Community Events / Lake Trust News

Exploring "Happy Money Happy Life" With Jason Vitug

Words by Abbie Dyer on Apr 21, 2023 2:24:51 PM

When you think about the word money, how does it make you feel? For some, money produces feelings of stress and insecurity because we constantly feel like we don’t have enough. For others, money makes us think of material objects that we believe will enhance our lives. And yet, another group of people feel content when they think about money because they believe it can pave the way for new experiences. How can one word bring about such a range of emotions?

For Jason Vitug, author of the national bestseller You Only Live Once and founder of Phroogal1, money isn’t a goal – it’s simply a tool to lead a life well-lived. In his new book Happy Money Happy Life: A Multidimensional Approach to Health, Wealth, and Financial Freedom, Jason describes how you can transform your relationship with your finances to improve your overall happiness and wellbeing. To start a national discussion about financial wellbeing, Jason is visiting local credit unions and independent bookstores in all 50 states to help spark this conversation. And recently, we were honored to support his Michigan tour.

Supporting A Vision For Wellness

Jason’s visit to Michigan wasn’t the first encounter we’ve had with him. In 2016, Jason visited us and talked to our team about financial literacy and how we can connect our financial goals to the lives we want to lead. On his current tour, he expanded upon this message and encourages individuals to examine how their financial wellbeing impacts their overall wellbeing.

Jason’s focus on wellness aligns with our organizational focus of supporting the financial wellbeing of individuals, families, and small businesses in Michigan. As supporters of his current tour, we helped him connect with independent booksellers in Lansing, Brighton, Detroit, and Ann Arbor. The community members and Lake Trust members were invited to attend Jason’s talk, ask questions, share stories, and get new copies of Happy Money Happy Life signed by Jason himself.

Cause And Effect

Your emotional relationship with money impacts other areas of your wellbeing. When you feel worried or insecure about your financial situation, this stress is likely to follow you in relationships with family and friends, impact your work, and may harm your physical health. Unresolved and underlying stressors may lead you to unintentionally make decisions that continue to contribute to your anxiety (Vitug, p.41).

In Happy Money Happy Life, Jason explains how the different aspects of our wellness (mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, social, occupational, environmental, and financial) work together to contribute to our overall level of happiness. When you work on one area of wellness, you can impact other areas. He goes on to explain, “Wellness makes the elusive idea of happiness more tangible. Instead of hoping to feel happy, focus your time, effort, and money on a dimension that improves your wellbeing” (Vitug, p.40).

Defining Happiness

Jason argues that money can buy happiness, but having money is not the definition of happiness.

“Money can buy happiness when it’s used to improve wellness because those purchases give us choices, options, time, and freedom” (Vitug, p.29).

In a culture focused on materialism, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that money can buy happiness when it is spent on material objects. But over time, those objects can break or lose their appeal. Instead, Jason encourages people to practice mindful spending on experiences and services that give back time (like hiring a lawn maintenance company), make it possible to enhance your relationships (an evening out with friends), or contribute to your overall wellbeing (like taking a yoga class).

Many people unintentionally create a poor relationship with money by allowing their financial situation to control their lives. But through empowerment and education, Jason encourages people to take control of their finances, keeping in mind that money is simply a tool that can help you achieve your goals.

“We’re left to believe money will solve life problems: it does not. Money will solve many of your problems, but it will not buy the inner peace and security you desire” (Vitug, p. 48).

It’s no secret that your emotions often play a role in your financial decisions. By being aware of these emotions, however, you can improve your financial health by making decisions that align with your values (Vitug, p.87).

Start Your Happy Money Journey

Take a deeper dive on your financial wellness journey by exploring Jason’s new book, Happy Money Happy Life, which is now available for purchase. Make a local impact with your purchase by ordering it through your local, independent book store or by visiting Bookshop.org1, an online retailer that can help you find and support a bookstore in your area.

You can also visit Jason’s websites at jasonvitug.com1 or phroogal.com1 to learn more about his mission to improve financial wellness. And remember, our team is always here to help you find solutions to reach your financial goals. And through Lake Trust Financial Life Planning, we can help you create a plan for attending college, retiring, and more.

By sharing knowledge and resources, we can lift one another. Create stronger connections. And improve wellbeing in our communities. That’s the power in all of us.

SEE ALSO: The Road To Financial Wellness  |  How To Start Planning Your Long-Term Financial Goals


Vitug, J. (2023). Happy Money Happy Life: A Multidimensional Approach to Health, Wealth, and Financial Freedom. Wiley.


1Third party website. Lake Trust Credit Union is not responsible for the content, availability, security or compliance of any linked third party websites. In addition, the site's privacy policies may differ from those of Lake Trust.


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