Being Rich doesn’t Guarantee
Being rich doesn’t guarantee your happiness (Chatzky 12). Money is important in the world we live in but in chapter one, Sophie Tucker Was Wrong, Jean Chatzy tells us that money will make life easier if manage well but is not supposed to be the source of one’s long term happiness. One page twenty-two it says that happiness is the process of enjoying what you are doing and not what you own. I learned money is a temporary fix for all of us that desire the true happiness that comes from relationships with people and experiences in life. The process to financial happiness will benefit your health and overall view of the world.
In chapter two, Enough is Enough, Chatzky talks about the effects of materialism on our checkbooks and emotional state. She defines materialism as placing a higher value on material possessions and income than you do on your personal relationships, your free time, and your health (35). The previous statement plays a huge role throughout the chapter and she give us examples on how to improve our happiness. One example is to not compare yourself and what you have to others, instead compare and realize that you are well better off than many others simply because you live America where your voice can be heard. Also, I learned that I need to remind myself to differentiate between the thing I need and want, and this will not only improve my finances but also my humility as well. Finally, I learned that having more experiences to have and talk about will decrease the amount I spend because I am satisfied by the happiness of the experiences instead of the materials I do not need.
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The third chapter is this book is titled Feng Shui Finance. In this chapter, Chatzy talks about how to take control of your finances and the less stress you will have because of good money management. Chatzy encourages us to take hold of your financial situation even though there will be moments when it feels like we have absolutely no control. I love the quote in the book on page sixty-one, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the thigs I can, and the wisdom to know the difference (AA serenity prayer). This quote teaches and rectifies that not everything can be changed but many times we’re are afraid to step up and change the situation that are in our control. I also learned that it is important to not tackle all your bills at once; take littles steps like these: toss the junk mail, organize the mail, file away what is done and take a little time of your day every day to do this process. It is easier to make habits when they seem easy to accomplish the same is applied to finances.
What Do You Really Want, chapter four, talks about being a goal setter and how to achieve your goals with your finances. I learned how to set my future goals. I need to realize what I want to do in the distant future, write them down, and set my goals into actions understanding that my goal will not be achieved instantly. I also learned how to achieve by goals. The hardest thing about goals is starting them just as it is hard to take the first step in asking out someone you like. Afterwards you must realize that you are not alone and can ask for help when there are hard days and understanding that hard days are not the end and that tomorrow will be better. With all these objectives put into practice I can become better at completing goals and improve my financial situation and overall become happier for less stress.
The fifth chapter, Making It Happen, is about invest in other business so that your money [can] work as hard as you do (109). One of the most important things I learned from this chapter is that it is important to diversify where I invest my money because then if one business goes decreasing in equity or value I won’t lose as much money. I also learned about saving for retirement and how to make them last longer. Asset allocation, a type of investment strategy to weight and match the risk and reward and managing my stream of withdrawals are the best way to live without the stress of running out of money during my retirement. It is important to prepare for the future by starting today and will in turn make you happier by having less anxiety about retirement and education fee for kids.
Living Within Your Means is what we should all try to achieve and is the title and topic of the sixth chapter in this book. Living within your means translate to being able to pay for expenses with your own money without the aid of the government, family, or friends. One of the biggest ways someone can go bankrupt is by using their credit card as a debit card and not paying the fees on said card. The best advice I learn about credit cards from this book is that it should only be used if you can pay the bill at the end of the month in full. Also, living with your means also encourages me to save up more of my money than I spend. This is significantly important because I will never know when I made need the extra cash for an emergency. Spending less and living with only what you need to survive not only make you better of financial but also, again, increases your happiness and self-esteem.
The seven chapter is titled, Go with the Flow’, and is where the ten commandments of financial happiness are continued. Also, this chapter talks about how many people living in America are not satisfied with their occupations and in turn only care about the money they are earing instead of the job they are performing. There are two effective ways to improve one’s happiness at work, or at least be able to enjoy the job at hand. One viable way I learned is to find a job that is your passion or goal in life. Another way is to obtain a job that give you enough free time to peruse hobbies outside of work. I also learned that it is important to invest in my family and spend time with them because that can be a major factor to being unsatisfied with the job I am in. Work isn’t always about the money. I always want to get paid, but the real satisfaction comes when I have rightfully earned the cash and knowing I have done my best work and enjoyed doing it.
There are also important things I would need to do that help in reducing stress and improving your financial happiness. One example is to acquire insurance for my house, future spouse and kids, and myself. Insurance and wills are the main topics of chapter eight It’s Not Just About the Money. I learned that I need to remind myself that there are so many things in my life that are more important than money: family, faith, friends, and the future. I learned that I will be less stressed out the future and have more financial stability if I have insurance for all parts of my life which can cover the cost of any natural disaster, injuries, and death to protect those I love. Insurance is paid for just as almost everything else in this world, but it does so much more than protect homes. Insurance insures that your family can be able to financial live on if something were to happen to you.
Chapter nine is called Don’t Dictate, Communicate, and talks about how financial happiness is a huge influence in the happiness of a marriage. I learned that communication of dreams, goals and plans is how marriages thrive or die. In fact, this chapter taught me that the lack of financial communication is one of the most common causes of divorce. Divorce because of finances miscommunication can be avoided by sitting down and talking through all the financial problems and solutions together as team. Another factor of financial happiness I learned from this chapter is being able to share your earnings without hesitation, but also to see recognize the red flag if your partner does not do the same. Marriage is a complicated subject and becomes more complex with finances in the mixture but the couples and still achieve financial happiness if they love and talk with the other about all financial situation.
The concluding chapter of this book is called The Ten Commandments of Financial Happiness and is a summary of the previous chapters in a formatted list of ten principles to live by. These principles taught me that is possible to achieve financial happiness if I live by them. Also, I learned that it will be harder to manage my finances if I fail to follow one of the commandments Chatzky listed but not impossible. Money is not what makes people happy but financial happiness makes life less stressful and in turn helps make it easier for people to be happy.