In recent times managing finances has become one of the most vexing concerns, particularly during pandemics. Japanese best-selling author Ken Honda in his latest book named – Happy Money: The Japanese Art of Making Peace With Your Money explains his approach to money management. Honda believes – “Money appreciates if you appreciate it”.

Arigato, as many of us might already know because of the increasing interest in Japanese culture, is Japanese for thank you. So thanking your money? How exactly does this technique work? Honda narrows down his philosophy into this simple phrase – “Arigato in, Arigato out.” This simply means appreciating any inflow of money as well as the outflow of it in your life. Whenever money comes in, you welcome it with love and thanks, regardless of how small or large the sum is. And you do the same thing when you spend money, that is, with an open heart and gratitude. It’s as simple as saying “Thank you” to express gratitude for financial outflows and inflows.

It is strange to be grateful for your money when it is about to leave your possession. The reason is quite simple. It allows you to practice an attitude of gratitude – your soul’s food. For instance, when it comes to paying phone bills, you appreciate that the money you spend on the bill lets you communicate with the world rather than criticizing or stressing about it.  You spend on something that contributes to your well-being, you become thankful to be able to afford it.

The technique promotes the ‘Zen’ way of life. Put simply, the zen attitude encourages people to be present at the moment. It refrains you from having negative thoughts or worrying about the future. It does not mean that you should not save money. You are not required to be frugal or limit your spending. The method pushes you to spend money on actually valuable things. Honda preaches that mindful spending of money is just as welcome as earning money. 

Know your flow of money

Ken Honda categorizes the flow of money in people’s lives into two groups: happy money and unhappy money. It basically emphasizes the importance of how we earn money and how it connects to the way we spend it.

As Honda maintains it, the money you set aside for your loved ones or use to buy flowers for your mother is happy money. Unhappy money is alimony from a bad divorce or money from a job you don’t like but have to do to make ends meet.

You send happy money out into the universe whenever you purchase a product or service that you truly enjoy. When you don’t properly realize the value of the goods you’re purchasing, you’re sending unhappiness into the world.


This technique goes beyond impacting monetary activities. When you receive money with Arigato and you give money with Arigato, what you are doing is in your mind establishing the circular flow that money flows through you with blessings, grace and ease. And you start to find that you eliminate your stress and anxiety around money and then you see more money come to you because of what you appreciate, appreciates. You feel charitable, inspired, and more inclined to attract opportunities when you notice the abundance and count your blessings. On the other side, even if you have a lot of money, if you are unhappy with your finances and life, you will feel jealous and poor. 

This unique perspective on how we treat money by and large advises shifting away from a “scarcity” mindset and toward a mindset of “abundance”. And in the process, you communicate gratitude, which helps you feel positive emotions and memories. 

However, it is important to note that this is not an attitude that can be developed overnight. Patience, time, and practice are required to be able to enjoy your blessings naturally.