Did you ever notice how your spending and (lack of) saving habits can take a toll on your emotions? Joy (findjoy.com) is a personal finance app which connects your spending and your mood. It incorporates psychology and financial behavior to change the way you perceive, spend and save money.
The Thinking Behind Joy
In Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending, authors Elizabeth Dunn, Ph.D., and Michael Norton outline five research-based principles to finding financial happiness.
- People gain more happiness from buying experiences than material things.
- People find more happiness, on average, when they use their money to benefit others, rather than themselves.
- People feel more happy when they pay in advance for something they will consume later.
- People gain more happiness when they spend money to treat themselves.
- People find more happiness when they buy time, like buying their way out of cleaning the bathroom.
With the Science of Smarter Spending framework in mind, Happy Money’s team of psychologists, neuroscientists, data scientists, financial professionals and tech experts worked together to create the Joy app. The free personal finance tool is designed specifically to track how your spending makes you feel.
Link Your Accounts
With Joy, you’ll be able to connect your bank and credit card accounts to easily track your finances. All major U.S. banks, as well as over 20,000 other banks, credit unions and credit card companies, have the ability to sync with the app.
Rate Your Purchases
The backbone of the Joy app prompts you to rate your transactions as “happy” or “sad” spends. By acknowledging how your spending makes you feel, you’ll end up buying more of what makes you happy and less of what makes you sad.
Build Your Savings
Joy makes it easy to save more money by giving behavior-based daily savings recommendations, as well as a free, FDIC-insured savings account. The app will gather your income data and spending habits to suggest an amount to squirrel away every day.
Joy will then prompt you to transfer that bit of savings to your Joy Savings account. This enables you to recognize daily opportunities to save, build your savings, and promote a sense of control over your financial future.
Figure Out Your Money Personality
Joy will ask you five simple questions and use your responses to assign you a “money personality,” which correlates with how you spend your money.
Once Joy has this information, it can then personalize your experience within the app.
Meet Your Personalized Money Coach
You’ll be set up with a money coach, which is an artificially intelligent robot. How your coach interacts with you – encouraging you to do better, presenting goals, celebrating victories, and even punctuation, slang and emojis – are based on your money personality.
You can start a chat with your coach whenever you want. The topics and responses are limited to the information you’ll need to use the app, but your coach can also give you reports on how you’re doing with your spending or saving (more on that below).
See Your Progress
See how your budgeting and savings have progressed over time by asking your money coach how much you’ve spent this month compared to last month, how your happy spends compare with sad spends, or how you’re doing with your savings habits compared with other people with the same money personality, and much more.
Joy is a great option if you aren’t in tune with your spending habits. The app helps you take inventory of your finances, recognize how you spend, and connect it all with your emotions. So you can manage your money better. Who knows? Maybe you’ll get some joy out of it as well!