Life Hacks

How Can Life Control Affect Your Happiness?

We all have various levels of life control whether it’s in your job or in family life. But how does happiness relate to life control? We ran a survey which asked people a range of questions to determine their levels of life control. The data was collected and assigned a happiness index to see in which areas of our lives we find the greatest joy and control.

How Can Life Control Affect Your Happiness?

Happiness vs. Financial Control – Transcript

There is no magic formula to ensuring lifelong happiness and financial security. However, by making small changes in our lives, it is possible to improve your happiness and sense of control over your life finances.

The UK Happiness Scale

Our Life Control Index takes a look at how in control and happy people are in their lives.

We asked questions covering their finances, job satisfaction and home life, assigning a happiness score out of 10 to the answers – a score or 10 being the happiest and most financially in control one can be!

As a nation, we don’t know whether we are happy or not. The average happiness score of the UK is 5.25!

Does increasing control increase your happiness?

By looking at happiness and control across various areas of your life, it is clear the more in control you feel, the happier you are.

Where are people happy?

Despite financial control being a key factor to improving happiness, they don’t always go hand in hand.

Take Cardiff which scores the 1st place for financial control, but 11th place for happiness. Whereas Edinburgh scores 4th for happiness but 14th for financial control.

But before moving to Scotland or the West Country, take a look at what your town scores…

Most happy: Southampton

Least happy: Birmingham

Most in control: Cardiff

Least in control: Belfast


Does earning more money make you happy? Of course, it does! However, people earning around £25,000 and those around £45,000 experience a dip in both financial control and happiness. Take a look at the findings below to see where you sit on the Salary vs Happiness scale.

So it’s fair to say that the more you earn, the happier you are likely to be. But what impact does your job have on your happiness, and on your sense of control over your money? We’ve ranked the most common sectors below. Where do you work?

25% of the UK are unhappy with their jobs but not necessarily unhappy in life. What are they doing that makes a difference? Here are the top 5 reasons people are happy outside of work:

  1. Socialising every few weeks
  2. Participating in hobbies every few days
  3. Doing activities with family every few weeks
  4. Exercising every week or so
  5. Having multiple holidays a year


What are the factors that secure happiness and financial security for UK parents? Let’s look at the home, mortgage repayments and spending time with family…

Owning your own home: As a nation, the majority of us either own or desire to own our home, but dows a mortgage bring financial control and happiness?

Interestingly, people renting from housing associations or from their local authority are happier than those that rent privately. Owning you home outright clearly makes people happier, but what if we look at mortgage payments.

Mortgage Payments vs Happiness: Ensuring you don’t bite off more than you can chew certainly helps happiness, financial control and control over family life.

In the graph below measures happiness and control against mortgage repayments as a percentage of monthly income.

So, smaller mortgage repayments give you more financial control and a greater sense of happiness. But is there more to family life?

Top 10 activities for happy families:

  1. Doing family activities together
  2. Getting outside
  3. Cooking
  4. Lunch/Dinner at a restaurant
  5. Parties
  6. Lunch/Dinner at home
  7. Music
  8. Gardening
  9. Walking or hiking
  10. Meeting for tea or coffee

And the more quality time you spend with your family, the happier you become!

According to our survey, happiness can be found in home ownership, job satisfaction and a healthy family life. If we all make little changes to boost control over our lives, then we can be a much happier nation!


Sunny’s Life Control Survey was conducted in February 2017 and polled over 4,000 UK citizens who were asked a series of questions on life, money and happiness.

Read more: Is Money The Key To Happiness? (Spoiler: No, It Isn’t)

Editor’s Note:

The happiness score was created by applying a value from 0 to 4 on to responses to 4 statements where 4 is the most positive response to the statement, the statements: Overall I am happy with my life at present; Even during bad times, I am optimistic about the future; I regularly worry about the future; I regularly feel stressed at my current situation.

The responses were: Strongly agree; Somewhat agree; Neither agree nor disagree; Somewhat disagree; Strongly disagree.

We divided these scores by 1.6 to get a score out of 10 which we can map against other data metrics determined by the survey such as financial control.