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Money Can Buy Happiness: How to Spend to Get the Life You Want Hardcover – May 29, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

By highlighting the "personal" in personal finance, New York Times and MSN Money columnist Dunleavey offers advice as easily understood as it is implemented. Dunleavy focuses her program on conquering the behavioral impulses that keep people from getting the bigger things they really want from life-whether that means packing in a jetset lifestyle, buying an alpaca farm or ditching the newly-purchased suburban dream home to return to the city to be near friends. By emphasizing the quality over quantity of spending and providing quick exercises to help prioritize what matters, she produces a holistic and realistic method of financial planning. Though she does not shy away from the obvious cure for under-saving, overworked, financially-stressed consumers-that being to buy less stuff-she does provide the framework for doing so, along with easy strategies for saving for retirement and erasing debt. Her advice is as solid as it is sympathetic and encouraging.
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From Booklist

Not another how-to-manage-your-money book of advice?! Well, yes and no. New York Times business columnist Dunleavey does resort to the pay-down-debt, save-more-money spiel. It is accompanied, however, by some smart-aleck quotes (for instance, Quentin Crisp's "Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level. It's cheaper"); more than enough thoughtful exercises (including "your money or your life," asking readers to rate a 4,000-square-foot home and one-week vacation and a 2,000-square-foot home and three weeks of vacation, among others); and a make-sure-that-fun-matters philosophy. She advocates spending for convenience and saving time; after all, it is false economy to spend $60 on two pairs of shoes that wear out in 90 days. There's much good discussion, too, on boosting fun yields and gaining by giving; the elements of happiness, for most, involve relationships of all sorts and paying rent for the spaces we occupy on this earth. Worth a second and third read. Jacobs, Barbara
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 1 edition (May 29, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767922786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767922784
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,750,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Darrell Speck on July 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I ordered this book, I was half expecting instructions on how to hire a personal concierge. But I've read the author on MSN.com and knew she writes more on dealing with debt than servants.

This is really the next step after all the recent books on research regarding happiness (such as The Science of Happiness) - applied happiness. Dunleavey uses an investment motif which helps get across the point that it is important to get parts of all happiness areas (like diversifying your portfolio) and also it makes seem less selfish.

This book is not just about spending money. Some things don't always cost money, such as building good friendships and family relationships though when it does (such as traveling to see family) it is money well spent. And the book makes clear that saving money so that you don't lose sleep at night worrying about debt or retirement is very important.

Much of the same ground is covered in Get a Life: You Don't Need a Million to Retire Well from the happiness in retirement angle. And the book recommends Your Money or Your Life for the savings angle.

If you have not already read all these books, then get this one. It is an easy read with lots of real-life examples. It'll help re-orient your spending of both money and time to that which will maximize your enjoyment of life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. Robertson on November 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've read MP's MSN columns for years but never understood how someone who is in debt can write about getting out of it. But she is an interesting writer so that's why I bought the book. It's not full of earth shattering information, but it's kind of nice, sweet good-to-know stuff. Won't change your life, well maybe a little, but it will make you think and perhaps point you in the right direction.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By M. Wells on July 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This author really puts the "personal" in personal finance. Dunleavey helps readers figure out what's most important to them and then helps them figure where they can cut back so they can spend more money doing what they love.This is an uplifting book that tells readers how to have a nice life on a tight budget. Yes, money can buy happiness!
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By Millicent Cooley on September 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The first thing I liked before even starting is that it's on kindle -- I could take it on my trip without lugging another book. Then the approach of auditing my use of money in terms of it's affect on happiness seems appealing. The bright surprise here was the idea of looking at our invaluable gift of time in a similar vein -- what a good geeky/practical way to think about it.
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