Jean Chatzky is the financial editor for NBC’s Today Show and an award-winning personal finance journalist. She is also a best-selling author of eight books, including Money Rules. She also happens to be a personal hero of mine and a truly neat human being.
In 2014, Jean Chatzky made a stop in Helena to promote her book Money Rules and I got the chance to meet her. She is a kind and humble person and believes in what she preaches. I have made a list of my top five favorite Money Rules and I hope you find them useful.
1. The biggest threat to your financial security is your health.
With medical debt being the leading cause of bankruptcy in the U.S. it is understandable that this will impact your financial security. So take care of yourself folks. The less time you have to spend at the doctor’s office, the happier you and your wallet will be.
2. Pay your bills as they come in.
There is nothing I can think of that is more depressing than paying all of your bills in one sitting. Personally, I set up everything on auto payments or bi-weekly payments if I can. This way, my bills are paid right up front and I don’t have to worry about making a payment at the end of the month if my balance gets low in my checking account. If you can't set up auto-pay or you don't want to, just pay your bills as soon as you can. You can avoid late fees, and still don't have to worry about your checking account being too low.
3. Good debt is usually cheaper.
Now I know my Dave Ramsey folks are going to argue with me on this one, but I have a theory that not all debt is bad. In fact, Chatzky tells us that the roof over our head, the car to get us to work or school, and the loan we took out to finance our college education are all good reasons to have debt. As long as we are managing it in a financially responsible manner. That means you don't need a $50,000 car when you can afford a $10,000 car.
4. Declare some financial independence.
I know there are married couples out there who are joint on all their spouses’ accounts… I don’t think that is necessary. You will drive yourself nuts trying to keep track of so many accounts and your spouse deserves your trust, right? Personally, I don’t want to answer to my husband every time I go to Target and spend a little too much money, so we have our own checking accounts. We do have a joint account for joint expenses, but we also each have separate spending accounts.
5. Give back.
My all-time favorite Money Rule is give back. Chatzy tells us that people who donate their time and/or their funds are happy and healthier because of it. What a great way to be happy, giving back.
I hope you enjoy my favorite money rules, for more money rules you should check out Jean Chatzky’s blog! If you need help following these money rules or just budgeting in general, download our budget worksheet!