While it's one of our simplest tools, the list still proves its power every time we put our trust in it. Lots of budgeting apps and programs ask you to map out your spending over a set period, to spot patterns. Very few have asked us to consider our emotional involvement with money, though.
Joy is a free app for the iPhone that has users rate how happy or unhappy a given purchase makes them, as opposed to simply categorizing those purchases. Once it has an idea of your spending profile or "personality type," you'll get a Money Coach, an adorable in-app robot that offers advice. "By focusing on you as a person," says the website, "we know we'll do more for you and your numbers."
There are as many ways to use your money for happiness as there are people. We know that financial literacy can pay off big time for your future self, but the concept seems cold and intimidating to many. By focusing on emotional connections to our daily actions and long-term plans, Joy gives us a reason to be invested in its system, which should help us stick with it. The biggest benefit of being smarter with your money? It affords you more time to do the things you love.
The website Moneyish spoke to experts about actively pursuing joy in your purchases — check that out if you're still on the fence about what it all means. For any Android users who are disappointed Joy is iPhone-only, good news: You can sign up for a notification when it's released to the Google Play Store.