You Don't Have to Be Rich: Comfort, Happiness, and Financial Security on Your Own Terms

You Don't Have to Be Rich: Comfort, Happiness, and Financial Security on Your Own Terms

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Do you have to be rich to be happy?
Would being richer make you happier?
Does money buy happiness?

Not the sort of questions you usually hear from a personal finance expert, especially one as popular and respected as Jean Chatzky, of Money magazine and The Today Show. But in these difficult times, when many of her fans are struggling with job insecurity, declining investments, and fear of the future, Chatzky decided to write a different kind of personal finance book. Instead of just explaining what to do with your 401(k), she set out to explore the big picture: what makes a happy, successful life and how much money you really need to have one.

Chatzky's research led her to some astounding results. Her groundbreaking survey of thousands of Americans, conducted with the help of the Roper Organization, revealed that more often than not, the amount of money people make-whether it's $50,000 or $5,000, 000 a year-- has little bearing on how happy they are. In fact, Chatzky found that unless you're desperately poor, money can't make you happy. But it can-if you're handling it wrong -make you miserable.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE RICH reveals what the happiest people in America have in common when it comes to managingtheir money, and what the rest of us can learn from them. For instance, they have distinctly different habits and behaviors about things you might consider minor, such as how often you pay your bills, and what you do with your bank statement when it arrives in the mail (hint: shoving it unopened into the desk drawer isn't a good idea.)

As Chatzky explains, just because your investments have slumped doesn't mean you should give up on saving, investing, and financial planning. A comfortable, secure life is still well within your reach.

Guided by the research, Chatzky offers clear-cut strategies that you can implement to help you feel more in control of your money. They will help you spend smartly, eliminate your debts and both set and reach your financial goals, Be prepared to take a good hard look at your money habits. A questionnaire in every chapter will show you where your money management tactics are serving you well, and where they fall short. Then you'll be able to use the answers to improve your financial habits and ratchet up your happiness a notch or two.

Written in Chatzky's popular, down-to-earth style and filled with fresh insights, YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE RICH proves that your money doesn't have to be a source of stress, but can instead be the path to comfort and financial freedom it was always meant to be.