By Christine Romans
The heady days of the bubble economy many Americans enjoyed during the good ol days of easy credit, ever-increasing home prices, and using both to live beyond ones means came crashing down in what former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker refers to as the mother of all financial crises.
That crisis led to the Great Recession, and while no one knows for sure whether the worst is behind us, one thing is certain: the old economy of easy money is unlikely to return anytime soon, if ever again.
So what is todays new normal, and what does the future hold? This book shows you how living below your means allows you to immediately begin enjoying a healthier and wealthier life, while also preparing yourself for the economic downturns of tomorrow.
In Smart Is the New Rich, youll learn how todays retro consumers are rediscovering good spending habits and rebooting their expectations by asking important questions before they spend their money:
- Do I really need this?
- Will this make me truly happy, and if so, how?
- Can I really afford this?
And if you feel like youre slipping back into the old bubble ways of buy now, pay later, you can join other Smart is the New Rich readers in a running conversation with Christine on Facebook or Twitter (@christineromans).
Some might view life in the new normal as old-fashioned, or even un-American, but whats more “American” than pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps? Doing so doesnt mean doing without. Rather, it means doing a better job at knowing what brings you true happiness and peace of mind.
In the years to come, economists will debate whether the countrys historic economic stimulus was too much, not enough, or not targeted correctly. Politicians will argue for higher taxes, lower taxes, more regulation, or less government intervention. Let them talk. You can only take care of yourself.
Its time to turn the mother of all financial crises into an opportunity to make smarter decisions about how you earn, spend, save, grow, and protect your money.
320 pages. Hardcover. 2010.