People in Northern Ireland need £812,000 to be considered 'wealthy'
PEOPLE in Northern Ireland claim they need more than £800,000 in their bank account to be deemed 'wealthy' - yet only three per cent have achieved that level of personal wealth.
Also, less than a third of people here are regular savers, the lowest figure from across the UK, a report from Barclays and Cebr claims.
And asked what they'd do if they were handed £5,000 in cash, 29 per cent of Northern Ireland respondents admitted they'd simply blow it.
The study shows that wealth – at least in its traditional form - cannot buy happiness.
Northern Ireland respondents say they need £811,901 to be considered wealthy (though for those aged 18-34, their definition of wealth is less than half that at £383,375).
A quarter believe they would be happier if they earned more money, though the route to happiness is in fact much simpler than your salary or the amount of money you have to your name.
The report focussed on challenging perceptions of wealth looks at how UK residents could boost happiness and wellbeing by taking lessons from one of the world's happiest countries, Sweden, and focusing on little and often.
The analysis shows that boosting the amount of money you save each month has a bigger impact on life satisfaction scores than an increase in income. It says that if a person saved an additional 10 per cent of their monthly pay cheque, the likelihood of them reporting a high life satisfaction score increases.
Dirk Klee, chief executive of savings, investments & wealth management at Barclays, says: “It's easy to underestimate the benefits of saving or investing a regular amount each month. No matter what the amount, it will build to give you that peace of mind that you have something set aside for a rainy day, and move you closer to your goals.”
The report's findings challenge people to stop thinking about wealth in terms of money and to start seeing their finances alongside all the other important factors and goals in their life – channelling the Swedish art of lagom, meaning “just the right amount”.
Linnea Dunne, author and lagom expert, said: “Lagom isn't about extremes, it is about ‘just enough' – and I believe applying the principles of lagom to all areas of your life can be hugely beneficial for your overall wellbeing and happiness
“It is certainly clear from the new report from Barclays that, when it comes to our finances, living a little more lagom can genuinely improve our overall life satisfaction.”
Dirk Klee added: “Wealth is often seen as a bad word, something unachievable and for the lucky few. But the reality is that money, or ‘wealth', is just a means to an end. It helps you to achieve a key life moment or personal ambition so, in fact, it should be seen as relative to your lifestyle and your goals.”
Individuals who felt they were “living comfortably” or “doing alright” financially – regardless of income – were 11 per cent more likely to be mostly or completely satisfied with their life.