Books - Jean Chatzky - Making money make sense

Age Proof

Living Longer Without Running Out Of Money Or Breaking A Hip

Two of the world’s leading experts explain the vital link between health and wealth that could add years to your life and dollars to your retirement savings.

All the money in the world doesn’t mean a thing if we can’t get out of bed. And the healthiest body in the world won’t stay that way if we’re frazzled about five figures worth of debt. TODAY Show financial expert Jean Chatzky and the Cleveland Clinic’s chief wellness officer Dr. Michael Roizen explain the vital connection between health and wealth–giving readers all the tactics, strategies, and know-how to live longer, healthier, more lucrative lives.

The same principles that allow us to achieve a better body will allow us to do the same for our investment portfolio. For instance, physical and financial stability comes down to the same equation: Inflow versus outflow. Do we burn more calories than we ingest? Likewise, are we making more money than we spend? The authors detail scientific ways to improve our behavior so that the answers tilt in the readers’ favor. They also offer ways to beat the system by automating how we do things and limiting our decisions in the face of too much food or too much debt. Chatzky and Roizen provide a plan for both financial independence and biological strength with action steps to get you there.

For Jean’s budget worksheets, head here.

Operation Money – Free E-Book

A financial guide for military service members and families.

When it comes to money, military service members and their families face financial challenges that civilians simply don’t.

While serving on active duty, members of the military are typically asked to move every few years and must learn how to manage money during multiple deployments. And managing the finances means figuring out a way to maintain a balanced budget while communication is limited. Meanwhile, the spouse at home is essentially functioning as a single parent without the necessary skills and tools to make serving as the family’s Chief Financial Officer as easy as possible.

Operation Money is a mission-based guide that provides detailed resources to prevent money problems before they happen; gives you the tools to manage through a tough situation if you’re already facing one; and empowers you to figure out how best to plan for your future—either in or out of the military—and then assists you in doing so.

Money Rules

90 straightforward, wealth-building rules to melt away your money woes.

A powerfully simple, must-have manifesto on money with more than 90 wealth-building rules. In a time of great financial uncertainty, this is the book everyone must read. The bottom line: Money is simple—people make it complicated.  I’ve distilled this simplicity into a smart, immediate, and entertaining set of rules that is changing readers’ financial lives.  I’ve been told it removes the stress associated with all things money and says it clearly: Readers who follow these basic yet crucial approaches to spending, saving, investing, increasing their income, and most importantly, protecting what they have, will build the wealth and financial stability theyʼve been dreaming of. The rules?  Well, they’re reassuring, straightforward, and often counterintuitive, including:

  • You can fix any financial mistake by saving more.
  • “More money” wonʼt always make you
    “more happy.”
  • To spend less, carry Benjamins, not Jacksons.
  • If you canʼt explain it, donʼt invest in it. 
  • Hope is not an investment strategy. 

Not Your Parents’ Money Book

Because at some point, the piggy bank isn’t enough. This book was written based on what real kids said they wanted to know about money.

Knowing how to manage money is one of the most important life skills for adults — and even more important to pass on to our kids. Not Your Parentsʼ Money Book: Making, Spending, and Saving Your Own Money is intended to tackle that tricky topic.  It is for the next generation of our country’s spenders and savers, who need to know where money comes from, how they can earn it, and what they can do with it once it’s in their pocket.

This book is the product of a lot of research, done with the help of kids across the country.  I conducted a series of informal focus groups, asking middle-school kids what they already know about money and what they want to know — and then wrote the book to meet their needs. I hope youʼll read it, that your kids will read it, and then you’ll sit down and talk about what it all means.  It’ll be one of the most rewarding conversations you’ve had with your kids yet.

Money 911

Answers to every money question I’ve ever been asked, and then some.

You have money questions. I know you do, because they pop up in my inbox throughout the day. And I answer many of them, on my website, in my columns or on TV. But that may still not be good enough, especially in these economic times, when many of your questions have likely become – or are on the verge of becoming – emergencies. So I came up with the idea for a book called Money 911.  It answers every question Iʼve ever been asked, and then some.

This book is a bit different from my others, in that it is intended to be a reference guide, and has been carefully indexed so you can flip to the section you need and absorb the information. Trying to decide whether to refinance your mortgage? Want to learn the best way to negotiate the price on that new television? Looking for life insurance? Youʼll find all you need to know to select the best policy for you.  All in all, there are answers to well over 300 questions, along with resources – other books, organizations, web sites and government agencies – that Iʼve carefully vetted, in case you need to learn even more.

Pay it Down!

A simple plan to help eliminate your credit card debt and build up your savings.

For everyone who is struggling with debt (and those who want to avoid it), I wrote Pay it Down!, the Rx for getting out from under. It helped hundreds of thousands of readers, as well as the million people who participated in the Debt Diet on The Oprah Winfrey Show (based largely on the information in the book). In the last few years, as the economy twisted and turned, some of the rules of the road did too, and I updated the book for the times.

