Men's Lifestyle

Getting Control of Your Money and Your Happiness 1-2-3

Donna Skeels Cygan takes a very pragmatic approach to managing money. She says it has only one truly important purpose – happiness. All else is secondary.

“Money can’t buy you love, but it can make you happy,” she says.  Her new book, The Joy of Financial Security, is dedicated to helping people learn what they need to do get their finances under control and in good order so that they can really enjoy what life has to offer.

Taking control of your finances is not rocket science. With a few simple steps, everyone can improve how they feel about their finances.

Research shows that happiness is rarely a matter of how much money you spend or what you spend your money on, but rather it is how you spend your time and with whom. You have the power to choose what you do with your money.  Having a healthy relationship with money increases our happiness.  Your attitude towards money colors the way you look at the world. Here are just some of the simple straightforward actions you can take to get control of your financial security and adjust your attitude towards money in a major way:

Step 1: Determine Your Net Worth Today

You’ll feel better right away if you first make a list of your assets. Then do the same with all of your liabilities (another word for debts), and then subtract the liabilities from the assets.  Write it down. This is your starting point so you can see the improvement you will be making.

Step 2: Determine How Much You Can Save

Set a goal. Are you putting away a certain amount of money?  The more you save, the happier you will be. If you don’t save anything, start with your next paycheck. Commit to saving 2% this next month. Commit to raising it steadily and gradually to 10%. Ultimately increase what you save to 15% and even 20%. Once you get started, you will find it is much easier than you expect. Do it.

Step 3:  Control the Controllables

Focus on deploying simple, breakthrough saving strategies.  To create money, stop spending it. Reduce your expenses in every area of your life.  You can control what you spend, whether you live within your means, and whether you pay off your credit card every month. You can control what you eat, where you go, who you spend time with, and how you spend that time. You can control how much you contribute to your retirement plan. You can control how many shoes you own, and how much you spend on restaurants, movies, travel, vacations, the cars you drive and the home you live in.  Just do it.

The more you save, the happier you will be.  The simple steps you take will drastically improve your finances.

Recognize that money does not buy happiness, but it definitely impacts happiness.  Focus on more than just the money: choose experiences with family and friends rather than buying more “stuff”, learn how to “control the controllables,” and focus on gratitude. Stop keeping up with the Jones’s, step off the rat race treadmill and watch your happiness grow.


The Art and Science of Becoming Happier,

Managing Your Money Wisely,

and Creating a Secure Financial Future

Donna Skeels Cygan

List $ 28.95

Trade hardcover 394 pages

Published by Sage Future Press

Official publication date November 1, 2013

ISBN-10: 0989778444 ISBN-13: 978-0989778442

For more information visit

The Joy of Financial Security explains how to determine human capital (ability to earn money); track net worth; monitor savings and spending; and the basics of estate planning.  This engaging, easy-to-use book contains numerous tools that make it easy for people to understand where they are, and how to move to where they want to be. Some of the memorable and distinctive strategies include: Control the Controllables, Weeding Your Garden, Good Debt vs Bad Debt, Track your Net Worth, and have a Roth IRA.

About The Author

Donna Skeels Cygan has been recognized as one of the top financial advisors in the U.S., and has been quoted in many publications, including The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Forbes, Kiplingers, Newsweek, and Investment News. She is the president of Sage Future Financial, LLC in Albuquerque, NM, and serves clients across the U.S. She lives with her husband and two children in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

What People Are Saying:

“This book provides immense rewards. Cygan teaches her readers how to manage their money wisely while becoming better investors. She then helps them attain rich, happy, and fulfilling lives by aligning their money with their values. The way she weaves financial strategies together with happiness strategies is fascinating.”

— BERT WHITEHEAD, MBA, JD, author of Why Smart People Do Stupid Things with Money

“By combining the latest research with interesting stories, Cygan takes on the complex relationship between money and happiness and makes it a lot simpler. It is true that money can’t buy you happiness, but buying this book can make you happier.”

— TAL BEN-SHAHAR, author of Happier and Choose the Life You Want

“Cygan knows the number of smart money decisions driven by logic alone is very small. In The Joy of Financial Security she shows us how money, financial security, and happiness are intricately related, and provides a step-by-step guide to finding your own balance. Brilliant!”

— RICHARD C. SALMEN, CFP®, CFA, Past-President of the Financial Planning Association

“Money is a complex topic, and in this thought-provoking book, Cygan examines it from many angles. Moving beyond traditional financial advice, she helps readers see that money is just a part of a happy and rewarding life.”

— LAURA VANDERKAM, author of All the Money in the World and 168 Hours