You and Your Money: A No Stress Guide to Becoming Financially Fit

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9780131003101: You and Your Money: A No Stress Guide to Becoming Financially Fit

“With over 70% of American workers living paycheck to paycheck, basic money management skills are needed desperately. This is a masterful work that guides us to discover our own money dysfunctions and takes us on a journey to healthy financial behaviors.”

–Sally Hass, Employee Benefits Life Planning Manager, Weyerhaeuser Company

 

“This book combines solid knowledge of societal trends in personal finance with guidance on how to develop a sense of purpose about money and get financially fit for a lifetime. I heartily recommend it.”

–Kelvin Boston, host Moneywise PBS Series and author of Who's Afraid To Be A Millionaire?

 

“The rules have changed on how to achieve the American Dream. What many of us consider a fundamental right will be out of reach unless we get smart and take action now. The authors get right to the point by helping readers define what they care most about and then set them on a path to achieving true financial well-being.”

–Carol Anderson, President and CEO of Money Quotient, specialists in financial planning education

 

“The authors have looked at the current disastrous consumer model and envision a ‘New’ American Dream. They break the rules, set up a new framework for humanized finances, and challenge consumers to change the future by changing their habits, now.”

–Dean Brassington, Financial Educator and U.S. Navy Quality of Life Program and Design Consultant

 

“The great merit of this book is that it reads like an engaging conversation. Given the mass of undigested financial information, everyone needs this discourse that helps to position and orient oneself in the money universe, and then act. It bridges the gap between a complicated world out there and one's personal and family orbit.”

–Jurg Siegenthaler, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, American University

 

Based on extensive nationwide research conducted by the author and the Institute for Socio-Financial Studies about what people need to learn and do to become financially savvy, You and Your Money gives you the skills you need to be financially competent and self-sufficient...so you can make the right decisions about money–today, tomorrow, always!

 

You don’t need to know everything about personal finance. You do need to know three things: where you stand today, what you can do now, and how to become more financially secure for the rest of your life.

 

 This book helps you answer those three questions. It’s easy, readable, practical, and quick.

 

 It gives you simple, common-sense tools for achieving financial success...tools you can use in every part of your life, not just finance!

 

 It brings together real stories from real people. People like you. People who know what they want, and just need to know how to get there. 

  •  CREATE YOUR OWN PERSONAL LIFE VALUES PROFILE: The book helps you develop your unique personal profile so you can better assess your own goals and know how to achieve them
  • GET SAVVY, AND FEEL MUCH MORE IN CONTROL: Easy, quick ways to take charge of your financial well-being
  • GROW YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT SYSTEM, STEP-BY-STEP: Learn to communicate about money–and find objective, honest help when you need it
  • PLAN YOUR FINANCES AROUND THE CHANGES IN YOUR LIFE: Plan for life transitions, prepare for disasters, and learn how to recover from financial setbacks

 

Foreword xvi

Preface xviii

Acknowledgments xx

About the Authors xxi

 

PART I: MAINTAINING A POSITIVE OUTLOOK 1

 

Chapter 1: The Right Stuff 3

Chapter 2: The “New” American Dream 13

Chapter 3: How We Decide 25

Chapter 4: Your Life Values Profile 33

Chapter 5: Moving to Secure Money Management 51

Chapter 6: A Word About Fear 63

 

PART II: BEING ACTIVE IN FINANCIAL AFFAIRS 75

 

Chapter 7: Who’s in Charge of Your Financial Well-Being? 77

Chapter 8: Becoming a Savvy Consumer 89

Chapter 9: Getting and Keeping Good Credit 103

Chapter 10: Staying Ahead of Scammers and Thieves 119

Chapter 11: Committing to a Savings Plan 133

 

PART III: BUILDING A FINANCIAL SUPPORT SYSTEM 145

 

Chapter 12: Communicating About Money–Count the Ways 147

Chapter 13: Tapping Into the Financial Marketplace 165

Chapter 14: Building Your Assets 181

Chapter 15: Choosing Housing Wisely 201

 

PART IV: COPING WELL WITH CHANGE AND LOSS 221

 

Chapter 16: Planning for Life Transitions 223

Chapter 17: Preparing for Disasters 239

Chapter 18: Recovering from Adversity 253

Chapter 19: Finding the Help You Need 265

 

Appendix: Personal Finance Education Internet Sites 277

Endnotes 293

Index 299

 

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Review:

Financial educators Vitt and Murrell encourage readers to become proactive and self-informed when it comes to handling their finances. Financial literacy doesn’t require an advanced degree in economics, they write: “Financial decisions are much less about how much money you have in the bank than they are about your values, needs, and wants.” To that end, they give readers a life-values profile to determine the greatest influences on money-management habits. Having identified what motivates you to spend or not spend, they say, allows you to take corrective measures to find a balance. Vitt and Murrell bring an appealingly positive voice to get readers elementally involved in home economics. But even with the help of others, they say, you are still the captain of your financial ship: “Taking responsibility for your financial well-being means setting life priorities and making choices each day in the service of those priorities.” The authors provide specific resources and advice regarding investments, housing, the use of financial professionals and–of vital importance–how to recover from adversity. A financial security blanket. --Kirkus Business and Financial Report

About the Author:

LOIS A. VITT is founding director of the Institute for Socio-Financial Studies, and one of the leading U.S. authorities on financial education. Her work has been quoted by Alan Greenspan in testimony before Congress on the state of financial literacy in the United States.

 

Vitt has directed nationwide studies on financial education in the United States, including Personal Finance and the Rush to Competence: Financial Literacy Education in the U.S. (for the Fannie Mae Foundation); and Goodbye to Complacency: Financial Literacy Education in the U.S. 2000-2005 (for AARP). She is a member of the AARP Business and Aging Education Advisory Board.

 

KAREN L. MURRELL is president and founder of Higher Heights Consulting and Training and is the creator of several nationally recognized financial education programs. Her company provides financial education services to Fortune 500 companies as well as to private foundations and nonprofit organizations.

 

Murrell previously held leadership positions at Fannie Mae and the Fannie Mae Foundation where she helped launch initiatives that enabled millions of consumers to become homeowners. She developed financial education publications in nine languages and helped implement a public education advertising campaign in multiple languages. She currently serves as a research fellow at the New America Foundation.

 

 

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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