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All the Money in the World: What the Happiest People Know About Getting and Spending Hardcover – March 1, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Money is one of the most complex, emotionally charged issues within the larger subject of happiness. In this engaging and thought-provoking book, Laura Vanderkam explains how we can get the most happiness bang for our buck--right here and now, in the way we live our ordinary lives.” — Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project

All the Money in the World offers a total rethink on personal finance. Instead of prescribing the same-old hard-to-follow rules, Vanderkam encourages you to take your own values and goals into account when it comes to saving and spending. It is packed with creative ideas on how to get more, spend less, and most importantly, better use what you have. This book shows you that it’s not dollar signs that are standing in the way of what you want in life.”

Adelaide Lancaster, author of The Big Enough Company

“Bravo! Laura writes another thoroughly-researched and thought-provoking book! Whether you're an extravagant spender, a frugal coupon-clipper, or anywhere in between, All the Money in the World will challenge your longheld financial beliefs and practices. This book is guaranteed to make you think long and hard about how to allocate your money to bring you true fulfillment.”
Crystal Paine, founder of MoneySavingMom.com

“With extensive research and rare insight, Laura Vanderkam reveals the financial mindset that can lead to lasting happiness.”

Zac Bissonnette, author of Debt-Free U

About the Author

Laura Vanderkam is the author of 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think and Grindhopping:  Build a Rewarding Career Without Paying Your Dues, which the New York Times hailed as “loaded with smart observations.” Her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, City Journal, the Huffington Post, USA Today, Scientific American, and Reader’s Digest, among other publications. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and their three children.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591844576
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591844570
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #427,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Laura Vanderkam is the author of the forthcoming book I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Build Lives That Work (Portfolio, June 9, 2015). Based on a time diary study of 1001 days in the lives of professional women and their families, this book takes a practical approach to the question of how people combine work and family while enjoying their own sweet time too.

Laura is also the author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast (Portfolio, 2013), 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think (Portfolio, 2010), and All the Money in the World: What the Happiest People Know About Wealth (Portfolio, 2012). She is also the author of a novel, The Cortlandt Boys, available as an ebook.

Laura is a frequent contributor to Fast Company's website and a member of USA Today's Board of Contributors. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Reader's Digest, City Journal, Fortune, and Prevention.

A 2001 graduate of Princeton, Laura enjoys running and singing and serves as the president of the board of trustees for the Young New Yorkers' Chorus. She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and four children. She blogs daily at: http://lauravanderkam.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By MCollins on March 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
All The Money In The World is predicated on the idea that, if you had all the money in the world, how would your life change, and how would that money buy you happiness? Vanderkam wants you to consider both the dream purchases and the practical, everyday impacts that money would create...and then find the ways to start building that life here and now, with the money you currently have. In a similar vein to 168 Hours Vanderkam illustrates the control we have on our finances-- that how we spend our money is choice, that one dollar spent on something is one dollar not spent on something else. This mindset enables one to think more carefully about where their money is going, and if it is being used to build a happy life. Vanderkam starts almost immediately with reframing the idea that money can buy happiness....if you make smart, personal choices with it.

While Vanderkam avows that she is not a financial guru, her book still gives practical, sensible and usable advice on how we get, spend, share and feel about money. She encourages people to play "offense and not defense" with their money-- thinking how you can make more, rather than how you can scrimp to cut spending. "The Joneses" become a target-- as Vanderkam forces us to question whether the stereotypical major purchases of modern life really bring us happiness, or are we just buying what we think we should be buying, because society encourages us to have big houses, shiny new cars and overflowing closets. I am someone who has always focused on the allocation of money-- from as young as I can remember, when I used to sort my babysitting money in envelopes for spending and saving.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Catherine on March 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In her latest book, All the Money in the World: What the Happiest People Know About Getting and Spending, Laura Vanderkam (who also wrote 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think) helps readers to be deliberate and thoughtful about the question of money, challenging widely accepted ideas about it, and offering suggestions for how to better get and use it.

A lot of personal finance books offer advice on how to set up a budget, cut your latte factor, or get out of debt, but I'd argue that reading All the Money in the World would be a better investment of your time because of how it will challenge you to really think through your assumptions and beliefs about how you get, spend, and give money. Vanderkam points out that money is a tool to help you live your life, so thinking about money and finances is really about thinking through what kind of life you want to lead, what you want to do, and what you want to achieve.
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Book Fanatic TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is an interesting book. I'm going to say that I think the subtitle misleads as to the contents. "What the Happiest People Know About Getting and Spending" really should be "What Laura Vanderkam and Online Crowds Think about Getting and Spending". The book is not rigorous science research about happiness but the speculations, experience, and reasonable conjecture of the author and others. However, neither of those really take away from the value of the book as long as you take it for what it actually is. It's not a great book but it is worth a read if the subject of money and happiness interest you; I assume that's most people in 21st Century America anyway.

The book got me thinking about the value of money in my own life and how I might use it for the tool it is in a better way. I think it will do the same for most people and in that respect it succeeds. Vanderkam has some useful insights and some different ways of thinking about money than most people and I recommend you give them some consideration.

The book is broken into three main parts Getting, Spending, and Sharing. The table of contents follows:

INTRODUCTION You Have More Money Than You Think
CHAPTER 1 What Else Could That Ring Buy?

GETTING
CHAPTER 2 Don't Scrimp More, Make More
CHAPTER 3 Rethink Retirement

SPENDING
CHAPTER 4 Laughing at the Joneses
CHAPTER 5 The Best Weekend Ever
CHAPTER 6 The Marginal Cost of Children
CHAPTER 7 The Chicken Mystique

SHARING
CHAPTER 8 The Selfish Joy of Giving
CHAPTER 9 Another Way to Invest

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD
CHAPTER 10 Ode to a Ziploc Bag

THE HOW TO BUY HAPPINESS HANDBOOK
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