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Jake & Gino: Happy Money with Ken Honda

By Jake & Gino | Published March 15, 2024

In a world often dominated by financial stress and anxiety, Ken Honda’s Happy Money : The Japanese Art of Making Peace With Your Money, stands as a beacon of hope and positivity. I had the privilege recently to interview Ken Honda about his book and his lengthy career as a money expert, and I am going to share with you some of my key takeaways.

At its core, Happy Money is more than just currency changing hands; it’s a philosophy that centers around the idea that money can and should bring happiness. Honda distinguishes between Happy Money, which flows with joy and gratitude, and Unhappy Money, which carries negativity and stress. Understanding this concept is the first step toward transforming your financial life. Money earned with positive intentions and happiness is what we should all be striving for.

In the book Ken answers these monumental questions :

  • How can I deal with money?
  • Can I have more money without incurring great sacrifice?
  • Can I have peace while I am alive?
  • What can I do to create a happy, fulfilling, prosperous, and purpose-filled life?

He also does a masterful job focusing on the problem of scarcity, how to overcome it, and how it leads to unhappy money.  We tend to focus on what we don’t’ have, or what our neighbors have, which creates this scarcity mindset. It leads us down the path of never-ending accumulation, and creates jealousy, greed, and prejudice.

Ken provides actionable insights to cultivate a positive money mindset. From transforming limiting beliefs to practical tips for creating a positive financial environment, these key action points lay the foundation for a more fulfilling financial journey. He also delves into the emotional impact of financial choices, offering a fresh perspective on how our attitudes toward money shape our overall well-being.

Embracing the art of giving and receiving is a central theme in “Happy Money.” Honda encourages readers to build positive relationships with money by understanding the importance of balance in financial transactions. The word gratitude is often thrown around carelessly in society, but I believe, and I think Ken agrees, it is one of the foundations to embracing “happy money”. To be grateful to receive and spend money brings joy to one’s life, and to be able to have the ability to be charitable with your money to create impact in other’s people’s lives only increases your ability to tap into happy money.

Achieving financial freedom is a shared goal for many, and “Happy Money” provides strategies to realize this dream. Balancing work, life, and financial goals becomes a manageable task when approached with the principles outlined by Honda.

As I shared on the podcast, when my wife and I married on August 30, 1998, that was the day she became financially free. Her stress and worries with money became much less. She had different ideas about what money was, how it was to be spent, and how we should invest it. Once I shared with her what financial freedom meant to me and I painted her a clear picture, did she fully understand how I viewed money and how we both got on the same page to strive towards our happy money.


In conclusion, “Happy Money” by Ken Honda offers a roadmap to financial bliss. By understanding and applying the key action points and takeaways discussed in this article, you can embark on a transformative journey toward a happier and more fulfilling relationship with money. What I truly loved most about the book were the personal stories that Ken shares with the readers, and the struggles he had throughout his lifetime and how focused on his happy money.


  • What is the main idea behind “Happy Money”?

Happy Money revolves around the concept that money can and should bring happiness when approached with gratitude and positivity.

  • How can I change my mindset about money?

Transform your money mindset by embracing gratitude, challenging limiting beliefs, and adopting positive financial habits.

  • Are there any specific exercises recommended by Ken Honda?

Yes, Ken suggests practical exercises to cultivate a positive money mindset, such as expressing gratitude for every financial transaction.

  • Can Happy Money practices work for everyone?

The principles of Happy Money are universally applicable, offering a path to financial well-being for individuals from all walks of life.

Read the full article here!

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