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Why should I track my spending?

Jean Chatzky
Financial Health
Research has shown that keeping a food diary -- writing down what you put into your mouth, habitually and without fail -- keeps even the most troubled dieters honest. The same is true of tracking your spending. Most people have absolutely no idea where their money goes -- particularly their cash. Tracking, whether you do it using pencil and paper or a Web or smartphone application, works. I know because I’ve done it. I know others who’ve done it. It will transform your financial life.
 
Jean Chatzky is an award-winning personal finance journalist, TODAY show financial expert and coauthor of Age-Proof: Living Longer Without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip, and Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security, among others.

Excerpted from Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security by Jean Chatzky. Copyright © 2012 by Jean Chatzky. Reproduced under license from Rodale Inc. All rights reserved.
Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security

More About this Book

Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security

A powerfully simple, must-have manifesto on money with more than 90 wealth-building rules from the Today show's finance guru.In a time of great financial uncertainty, this is the book everyone must read. The bottom line: Money is simple-people make it complicated. Now, bestselling personal finance author Jean Chatzky has distilled this simplicity into a smart, immediate, and entertaining set of rules that will change readers' financial lives. Chatzky removes the stress associated with all things money and says it clearly: Readers who follow these basic yet crucial approaches to spending, saving, investing, increasing their income, and most importantly, protecting what they have, will build the wealth and financial stability they've been dreaming of. Chatzky's advice is reassuring, straightforward, and often counterintuitive, including: - Date your stocks; don't marry them.- 'More money' won't always make you 'more happy.'- To spend less, carry Benjamins, not Jacksons.- If you can't explain it, don't invest in it.- 'Free' can be very expensive.Written in her trademark warm, witty voice, and with a special Dos and Don'ts section, Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security by Jean Chatzky is the only book readers really need to achieve true financial health and happiness.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.