Here's a quote from an author who, more than any other, made me think about the relationship between household financial management and happiness:
What is the good life? I will tell you. After scratching my head over contradictory philosophy and social psychology books, after reading the diaries of the terminally ill (see Escape Everything! for that sad story), and after paying attention while living in the alternate modes of Wage Slave and Free Radical, I can reveal that these are the keys (if not the very substance) of the good life: health, friendship, love, lots of free time, purposeful or purposeless intellectual fulfillment, sensual pleasure, an appreciation of our existing surroundings (as opposed to working hard to achieve a better situation), a satisfying creative output in which we can take personal pride, a clean and dignified place to live.
Robert Wringham, The Good Life for Wage Slaves