Recommended Reading

Make Money, Not Excuses: Wake Up, Take Charge, and Overcome Your Financial Fears Forever, by Jean Chatzky.

A few years ago, after reporting on money for fifteen years, Jean Chatzky finally cracked the code.  If you want to get rich, you need only do four things:

1. Make a decent living
2. Spend less than you make
3. Invest the money you don’t spend
4. Protect the financial world you build so that a disaster doesn’t take it all away from you

Sounds easy.  So why, then, is it so hard, particularly for women?

Because women, more than men, make excuses.  They tell themselves that they’re “just not good with money,” or that their husband “likes taking care of the finances.”  They convince themselves that they deserve that new pair of shoes, or that they’re too disorganized to tackle the tower of financial paperwork on the desk.

In this book, Jean takes all of the excuses women make about money and turn them on their heads.  She tells you how to decode the financial jargon to read your bank statements, how to save money (and where to put it) and why you are likely already a great investor.

Available: local and online book retailers.


Pay it Down! Debt-free on $10 a Day, by Jean Chatzky.

The number one enemy of the American family’s finances is debt, says Chatzky—especially credit card debt. The average American family, she reports, has 16 credit cards carrying a debt load of more than $8,000. In this terrific little book, theToday Show financial editor and author of You Don’t Have to Be Rich and other titles offers a tough-minded but workable plan for getting rid of that burden.

Chatzky’s program builds from one simple premise: that it’s possible for most of us to get debt-free by saving $10 a day for three years. Following the wisdom of knowing a problem in order to conquer it, Chatzky advises that readers first get their credit scores; she explains clearly how to do that, what the scores mean and how to improve them. She then recommends that readers learn what, exactly, they are spending their money on, and provides appropriate worktables and steps to accomplish that. A large section of the book is devoted to resourceful ways to find the $10 a day, with Chatzky suggesting that readers make hard choices regarding everything from eliminating the cost of their wireless device (their Palm Pilot, for instance), if they have one, to refinancing a car loan and putting on a garage sale. Instructions follow on how to “pay it down” intelligently, and the book concludes with lucid instructions on how to deal with worst-case debt scenarios and how to maintain and enhance one’s debt-free financial status once it’s achieved. Throughout, the text is personalized by brief stories of those who have worked their way into, then out of, crushing debt, as well as by glimpses of Chatzky’s own story.

This is that rare book that has the genuine ability to improve many lives. Its power lies in its simplicity and focus, and in Chatzky’s caring and thorough but no-nonsense approach. It seems that even a financial naif can follow Chatzky’s advice and turn night into day. If enough people do, this book may become the landmark title it has the potential to be.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Available: local and online book retailers.


Stop Acting Rich…And Start Living Like A Real Millionaire,by Thomas J. Stanley.

Thomas J. Stanley is a former university professor and co-author of the book The Millionaire Next Door. His latest book is titled Stop Acting Rich…And Start Living Like a Real Millionaire. A review by the Washington Post stated:
“Stanley has one major purpose for this latest installment in examining the lifestyles of the truly rich. He wants to make the case that if people stop acting rich, they can achieve the kind of happiness money can’t buy…Don’t be a great pretender, pretending you’re doing well when you only look the part. Read this book and find out how to emulate real-deal millionaires.”
Available: local and online book retailers.


The New Frugality, by Chris Farrell.

As the recession continues, with a downturn in spending, rise in defaulting mortgages and throttling of credit, a Go-Go economy has transitioned to an Uh-Oh economy. How did we get here, and what does it mean for individuals and families? The New Frugality lays out how Americans have overspent, and offers a way out through consuming less and saving more — showing that living simply is not just living cheaply. (From the website).


he Number: A Completely Different Way to Think About the Rest of Your Life, by Lee Eisenberg.

The often avoided, anxiety-riddled discussion about financial planning for a secure and fulfilling future has been given a new starting point in THE NUMBER: A Completely Different Way to Think About the Rest of Your Life by Lee Eisenberg (Free Press; January 10, 2006). The buzz of professionals and financial industry insiders everywhere, the Number represents the amount of money and resources people will need to enjoy the active life they desire, especially post-career. Backed by imaginative and visionary advice, Eisenberg urges people to assume control and responsibility for their standard of living, and to sufficiently enable their enduring aspirations for years to come. (From the website).

Available: Logan Library.


25 myths you’ve got to avoid-if you want to manage your money right: The New Rules For Financial Success, by Jonathan Clements.

