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I was financially healthy and emotionally bankrupt, says Harvard MBA: How joy-based spending led to feeling rich and happy – My MBA Career



Last Updated on September 1, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes

Title: “Money and Happiness: Reevaluating Financial Priorities for a Fulfilling Life”

Subtitle: A certified financial planner’s personal journey and advice on achieving true wealth

Despite their financial stability, many Americans still feel they don’t have enough money. Surprisingly, even those earning a substantial income face this sentiment, as revealed by a recent survey. The study found that one in four individuals making at least $175,000 annually consider themselves as “very poor,” “poor,” or “getting by but things are tight.”

Author Manisha Thakor, a certified financial planner with an MBA from Harvard, suggests that this stark disparity between income and happiness could be attributed to misguided spending habits. In her own experience working in investment banking, Thakor discovered that her relentless pursuit of financial freedom led to a toxic lifestyle, causing her to miss out on significant events and ultimately leading to a divorce.

Thakor believes that many professionals in the finance industry tend to equate their net worth with their value as a person—a mindset she considers unhealthy. To combat this, she advocates for a more balanced approach, urging individuals to embrace what she calls “joy-based spending.”

In her book, “MoneyZen: The Secret to Finding Your ‘Enough’,” Thakor outlines three powerful tools that have helped her achieve a healthier mindset towards finances. By focusing on spending money on things that bring joy and fulfillment, individuals can strike a better equilibrium between financial stability and overall happiness.

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Thakor’s personal experience serves as a cautionary tale, urging others to reassess their priorities and restructure their lives accordingly. Her book offers invaluable guidance to those facing similar challenges, providing a roadmap towards achieving true wealth and contentment.

As we navigate a world where financial success and material possessions often overshadow personal fulfillment, Thakor’s message resonates strongly. It is crucial for individuals to find their own balance, recognizing that money alone cannot guarantee happiness. By prioritizing joy and fulfillment over relentless pursuit of financial gain, individuals can create a more harmonious and meaningful life.

Thakor’s insights are a timely reminder that wealth lies not only in bank accounts, but also in experiences, relationships, and personal growth. Embracing her philosophy of “joy-based spending” can pave the way for a fulfilling MBA career and, ultimately, a meaningful life.

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Phyllis J. Broussard is an accomplished writer and educator with a passion for MBA courses. With years of experience in both academia and industry, she has established herself as an expert in the field of business education. Her writing on MBA courses is highly regarded for its depth of insight and practical application.

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