Can Money Be Happy or Sad?

Portrait of a very happy young man in a rain of money


Your personality drives your money choices. It sounds weird, but money has energy and it can influence your happiness quotient for better or worse.

In his book “Happy Money: The Japanese Art of Making Peace with Your Money,” personal finance and self-help author Ken Honda splits money into two categories:

  • Happy Money: Makes you smile and feel lighthearted. This comes from having a positive experience with money. People are joyful when they spend it, for example, like a small child buying an ice cream sundae with allowance money. Or picture a parent saving money for her daughter’s dance lessons. Even donating to a non-profit you care about gets the endorphins flowing.
  • Sad Money: Fueled by negative emotions such as irritation, annoyance, rage and upset. Think of a huge home maintenance bill, a parking ticket, or even taxes. Nobody likes to pay taxes.

Money can bring a lot of emotions to the surface when you’re actually in-the-moment dealing with money or much, much later when a situation with money triggers an event that happened years ago, such as hoarding money in a bank account or under the mattress because you’re afraid of running out of cash.

The key to money flowing in is appreciating what you already have. “If you appreciate what you have, it opens a door to happiness,” said Honda. “When money comes in or out say ‘thank you’. Remember, an attitude of gratitude is worth a pound in gold.

It’s best to look at money from a holistic viewpoint. Consider your feelings and examine your entire relationship with money to keep its energy high.


Did you know that talking about money is a good thing?

What was once considered a social taboo is more and more seen as a necessity. Everything from chatting it up in online communities to old fashioned coffee talk with friends are great ways to get your finances in order.

Talking helps accomplish a big task when it comes to spending and saving – becoming accountable for how you manage money. It’s also a great way to learn about financial topics you always wanted to know but were perhaps, too intimidated to ask, which is the case for some women. That’s why one woman started a movement.

Alicia McElhaney is the founder of, a website featuring a newsletter, Facebook community, and blog to empower women with financial tools and information.

In an article on CNBC, McElhaney states, “The goal is to get more women to use their financial power.” This applies as much to improving budgeting and retirement planning, as it does to social issues like closing the wage gap between men and women and obtaining board seats.

In either case, helps women develop relationships by fostering a learning environment for an open and transparent dialog in a safe space.

Sometimes learning from one’s peers is much less formal than dealing with an expert. Experts are great when it comes to financial planning, but there’s value in anecdotal advice woman-to-woman.

We hope we’ve given you a new twist on money – it’s not just an IOU promise to pay by the federal government, it’s what’s behind it that really counts.