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Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security Paperback – March 13, 2012

3.9 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jean Chatzky is the financial editor for NBC's Today and a columnist for Prevention. She is the author of five books, including the bestsellers Pay It Down and Make Money, Not Excuses. She lives in Westchester, NY.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (March 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609618602
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609618605
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
When it comes to money, do you play it by ear or plan ahead? Jean Chatzky, author of "Money Rules--The Simple Path to Lifelong Security," cites a startling statistic: "50 percent of people will run out of money in retirement." Chatzky, a financial editor and author, would like to insure that senior citizens who have worked all their lives will be comfortable during retirement. In this slender book, the author presents 94 succinct and straightforward rules about making and saving money, avoiding unnecessary debt, spending and investing wisely, and protecting your assets.

This is not a comprehensive manual about IRAs, estate planning, credit card regulations, stocks and bonds, and student loans. Many other works of non-fiction cover these topics. Chatzky's goal is to grab her readers by their lapels and startle them into making wise decisions in order to avoid unnecessary grief down the road. For instance, she urges us: Don't buy things you don't need; stay on top of bills; look for hidden expenses; save as much as possible for the future; shred documents that contain personal information; don't incur unnecessary debt.

"Money Rules" would be useful for individuals (especially the young and naïve) who know little about monetary matters, tend to make rash purchases, and are reluctant to put aside funds for the proverbial rainy day. Chatzky, in a jargon-free, conversational style, warns us to avoid common pitfalls. For example, do not buy life insurance as an investment; "free" can be expensive; rebalance your portfolio periodically; don't lend money to friends and relatives. This handbook would be a good gift for a recent college graduate who is trying to land a job and taste financial independence for the first time. On the other hand, those who have their fiscal houses in order will find Chatzky's advice too elementary to be useful.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I'm retired and living on a fixed pension, so at least one section ("Part 1 - Make Money") of this nifty little book doesn't apply to me unless I win the lottery, but I would dearly love to have read it forty years ago when I was out of school and beginning a career. The title is a bit of a double entendre, referring both to rules for making, saving, and keeping money; and how much influence the money we make and save will have on our lives, especially in retirement.

It's a short book, with 94 little nuggets of wisdom that will help most anyone make basic financial decisions. The book has seven sections:

Part 1 - Make Money
Part 2 - Save Money
Part 3 - Avoid (Most) Debt
Part 4 - Spend Wisely
Part 5 - Invest for Tomorrow
Part 6 - Cover Your Assets
Part 7 - Do's and Don'ts

A few of my favorite rules:

#11 - "If you can't see it and you can't touch it, you won't spend it." (On the importance of keeping most of your retirement savings where it's out of sight and not easy to withdraw, like a 401(k).)

#18 - "You will spend more with credit than with debit and more with debit than with cash."

#46 - "The salesperson is not your friend."

#84 - "Banking online makes you smarter and safer."

Most rules have a few words of explanation, although some rules are so self-explanatory that they need no clarification.
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Format: Paperback
One of the hardest parts about recommending books is actually finding people interested in reading them. Money books are especially hard . . . while needed, they are often long, boring, and filled with advice that is impossible to follow. This book is an exception and is one that anyone can read in less than an hour. It might not help your non-reading friend become a millionaire, but it will give them easy to follow advice that can save and earn them money.

The author really succeeds at giving great psychological tips and tricks to help you save money without thinking about. Almost all of my favorite "rules" deal with these tips, some are listed below:

* Rule 19: Carry $100's instead of $20's.

* Rule 21: Save for something. Write down a specific goal, it will be easier.

* Rule 8: The more time you spend looking, the less happy you'll be.

* Rule 66: Ask "What's the worst that could happen?"

If you are looking for a solid financial book that will give you clear instructions on what to do next, then pick up I Will Teach You To Be Rich. It is the best I have ever read. If you are recommending a book to a friend who rarely reads, this is a great option. It will take them less than an hour and they will actually save money. A great investment for a ten spot.
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Format: Paperback
This small format book is written by Jean Chatzky, who is a TV journalist. The book's goal is to talk about finances in a very simple way. And she achieves this goal well. The book's level is what you would hear during a morning broadcast TV finance segment: small easily digestible bits of information. Each page is dedicate to one advice, each advice is about one paragraph. I liked most of the advice given in the book, however some of the suggestions did not apply to all situations.

Here are a few of examples of advice I enjoyed, these are representative of what you will find in a book.

1. How to calculate what your time is worse. Take you annual salary, remove 3 zeros from the end (if your annual salary is $30,000 then you get $30) and divide by 1/2 (then you get $15). Consider that to be a value of one hour of your time. When you decide if you want to do some chore that takes you an hour think of it this way: If you don't enjoy the chore and can find someone to do this chore for less than your hourly number hire someone. If you enjoy it or if you can't find anyone to do it for less than your hourly number then you do it.

2. Do not follow "Live on what you make" rule, as if you spend everything you make you will never save anything. You need to live on less, trying to save at least 10%.

3. Do not spend your raise. Save it.

4. Your home is not a cash cow it is a piggy bank. Think of its value down the road, not something you want to take loans against.

Here are a couple of examples of advice that I did not think was generally applicable

1. Don't use credit cards even if you pay them off each month.
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