And a different take on money and happiness

And a different take on money and happiness

June 24, 2007

(Broadway Books, 212 pages, $18.95)

I was instantly drawn to this green and pink book with the pink piggy bank on the cover; oh, and to the subtitle that promised that the book would teach me “How to Spend to Get the Life You Want.”

That’s a title to which I will gravitate.

Dunleavey is no unknown self-help quantity. She writes a personal finance column for The New York Times. So if she says I can spend to find happiness, I want to know: How?

The key, I learn, is not how much I spend but what I spend my money on, and the underpinning of the book is that if I invest in myself, spend money on the things that relieve my worries and purchase free time with my hard-earned dollars, I will, in fact, buy happiness for myself.

I like the sound of that plan, and I like the exercises and worksheets that appear throughout the book.

There’s a lot of common sense in this book, and enough humor that readers will end up cutting themselves some slack when it comes to poor savings or higher-than-healthy debt, all while learning how to do better and being motivated to actually follow through. I’m feeling happier already.