How Happy Are You Really?

It’s a random Saturday morning and your toddler is the middle of a Level Ten tantrum due to not being able to eat ice cream for breakfast. As you watch her kick and scream, you think to yourself, “You have no idea how easy your life is, kid.”

And you’re right — especially when compared to the often-complicated life of an adult. How one balances work, home life, and fun plays a large role in how satisfied he or she is everyday.

So here’s the question: How happy are you, really?

The good folks at U.S. Bank completed a unique study called the Possibility Index to get the answers. In their words, it assesses Americans’ current level of satisfaction, perceived change in satisfaction over the past year, and how they anticipate changes over the coming year.

Based on creating a summary of scores across ten different life items, an Index number is created measuring their overall sense of satisfaction, ranging from 0-100. Currently, Americans land at 65 out 100 on the scale — and quite frankly, that’s not a great score.

The study found four types of personas. Which one do you identify with?

Confident Connie



Hindered Hannah



Millennial Max


Optimistic Oliver



Now let’s check out how all of this is broken down in three major categories: Work, Home, and Play.


Work takeaways

Only slightly over half of Americans feel good about their current work situation and 40% believe they should be paid more than what they are currently receiving.

Parents are more likely to feel optimistic about potential changes at work than people without kids.

At work, 84% of Americans prioritize salary and job security the most.

This graphic also shows the difference between men and women.












Home takeaways

For definition purposes, “home” means time spent at one’s residence with family or alone, completing household chores, and saving for future family expenses.

Almost 80% of Americans say they are satisfied at home which is the highest among the three aspects of life (work, home, and play).

 Seniors report the highest level of home satisfaction while Millennials are the least satisfied.







Money is the biggest concern for everyone at home. 42% of Americans believe finances prevent them from completely enjoying their home lives due to being worried about paying bills and saving for their kids’ college educations.

Over 90% of Americans believe the ability to pay bills on time and spend quality time with their kiddos are valued the most at home.

Play takeaways

This refers to social life, hobbies, exercise, and other fun stuff.

Seniors are more satisfied than younger Americans with their current play lives.

57% of Americans feel that their financial situation prevents them from having as much fun as they would like.

To 75% of Americans, ideal “play” simply means chilling out at the movies, watching television, or reading a book. But 71% say it’s important to have the ability to afford a fun vacation.









Wrap up

Currently, at a satisfaction ranking in work, home, and play of 65 out of 100, many Americans could use some assistance to live their best lives. The great thing about U.S. Bank is they know where Americans need help and they are doing their part to help in numerous ways such as financial literacy, guidance on retirement/saving, and money management initiatives.

So if you’re not feeling satisfied in your life, don’t beat yourself up — just take the actions to fix it. There are many ways to do that, but it’s nice to know that U.S. Bank is offering a way to getting it done.

Complete Possibility Index

U.S. Bank press release


This post is sponsored by U.S. Bank. Outside of U.S. Bank’s findings in its Possibility Index, all opinions are my own. 


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