The Path to Happiness and Wealth by Steve Rhode

I was awarded the Washington Post personal finance book of the month award for this book. It is a holistic look at the secrets to overcoming debt and finding a balance with money in your life. It’s a good book for people to read that might be having issues with shopping issues, compulsive spending, overspending, hidden debt, etc.

You can find links to the individual chapters below.


Chapter 1I Got Hit in the Head With a Baseball and I Saw it Coming

Chapter 2What Your Money is Trying to Tell You

Chapter 3Take a Lap on the Gerbil Wheel of Debt
Chapter 4Why Money Doesn’t Make You Happy
Chapter 5If You Had a Million Rats, Would You be Successful?
Chapter 6The 10 Attributes of Internal Prosperity
Chapter 7The Attributes of Internal Prosperity in Action
Chapter 8Your Money is Your Friend
ConclusionListen to Your Heart
Here is what Michelle Singletary at the Washington Post said about this book.

For January, I’ve selected “The Path to Happiness and Wealth: How to Enjoy Money and Life at the Same Time” by Steve Rhode.

I chose “The Path to Happiness and Wealth” to start the new year because Rhode makes the case that many of us need an attitude adjustment if we are ever to become rich — in spirit.

“Financial success is measured more by your state of mind and internal prosperity than money in the bank,” Rhode writes. “Unless you can find peace with the money you have right now, more trailing zeros in the bank will not help.”

“When your money takes control of your life, your wants become needs and your needs become wants,” Rhode says in the book. “Spending money you can’t afford to spend only compromises your future.”

I like this book because it’s not so much a nuts-and-bolts blueprint on how to pay off your debts but a conversation — sometimes stern, other times warm — about the need to understand how the mismanagement of money can be demoralizing. Rhode reveals in the book that in 1990 he and his wife filed for bankruptcy.

But, he says: “From that pain and financial devastation I was able to go on to help others. God gave me a doctorate in financial defeat. And as strange as it may sound today, I’m grateful for the blessing.”

Even now, Rhode writes, “after a period of prolonged economic prosperity, our country is packed with people who lack confidence, feel lonely and unhappy, and are trying to have more and more ‘stuff’ because they think the stuff will make them confident, secure and loved.”

“But at some point you have to achieve some peace and satisfaction with what you have,” Rhode said in an interview.

Ultimately, Rhode said, the path to happiness and wealth begins by striking a balance. “If you could get some balance in your money life, then you’d stop squirreling money away out of fear and you’d stop spending more than you can afford because you are bored, unhappy or deceiving yourself,” he writes.

And here’s how you achieve financial balance, according to Rhode: “Take the money you make, meet your obligations, save some and have fun with the rest. If you simply focus on saving for tomorrow, then you won’t be able to live the rich and fulfilling life you want to live today. If you spend everything today, you won’t have anything for tomorrow.”

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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