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Money Matters 101: Happy Money: The Japanese Art of Making Peace with Your Money

By Money Matters 101, Published August 1, 2019

Introduction: Happy Money and Unhappy Money

There are two kinds of money: Happy Money and Unhappy Money. Happy money is the kind that a ten-year old boy uses to buy flowers for his mom on Mother’s Day: Happy Money is when parents gladly pinch pennies in order to save a few extra dollars each week to be able to send their kids to soccer cam or take piano lessons. There are so many ways regular old money can become Happy Money:

  • helping a struggling family member out of a bind
  • sending a few dollars to those affected by a hurricane
  • raising money by selling cookies for a homeless shelter
  • investing in a business or community project
  • receiving money for work or services from satisfied clients

All the money circulated with love, care, and friendship is Happy Money. Happy Money makes people smile and feel loved and cared for deeply. It is in many ways an active form of love–a way in which people can see, feel, and touch. Often money can help others in a way that nothing else can. For example, when someone is going through a major hardship, like losing their entire home to a fire, “thoughts and prayers” and “good vibes” will get them only so far. However, I guarantee you that money will help a family get back on their feet, buy them food, and give them a temporary roof over their heads in a way that good vibes just can’t.

Conversely, unhappy money is the kind of money your use to begrudgingly pay your rent, bills, and taxes. We don’t have to stretch our imaginations too far. We’ve all experienced the many forms of Unhappy Money:

  • paying or receiving money as alimony after an ugly divorce
  • receiving a salary from an employer for a job you don’t like but can’t bring yourself to leave
  • unwillingly paying off credit cards with huge interest rates
  • receiving money from someone who resents paying you–like an unhappy customer who says, “You don’t deserve it, but I’ll pay you anyway to honor the contract”
  • stealing money–from anyone

Money circulated in frustration, anger sadness, and despair is Unhappy Money. This kind of money makes people stressed, desperate, aggravated, depressed, and sometimes violent. It deprives people of their dignity, self-esteem, and gentleness of heart. Whenever you receive and spend money and you do so with negative energy, it becomes Unhappy Money.

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See Article: Happy Money: The Japanese Art of Making Peace with Your Money

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