Jean's Money Philosophy - Jean Chatzky - Making money make sense
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Jean’s Money Philosophy

I come to the world of money believing that if I have been able to learn to manage my money successfully – and I have – then anyone who is willing to put a little effort into it should be able to accomplish this too.  That’s because I came to personal finance not as an economist or a financial planner but as a journalist who dug into the topic of money to get my own money in order as well as to earn a paycheck.

I’ve come to understand that there are really only five things you need to do – consistently and habitually – in order to live comfortably:

  1. You need to earn a decent living.  Decent, not outlandish.  Earning more than you need to live comfortably is nice, but it doesn’t increase your happiness.
  2. You need to spend less than you make.  Learning to do this is difficult – particularly during cycles when credit is free flowing.  And retrenching if you’ve overdone it can take time.  But it’s absolutely possible and I can help you get there.
  3. You need to save, then invest.  All the money that you’re not spending needs to work as hard for you as you work yourself.
  4. You need to protect the financial world you’ve built for yourself.   With both insurance and a basic estate plan, you can ensure that no disaster – large or small – can take it all away from you and the people who depend on you.
  5. And finally, you need to give back in a way that is meaningful to you.  For some people this will mean giving money, for others money and time.   It’s key.  People who give back are happier, healthier and, in ways not limited to money, wealthier.  They get a psychological boost that is difficult to achieve in any other way.

Everything else is just icing on the cake.