The fact is, whether you are trying to negotiate with your creditors, modify your mortgage, bring up your credit score or manage your student loans, you need different strategies than you needed a scant half-decade ago. And in this new version of Pay it Down!, I give them to you in straightforward, easy-to-understand terms. Follow my plan, and in three years, youʼll be credit card free. In five years, youʼll have substantial a safety net, so you donʼt have to reach for a credit card when the furnace blows or the dog gets sick. And in ten years, youʼll have a healthy nest egg for retirement.

The Difference

What’s the difference between people struggling financially and those living comfortably? This book tells you – and shows you how to rise above.

My motivational book, The Difference, answers the question: Why is it that some people seem to move relatively easily from paycheck-to-paycheck into comfort or wealth, while others get stuck or – worse – fall back? Not to toot my own horn, but you need this book now more than ever. These days, you need to know how to make your own luck, how to zero in on the things youʼre doing everyday – right and wrong – that have an effect on your bottom line. The Difference will show you how to develop your intuition so you can recognize when to take a risk, help you increase your resilience in this bad economy, and tell you why itʼs important to pinpoint your passion and make it your career (believe me, the money will follow).

All of this is based on a study I did with Merrill Lynch and Harris Interactive. We surveyed more than 5,000 people from all walks of life, then dug deep, to uncover the factors that made The Difference.

The good news? For the bulk of the people at the top of the financial ladder, wealth has come in the last ten years. Some had a brilliant idea that satisfied a need in the market and quickly blossomed into a multimillion-dollar business. Some saved steadily over the years and are now enjoying the fruits of those labors. And others took risks that paid off in a big way. The bottom line: You have the power to make The Difference for yourself.

Make Money, Not Excuses

The definitive how-to guide for women looking to gain control over their finances.

If you want to get rich, you need only do four things:

  1. Make a decent living.
  2. Spend less than you make.
  3. Invest the money you donʼt spend.
  4. Protect the financial world you build so that a disaster doesnʼt take it all away from you.

Sounds easy, I know. So why, then, is it so hard, particularly for women?

Because women, more than men, make excuses. We tell ourselves that we’re “just not good with money,” or that our husbands “like taking care of the finances.” We convince ourselves that we deserve that new pair of shoes, or that we’re too disorganized to tackle the tower of financial paperwork on the desk.

These excuses are a problem. They allow us to believe that itʼs okay to stay out of the game when it comes to money, or push off goals like saving for retirement for one more year. I understand this. In fact, I used to say some of these things myself. But having a hand in your finances means, believe it or not, worrying less. You donʼt have to wonder if you can afford those shoes, or if you need to push off the family vacation, because you know. Youʼve seen the account balances with your very own eyes.

In this book, I take all of the excuses women make about money and turn them on their heads. I tell you how to decode useless financial jargon to understand what your financial statements are telling you, how to save more money (and where to put it) and why you – yes, you – are likely already a great investor.

The Ten Commandments of Financial Happiness

Being happy with your financial life isn’t about how much you have. It’s about how you handle whatever you have.

What is it that makes people happy – financially speaking? In The Ten Commandments of Financial Happiness (which was published in hardcover as You Donʼt Have to Be Rich), I analyzed the results of a unique survey in which we questioned 1,500 Americans about their financial attitudes and behaviors.

The goal was twofold: I wanted to see how much money people actually do need to guarantee a happy, comfortable life. (Hint: Not as much as you think.) And I wanted to learn what happy people do – in terms of their behaviors – that unhappy people don’t.

What I learned, and share in The Ten Commandments, is while a certain amount of money buys comfort, money canʼt make you happy – at least not in the way most people believe it can. But it can make you miserable, if youʼre managing it wrong.

The book explains how to “own your money” to create a happy and comfortable life. Outlining the financial habits of happy people shows how anyone can be a part of this group, no matter what they earn. Using real life examples, The Ten Commandments of Financial Happiness reaffirms that finances donʼt have to be a source of stress and that living within your means can be extremely rewarding!

Talking Money

A simple money guide for every phase of life – from buying your first house, to saving for your kids’ college funds.

In Talking Money, I offer a detailed guide on how to get your personal finances in order. I already knew firsthand that, once minor money problems are under control, the big picture falls quickly into place.  The idea is to talk frankly and clearly about the need to take control – and offer clear and simple ways of actually getting there.

Some bits of practical advice include:

  • Understanding how to cut the interest you pay on credit cards, not only on all the cards in your wallet, but on your mortgage and home equity loan as well
  • Picking a stock or mutual fund to fill in a portfolio and correctly allocate your assets
  • Finding and saving money for your kidsʼ college fund
  • Solid tips on how to purchase your first home
  • And more!

This is a good book, particularly for beginners, to guide you over financial hurdles, preparing you for long-term goals and financial security.