity.

Sweet treats such as Oreos and ice cream also scored highly, while hearty favourites like cornish pasties, Yorkshire pudding and Guinness also made it into the top 10.

NumberTop 20 purchases
1Chocolate bar/ Giving £1 to charity
2 A box of Oreos
3 Yorkshire pudding
4 Cornish pasty
5 Bottle of Coca-Cola
6 Cup of coffee
7 Bottle of Guinness
8 Vegan ice cream
9 Chip butty
10 Burger
11 Happy Hour cocktail
12 Paint brush
13 Pork pie
14 Cookbook
15 Chinese takeaway
16 Bouquet of flowers
17 A book
18 Home-cooked meal
19Local food festival ticket
20Indoor plant

The survey, which weighted happiness rating against money spent, showed which purchases give the biggest mood boost per pound.

The choices ranged from humble snacks to extravagant holidays, and revealed experiences – rather than products – give people more bang for their buck.

Respondents also reported higher levels of happiness from items they use on a regular basis than one-off treats.

For example, a Netflix subscription sparked more joy than a one-off rejuvenation treatment, and people opted for an unlimited phone contract rather than a music festival.

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“This just goes to show you don’t need lots of money to feel good this summer – it’s how you spend it that matters,” said Clare Gambardella, chief customer officer at Zopa.

“In fact, as the research shows, social connection is one of the top things that cheer us up during the hotter months. Whether it’s going to the pub with a friend or giving to charity, connection outweighs material things”.

Main image credit: Getty

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