Happy Money Book Summary - Happy Money Book explained in key points
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Happy Money summary

Ken Honda

The Japanese Art of Making Peace with Your Money

4.3 (279 ratings)
15 mins

Brief summary

In 'Happy Money' Ken Honda challenges our view on money and offers practical ways to cultivate a happier relationship with it. With real-life stories and research, he suggests ways to change our money mindset and use it to bring joy, gratitude, and peace.

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    Happy Money
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    There are two types of money: happy money and unhappy money – and the difference is energy.

    In Japan, it’s not quite as weird as in the west for a stranger to ask to look through your wallet. But it’s still a bit weird.

    When Ken Honda, the author, attended a party one day, this is what happened to him.

    A woman he’d only just met politely asked him for his wallet. So he handed it over. She went straight for the bills.

    “This is a good one,” she said, after examining the first bill. The second was good too – and the third. As she handed him his wallet back, she congratulated him. His money was all good.

    She’d been checking to see if it was smiling or not.

    Now, the author has written many books on money – he knows a thing or two about it. But this? This was new to him. Money can smile? And so, equally, money can frown?

    The mysterious woman explained to him: it depends how the money has been given and received. Hand over a bill in anger or out of guilt, and that’s unhappy money. Joyously present it to a loved one, and it’s happy money.

    In other words, money has energy. Money is energy.

    And immediately, the author understood.

    After all, he’s dealt with a lot of people in his career, offering financial advice to rich and poor alike. And he knew – he’s seen – that happiness isn’t simply about the amount of money you have.

    He knew rich people living in fear of losing it all, or battling with a sense that their gains were ill-gotten – people with high-paying jobs they hated, for instance, or those who’d won a big divorce settlement. Of course, he also knew people struggling to pay their bills, who felt trapped in a very different sort of unhappy relationship with money.

    And he also knew some people – admittedly not as many – who had happy money. They loved their jobs, made time for their families, and often gave generously to good causes. Were they the richest people he knew? They were not. But they were, of course, the happiest.

    The good news is this: it’s up to you. Because we’re talking metaphorically here: maybe the mysterious party woman did possess some magical powers, maybe not – but the key thing is simply that whether money is good or bad is about attitude. It’s you, the giver and receiver of your money, who infuses it with your energy. It’s in your power to make your money happy.

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    What is Happy Money about?

    Happy Money (2019) is your guide to turning your attitude to money around. What’s important isn’t how much money you have – it’s whether your money is happy or unhappy. And it’s up to you to change your money’s energy.

    Happy Money Review

    Happy Money (2019) by Ken Honda is a thought-provoking exploration of our relationship with money and how it impacts our happiness. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Offers a refreshing perspective on money, presenting practical techniques to transform our relationship with it and create more joy in our lives.
    • Combines personal anecdotes, cultural insights, and psychological research to provide valuable insights into the emotional side of money.
    • Engages readers with its down-to-earth approach, explaining complex ideas in a relatable and accessible manner, ensuring it's never a dull read.

    Who should read Happy Money?

    • People who feel stress and anxiety over money
    • People who love their work but aren’t getting paid their worth
    • Finance buffs with a sense of curiosity

    About the Author

    Ken Honda has published more than 110 books, mostly for self-development and aimed at a Japanese audience. He also has a weekly podcast and holds seminars and conferences which regularly sell out. He is a member of the Transformational Leadership Council – the first from Japan.

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    Happy Money FAQs 

    What is the main message of Happy Money?

    The main message of Happy Money is that money can be a source of happiness and fulfillment when used in certain ways.

    How long does it take to read Happy Money?

    The reading time for Happy Money varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary of the book can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Happy Money a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Happy Money is a worthwhile read as it provides practical advice on how to use money in ways that bring joy and fulfillment.

    Who is the author of Happy Money?

    The author of Happy Money is Ken Honda.