The author writes the weekly “Getting Going” personal finance column for The Wall Street Journal. This is not a “how to” or reference book but one to help you develop an understanding of the dynamics of your personal finance and investing decisions. The author writes in an engaging style for quick reading. This book is likely to be read cover to cover, unlike some of the wonderful comprehensive personal finance books that are made for reference and detail (and gathering dust on a bookshelf). Clement’s book does not provide detailed definitions but helps the reader make decisions in today’s marketplace. I think his weekly (Tuesday) column is terrific: concise and cogent comments on personal finances in a nutshell.

Available: USU Merrill Library HG179.C6512


Divorce and Money: How to Make the Best Financial Decisions During Divorce, by Violet Woodhouse and Dale Fetherling.

Going through a divorce requires you to make many financial decisions. Using worksheets, this book helps walk you through many of these decisions such as dividing debts, setting alimony and child support, working out a settlement that you can both agree on, and what happens to retirement benefits.

Available: USU Merrill Library KF524.Z9 W66
Logan Library 346.73 Woo C.1
Nolo Press $29.95


Get a Life: You Don’t Need a Million to Retire Well, by Warner, Ralph (2000), Berkeley: Nolo Press.

The financial service industry wants you to believe that in order to avoid financial destitution, you need to put aside huge amounts of money that you “should have begun saving years ago.” Not true, states Warner, the author of Get a Life. Although a sensible savings plan makes good horse sense, many other actions and decisions will determine whether you enjoy your retirement years. The real keys to a fulfilling retirement are good health, relationships, family ties, and varied interests and activities.

Get a Life shows you how to beat the anxiety surrounding retirement, and to develop a plan to make your golden years the best of your life by: working in mid-life to protect your health, develop interests and activities, and cultivate close relationships with friends and family realistically calculating how much money you will need and how to secure it Interviews with successful (and successfully) retired people illustrate how to put Warner’s advice into action. Newest Ed: 3rd, Oct. 2000 ISBN: 0_87337_583_1

Available:USU Merrill Library HD 7125.W375
Logan Library 332.024 War C.1
Nolo Press:$17.47


IRAs, 401(k)s, and Other Retirement Plans: Taking Your Money Out, by Twila Slesnick & John C. Suttle (2001)

This book explains in easy to understand language the different kinds of retirement plans such as IRAs, 401(k)s, self-employed plans (Keoghs), annuities, and more. It also covers tax strategies before retirement and at retirement, dividing a plan at divorce, and the tax penalties for taking your money out early. The 3rd edition covers the IRS’s new 2001 distribution rules.

Available: Logan Library 343.7305 SLE C.1
Nolo Press $25.00

Kids and Money, by Jayne Pearl


The Late Start Investor; The Better-Late-Than-Never Guide to Realizing Your Retirement Dreams, by John F. Wasik (1999).

As the title suggests, this book gives encouragement to late start investors that it is never too late to begin planning for your financial future. The Author takes a holistic approach towards retirement and helps readers determine where they currently are financially and where they want to be. He then proceeds to show how to achieve that through planning and goals. I enjoyed his style of writing and found it not only entertaining but easy to understand potentially difficult financial material.



The Legal Guide for Starting & Running a Small Business, by Fred Steingold (1995).

Small business owners are regularly confronted by a bewildering array of legal questions and problems. Ignoring them can lead to disaster — but with lawyers typically charging $150-$250 an hour, calling one to answer routine legal questions can be a fast track to the poorhouse. Fortunately, you have a better alternative. Legal Guide for Starting & Running a Small Business clearly explains the practical and legal information you need to with topics including, raising start-up money, getting licenses and permits, insuring your business, and coping with financial problems.

Available: USU Merrill Library KF1659.Z9 S76
Logan Library 346.73 STE c.1
Nolo Press $29.95


Luxury Fever; Why Money Fails to Satisfy in an Era of Excess, by Robert H. Frank, (1999).

In the book Luxury Fever, Robert H. Frank provides a thoughtful look at the growing economic trend of Americans spending less on necessities and more on luxuries in an attempt to gain social status through possessions. He explains how the spending patterns of the wealthy minority influence the entire population. He points out many faults and irrational spending habits of Americans as a whole and suggests ways that they may be remedied. He also demonstrates through numerous studies how wealth in itself does not bring satisfaction in life.

Available: USU Merrill Library HC110.W4 F7
Logan Library 305.5Fra C.1


Money Mastery in Just Minutes a Day, by Waddell, F. (1996). Auburn, AL: Genesis Press.

This book was written for people who feel powerless over their financial situations, Waddell helps readers reverse negative spending and saving habits by delving into the psychological barriers preventing them from controlling their finances. First, the book helps readers examine their financial lives. Second, readers are encouraged to perform practical, hands-on exercises to help them develop an effective plan.

Available: USU Merrill library on order
Logan Library 332.024 WAD


Nickel and Dimed; on (Not) Getting by in America, by Barbara Ehrenreich (2001).

