Written By: Shane Enete, Martin Seay, Sarah Asebedo, David Wang, and Megan McCoy
The purpose of this paper is to show that emotions matter when predicting the financial wellbeing of U.S. households. The broaden and build theory was used to predict that positive emotions would be positively associated with financial wellbeing and negative emotions would be negatively associated with financial wellbeing. Using a convenience sample of 993 U.S. adults, emotions were found to explain the variation in family financial wellbeing, measured by income and net worth, of U.S. households beyond demographic variables. More specifically, feelings of contentment, love, anger, anxiety, and loneliness were found to be associated with financial wellbeing. Results suggest that policymakers, financial professionals, and academics should collect more data on the emotions of individuals to help explain the variation in the financial wellbeing of U.S. households. Results also provide evidence in support of the financial counseling industry’s efforts to incorporate emotions as an important variable when modeling family financial wellbeing.