"This is a wry and companionable guide to getting your finances in better sync with your values, and who wouldn't be enriched by that?"
-Melinda Henneberger, Contributing editor, Newsweek magazine

"Laura Rowley helps de-mystify the age-old connection between money and happiness while providing lots of helpful hints on how to find the right balance of both in your life."
-Terry Keenan, Anchor, Fox News Channel and financial columnist, The New York Post

"Money and Happiness takes cold, hard, financial information and warms it up through the voice of your best friend. You'll find out how to achieve your life dreams, and avoid money nightmares. The cost of this book may be the best investment you ever make."
-Kevin McKinley, CFP, author, "Make Your Kid a Millionaire" and host of Public Radio's, "On Your Money"

"Let Laura Rowley guide you to a rational and rewarding life by helping you re-order your approach to your financial well-being. This book covers all the dimensions you need to know about to plan properly for your reality. She teaches that you need not be loaded to be happy. And she shows you how to set, then achieve, your goals. For your sanity, Rowley is a welcome antidote to the wave of materialism washing over our culture."
-Allan Dodds Frank, Bloomberg Television

"Laura Rowley makes us all understand the money-happiness connection in our own lives so that we spend our time and our efforts wisely. She gets to the heart of why money can bring feelings of stress, joy, and freedom, and Rowley offers insight that every reader can use to make smarter decisions that will lead to living a rich life in every possible definition of the term."
-Lucy Danziger, Editor-in-Chief, Self Magazine

Welcome to Money and Happiness

Money is a tool that ultimately expresses our core values. Beyond basic needs, money helps us achieve our life’s purpose and support the things we care about most deeply – family, education, health care, charity, adventure and fun. It helps us get some of life’s intangibles – freedom or independence, the opportunity to make the most of our skills and talents, the ability to choose our own course in life, financial security. I have found that the people who invest the time to figure out what they truly value and then align their money with those values have the strongest sense of financial and personal well-being.

But living by your values – even if you’ve taken the time to identify them - isn’t easy. Many of us complicate money by making it an extension of our unconscious beliefs, personalities and family histories. A host of research studies that show the brain is pretty much working against our efforts to manage money – for instance, surging with the pleasure chemical dopamine when it sees something new in a store window; or fooling us into misjudging investment risk. And we are bombarded with a culture and media complex urging us to buy, buy, buy, right now – whether the purchase serves our values or not.

This site is intended to do two things: Make you think about what you really value, and learn some practical tools and positive strategies to create “the good life” in a way that is meaningful to you. I invite you to visit the blog, share your ideas and strategies, and have fun along the way. Thanks for stopping by.

About The Book

“Money and Happiness: A Guide to Living the Good Life” looks at how to identify our authentic values and overcome unconscious behavior and personality traits that frustrate our efforts to manage money in a healthy manner. I interviewed dozens of people for the book, who talk about their money triumphs, failures and lessons, such as:

• Deb W., who imitated her father’s reckless spending and ended up bankrupt, unemployed and a single parent in her early 30s - then turned her life around completely - working her way out of debt, buying a home, remarrying and landing a six-figure job;

• Jennifer L., who abandoned her fast-track finance career for several years to nurse her mother through breast cancer, care for three younger siblings and run the family restaurant - yet managed to pick up where she left off, saving enough to buy her own home before age 30;

• Michelle R., who enjoys both financial expertise and a good salary, but has amassed $9,000 in credit card debt and can't figure out how to live within her means;

• Heidi B., who was fired after reducing her work week in search of better life balance - then launched a successful consulting business, working just 25 hours a week and earning as much as she made working full-time.

From these personal accounts, readers can intimately relate to their own money dilemmas, and find inspiration to improve their financial lives, and balance the pursuit of money with their larger values.

Money & Happiness offers self-assessment tests, worksheets for analyzing your spending patterns, savings tips and straightforward strategies to get your retirement plan in gear immediately. The book also reveals what psychologists and economists have discovered about the money-happiness connection. Money & Happiness shows readers how to banish financial anxieties and make money reflect their energy, imagination and passion. Because when you know what you value and make money decisions that are value-driven, you can be true to yourself.

Get Happy...

Adapted from Money & Happiness, © 2005 by Laura Rowley