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Jean Chatzky’s wrote a book, Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security. Because we can’t provide each member with a copy of this book, we plan to share a few financial tips from Money Rules in hopes of better educating our members. With this blog series, we hope to guide you, our member, on a path to financial security.

Where does your money come from? The money you spend, save, invest, or even give away, comes from somewhere and more than likely, that means you’ve earned it. In this post, we will discuss how to earn what you’re worth and more.


  1. Your job is your most important investment. You may have been told that your home and/or your retirement accounts were your greatest assets, but that’s not true. If the Great Recession has proven anything, it’s that your job is by far your greatest asset. Treat your job like that.
  2. Your education is your second-most important investment. With the costs of college rising, it’s been said that college degrees aren’t worth the money, but that couldn’t be more wrong. Based on a study from Georgetown University, the value of a college degree is going up. The typical worker with less than a high school diploma will earn approximately $973,000 over the course of a career; while the typical professional (i.e. a doctor or lawyer) will earn approximately $3.6 million. College graduates fall about halfway between those two numbers and the pay gap between the non-college graduate and graduate is steadily increasing. All-in-all, the more you learn, the more you expand your horizons, and gain practical experience, the more you are valued as an employee. Your talent will be valued higher.
  3. Know your worth on the open market. You can find salary information online; so do yourself a favor and learn, are you worth more than you’re earning today? Or less? Keep in mind, if you’re overpaid, continuously update your skills and strive to improve your productivity. If you’re under-earning, you’re essentially losing money every day you’re not asking for more.
  4. If you don’t ask for more money, the answer will always be “no.” You have to ask for the money you want.
  5. You’re never more valuable than when someone else wants you.
  6. The four most powerful words in any negotiation: “Can you do better?” You’ve just been offered a new job in a position you’ve been striving for, but the salary isn’t where you’d hoped it’d be. Don’t commit – at least not until you ask, “Can you do better?” It’s the perfect haggle.
  7. “More money” won’t make you “more happy.” The next time you’re considering taking a job “just for the money” remember, that money only buys happiness to a point. The reality is that more money doesn’t make a difference in how happy you feel.
  8. The more time you spend looking, the less happy you’ll be with what you find. Whenever a job opportunity seems good enough, take it. Research has shown that the job seekers that were seeking the “perfect” job, only about 20% actually landed the jobs and even less were satisfied in the long run. However, the not-so-picky job seekers were happier with their jobs.
  9. An hour of your time is worth ________________. Not sure what an hour of your time is worth? Here’s a tip, take the last 3 zeros from your salary and divide the remaining number in half. For example, if you earn $30,000 that gives you a rate of $15 an hour. If you make $100,000, it’s $50 an hour.

We understand the importance of a strong financial foundation and hope to better educate our members by providing resources, like this blog, to help guide our members to lifelong financial stability. If you have any comments, click below to share your  feedback .

Interested in Jean Chatzky’s book, Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security? Check it out here.

Originally written by DOCO Credit union, revised by C•U•D.