This is an interesting look at how the millions of Americans who work for poverty level wages survive on such a low wage. The Author Barbara Ehrenreich chose to take a low paying job so that she could view first hand the life that these people lived. It was from her observations and experience she wrote this book. This book gives and interesting insightful look on how prosperity is viewed from the bottom.

Available: USU Merrill libraryMCN E108
Logan Library 305.569 EHR


On Your Own: A Widow’s Passage to Emotional and Financial Well-Being, by Armstrong, A. & M.R. Donahue (1993).

Donahue, who is a certified financial planner & Armstrong who is a psychologist, teamed up to write this practical book offering help dealing with both the emotional and financial worries that come from losing a spouse. This book relates well to readers because both authors have experience with widowhood. In the words of the authors, “this book reflects our belief that there is a connection between your financial & psychological recovery. The better able you are to come to terms with your loss emotionally, the better you will be able to address the financial consequences. Similarly, the more you understand about your financial situation, the less anxious you will be, which in turn will contribute to your emotional healing.”

Available: USU Merrill Library HG179.A724
Logan Library 332.024 ARM c.1


Plan Your Estate, by Denis Clifford & Cora Jordan.

With clarity and common sense, Estate-planning experts Attorneys Denis Clifford and Cora Jordan help you establish clear, realistic estate planning goals as they cover everything from estate planning basics to sophisticated tax-saving strategies. The book covers federal estate and gift taxes, trusts used to control property left to beneficiaries, charitable remainder trusts, durable powers of attorney, living wills, and funerals and burials.

Available: USU Merrill Library KF750.Z9 C59
Logan Library 346.7305 Cli C.1
Nolo Press $33.95


Prosperous Retirement: Guide to the New Reality, by Michael K. Stein (1998)

This book is a comprehensive guide to retirement planning. It is one of the few books that explains that most people spend MORE (than while working) in the early years of retirement when they travel, etc. then go into a less active, less expensive stage, and finally spend very little (unless for medical/long term care) in final years of their life. So planning models that plan for the constant (real dollar) expenditures often overstate the amount you need.

Available: USU Merrill Library HG 179.S832


The Right Way to Hire Financial Help: A complete guide to choosing and managing brokers, financial planners, insurance agents, lawyers, tax preparers, bankers and real estate agents. by Charles A. Jaffee.

Friends who have borrowed it have given very positive reports. There are some preliminary chapters: “How to start looking for help” “Your first meeting with an advisor” etc. and then chapters on hiring specific professionals: planner, brokers, insurance agents, accountants, tax preparers, attorneys, etc.

Available: USU Merrill Library: HG179.5 J 34
Logan Library: 332.6 jaf c1


The Wealthy Barber, by David Chilton; Prima Publishing

“In the updated third edition of this popular financial planning book, David Chilton, president of Financial Awareness Corporation, shows readers how to achieve the financial independence they’ve always dreamed of. With the help of his fictional barber, Roy, and a large dose of humor, Chilton encourages readers to take control of their financial future and build wealth slowly, steadily, and with sure success.”

Available: USU Merrill Library: Reserve
Logan Library 332.024 CHIC.1


Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes and How to Correct Them, by Belsky, Gary & Gilovich, Thomas. Simon & Schuster, paperback $12

This easy to read book, written by former Money magazine writer Gary Belsky and Cornell University psychology professor Thomas Gilovich, offers a revealing view of the way we spend, invest, borrow and waste money. The authors summarize three decades of research on behavioral economics, the study of why people make irrational decisions about money, in a way that helps the reader evaluate their own spending and, perhaps, think twice as they make future financial decisions. Humberto Cruz writes in his review: “In a fast-paced, smartly written 224-page book I read at one sitting, the authors distill three decades of research in behavioral economics an finance, the study of why people often make irrational or illogical decisions about money…My favorite among the scores of personal finance books on bookstore shelves today.”

Available: Logan Library: 332.024 Bel


The Retirement Catch-Up Guide; 54 Real-Life Lessons to Boost Your Retirement Resources Now! by Ellen Hoffman

This book is for everyone who needs to plan for retirement, whether or not it is 5 or 25 years away. It offers simple advice on how to best use your resources to ensure that your retirement years will not be one of stress and worry, but rather years of enjoyment and fulfillment. The Author is the retirement columnist for Business Week Online and has written several articles for Money Magazine.

Available: Amazon.com


The Overspent American: Upscaling, Downshifting & the New Consumer, by Juliet Schor’s (1998)., NY: Basic Books.

If you find yourself saving less money and watching more T.V., mentally downplaying your credit card debts, or always wanting to buy more, this book can help you get in control of your financial situation.

Available: USU Merrill Library: HF 5415.22 U6 S.36
Logan Library: 339.47 SCH C.1