Oct 16, 2020

NGPF Podcast: Dr. Ashley Whillans on Time, Money, and Happiness

Dr. Ashley Whillans teaches at the Harvard Business School. She is an award-winning and leading global expert on the relationship between time, money, and happiness. Her thoughts are regularly shared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and Harvard Business Review, just to name a few. She just finished her first book "Time Smart: How to Reclaim Your Time and Live a Happier Life". This conversation was one of a kind -- you'll hear how Dr. Whillans transitioned from appearing in multiple Hollywood movies to teaching at Harvard. She shares her own tips for teaching remotely, how teachers can manage their time and money in a way to maximize their own happiness, and the lessons she believes high school students should learn. You're not going to want to miss this one!


  • 0:00~0:56 Introduction
  • 0:56~4:39 Journey from starring in Juno to becoming a Harvard professor
  • 4:39~6:34 On teaching remotely
  • 6:34~9:40 How Happy Money influenced Dr. Whillian’s dissertation 
  • 9:40~10:34 The relationship between money and time
  • 10:34~15:38 Ways to spend money to increase happiness 
  • 15:38~22:17 Money scarcity and time scarcity
  • 22:17~28:26 Overwork during COVID
  • 28:26~31:16 Lightning round
  • 31:16~32:54 Buying time for leisure
  • 32:54~34:03 One piece of advice for high school students 
  • 34:03~35:36 Advice for teachers
  • 35:36~36:21 Conclusion 



  • ”Focusing on your own personal time and time off is not selfish, it’s pro-social… A lot of times people hear what I’m talking about and learn about my research and they say ‘I can’t do that, too many people rely on me’ or ‘I need to focus everything on my job’ but data really suggests that we will be able to help those we care about best and do our best quality work when we’re well-rested and make sure we are taking the time we need to recharge and reset.”


About the Authors

Brian Page

Making a difference in the lives of students through financial capability is Brian’s greatest passion. He comes to NGPF after fifteen years of public school teaching where he was the ‘11 Ohio Department of Education recipient of a Milken National Educator Award, the CEE Forbes Award winner, and a Money Magazine/CNN "Money Hero". He served on the working group for President Obama's Advisory Council on Financial Capability. He has private school experience as a Trustee for the Cincinnati Country Day School and was a past Ohio Jump$tart President. Brian holds a BBA and M.Ed. When Brian isn’t working alongside his NGPF teammates he is likely spending time with his wife, three children, and dog; hiking, or watching Ohio State football.

Ren Makino

Ren started interning at NGPF in 2014, and worked part-time through high school and college. With his knowledge growing alongside NGPF, he joined the team to work full-time after graduating from college in 2020. He is also the producer of the NGPF podcast. During his free time, he likes to try out coffees from different roasters across the world.

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