“Women with Money” by Jean Chatzky

Terri Schlichenmeyer

Find a penny, pick it up.


The rest of that little ditty promises luck but whatever. You don’t see a penny as worth much, but how do you perceive money as a whole?  In the new book, “Women with Money” by Jean Chatzky, the answer to that question may lead you to a better relationship with your wallet.


Statistics don’t lie: for every 100 men that graduate from college, there are more than 130 women graduates. Women inherit more money from their forebears, too, and within the next decade, women could control 75% of the world’s wealth.


And yet, many of us don’t know the deepest answers about our finances.


So, “what do you want from your money?”


That’s the question Chatzky asks, because it’s one that most women don’t know and haven’t discussed. Ask yourself if you want “the four Ss.” (Safety, Shelter, Security, Stability). Would you use your money for freedom, or to buy time?  Do you like the power you get from money? Or does spending it make you feel guilty?


The answers to those debates come when you figure out your money story.


Chatzky says that your money story likely started when you were a toddler, watching your parents and their attitudes on spending and saving, budgeting, and going into debt. As you grew up, more layers were added to your money story, and understanding that narrative helps to show you why you have the financial attitudes you have.


Remember that money is an emotional thing, and there’s little we can do about that because a lot of our financial perceptions are biological, says Chatzky. Talk with your partner to understand how your money stories mesh (or don’t), so you can agree on what works for you both. Learn how to ask for help, and a raise at work.


And finally, remember that money is perfect when used “to bring more joy into your life and the lives of people important to you. You just have to be careful about how and what you spend it on.”


Money: in one hand and out the other?  Or are you more tight-fisted?  You think you know yourself, but read “Women with Money” and you might think twice.


Indeed, digging deeper into your attitude towards moola is one of the more eye-opening things you’ll learn in this book, as author Jean Chatzky urges readers to examine why they spend or save as they do. Those unused to this kind of introspection may squirm at such navel-gazing – it requires stepping aside and looking at the warts of childhood – but Chatzky shows how understanding is the powerful beginning of action. Finances are not just things to tediously manage. Spending is permissible with this book and money, as it happens, is the root of much that is good.


If you already consider yourself a money maven, then go ahead and pass here; you don’t need this book. If you hope to view money as another tool for happiness, though, find “Women with Money” and pick it up.


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