| Real Life Strategies for Building Wealth

This is a sponsored review of Happier: a new website for the savvy consumer.

My long standing and faithful readers know well where I stand on frugality. My new readers – and I know that there are many of you, I do this Google Analytics thing now 🙂 – can get the long(er) story by reading this. The short story is that I don’t stand by frugality and can’t abide people telling me to cut my own hair, to take shower once a week and to wear five jumpers to keep warm. I find this all very vexing, pointless and, let’s face it, ultimately wasteful.

My UK readers also, no doubt, know that this, sometimes extreme, frugality mentality and blind deal chasing has as its natural home the MoneySavingExpert.com – the biggest and most popular personal finance website in the UK that was recently sold for…well, an awful lot. I have to be fair here – this website helped me a lot when we first found ourselves in financial trouble. But it is a bit like your first pair of shoes – if you don’t outgrow them there is something wrong.

Combine frugality and deals, and a website to go with it and you can understand why when I was approached to review Happier I felt a bit ambivalent. Why did I accept? Well, mainly because the message very nicely mentioned that ‘a negative review would be OK’. This immediately made me curious – usually it is a sign that people have a great product and they really wish to contribute value.

Next, I decided to discuss the matter with John – you all know that he is the techie around here and my favourite debate sparring partner (after all, we have been married long enough). He looked at the site and send me a text reading: ‘I like it; clean, fast and an interesting concept.’ My curiosity increased even further!

It was time to play! Went on Happier and found crisp design and a list of deals. Oh, no! I was thinking what you may be thinking: not another affiliate site listing deals. Then I looked closer and noticed the rather stylish blobs to the left: one green, one red and a larger one in the middle saying ‘points’ (I am doing my best here people but if you want to know what this looks like go see for yourself). John had said ‘a rather interesting concept’, didn’t he? And I got it!

It isn’t simply an affiliate site of listed deals at all; it is a co-creation of a community sharing information about products and educating each other to be savvy consumers. From what I understand, anyone who joins the site (yes, I did join) can publish a deal they know about; then people can comment on whether the product is worth it and vote (this is what the blobs to the left are about). Gloriously simple and marvellously useful! I was briefly tempted by a deal for Agent Provocateur underwear (free delivery) but on a second thought…the Lindt chocolates won!

And this is only the part about deals! There is also a part for free stuff – books, stamps, manicure, you name it. Anything that members have found and consider worth sharing. My personal favourite in this section is a free entry to Kew Gardens in London between December 22 and January 4 – if it were only a month later (I said I don’t do frugality not that I don’t appreciate a good deal). It may be also worth looking at the competitions – some really great stuff there. But since I have never won anything in my life, I will stick with the deals and the free stuff; for now.

Now about temptation! Guys from Happier, what have you done to me? When I go on a site for savvy consumers, with an emphasis on deals, free stuff and saving money I am not prepared to deal with temptation that may lead me to spend hundreds of pounds. Yes, I am talking about your Money Saving Guides! Until I read one them I was happy with my trusted iPad 2; I was strong and determined to resist the iPad 3. Then I absolutely loved Siri – and my iPad doesn’t run it. So I am lusting again – after technology!

Verdict: I have to say that I truly, honestly loved this site – it is crisp, fast, well structured and useful. My feeling is that building on the principle of co-creation it will be really big – it only needs time to grow! For that, I did my bit and joined the Happier community.

How about you?