Jean Chatzky And Her
Ten Commandments Of Financial Happiness

As Summarized By The Author Of This Website

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4. Save at least 5 percent of your household income

Jean Chatzky says there is a powerful relationship between saving/investing and being happy with your finances. By saving at least 5 percent of your income you will strengthen that relationship multi-fold.



The best way to do that is to move that 5 percent out of your operating account immediately it comes in, before you have the opportunity to spend it. In effect, this also means that you should cut your household budget to 95% of your income that actually comes in to your account each month.

And to fund your future additional income streams (e.g. a second income project, a home business, growing an existing business) plan to increase that five percent gradually over time. Keep this money earmarked specifically for your future income development, not for holidays or medical expenses, and the like. See it as a business investment to bring future earnings.


5. Protect your family (and yourself)

A major cause of financial stress and non-happiness, especially for the breadwinner in a traditional household, is the fear that one cannot, or may not be able to, provide for our loved ones’ needs for a decent life.

Therefore, once you've established an emergency fund of three to six months' living expenses, have documented your Last Will & Testament and secured a level of life insurance you can afford, you will have removed a major source of financial worry that many people experience. The result? More happiness gets unlocked and life feels better.

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6. Minimize credit-card debt

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As long as we're not spending more than we can afford in repayments on large capital items such as a home purchase or home improvements, and car repayments, they don't stress us out too much. One reason is probably that we know that the amount of outstanding debt on these items is probably more-or-less covered by the capital value of the items themselves.

Credit-card debt and bank overdraft debt, however, are a totally different story. If you can rid your life of revolving credit-card debt and bank overdraft debt – that is, reduce the outstanding balance every month by paying back more than the minimum payment required – it is likely that you’ll be happier financially, and happier overall.


7. Do unto others

Volunteering, or giving away money or even old belongings to others who are less financially secure than you, can unlock more of your own happiness.

According to Jean Chatzky, of all the charitable activities, giving money to the causes that you believe in has the strongest tie to personal happiness. But taking your children's old toys to a children's hospital works too; so does volunteering at, say, a school or homeless shelter.

These actions would form part of the happiness principle of being kind to others.

Jean Chatzky’s book, The Ten Commandments of Financial Happiness, covers the ten points in more detail, and with more practical examples to help in their implementation.

The last three commandments >>


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