Finance Is Personal
Making Your Money Work for You in College and Beyond
by Kim Stephenson and Ann B. Hutchins
June 2015, 178pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3436-3
$55, £43, 48€, A76
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3437-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Materialistic values have been strongly linked to unhappiness.

This groundbreaking personal finance resource shows you how to manage thinking, feelings, and behavior so that you can handle your money to get what you want—not what someone else thinks you ought to have to be happy.

Financial planning and money management are hot topics, but most books don’t help you figure out what you truly want your money to provide for you. Exploring links between money and happiness, this guide is based on sound theory and on the latest research in psychology, behavioral economics, happiness, and neuroscience. It will give people at any stage of life—especially those of you in college or starting careers—the tools to plot your own course through the financial world and, ultimately, use money as a gateway to a happy and fulfilling life.

Stephenson and Hutchins introduce core concepts that support strong, sound decision making around money, based on personal values, attitudes and beliefs, and goals. Practical, information-gathering questions and exercises help you uncover your true financial needs. The final two chapters show you how to integrate the relevant information with your goals and develop a plan for success. Along the way, you will learn such things as how to plan for your long-term goals, how to delay certain types of gratification for another type of instant gratification (peace of mind), how to think about credit, and how to make decisions on such issues as renting or buying, investing or saving, and borrowing a lot, a little, or not at all. Finally, you will come away with new ideas for how to have fun on a budget.


  • Focuses on the reader's own situation and issues and provides practical knowledge and advice
  • Shows readers how to work out what they really want their money to do, how to set goals for what they want, how to build financial plans to achieve those goals, and how to stick to their plans
  • Connects older traditional knowledge with the latest research in neuroscience and psychology
  • Explains why the reader might think in a particular way so that he/she can understand that to be human is to be complex and sometimes irrational
  • Links areas such as visioning, goal setting, deferring gratification, financial planning, and behavioral change, and sets them into a context so the reader can understand, remember, and use the ideas
Kim Stephenson, CPsychol, ACII, Dip PFS, is director of Stephenson Consulting. His published works include Taming the Pound: Making Money Your Servant, Not Your Master, a book on the practical use of psychology in financial planning that was nominated for a British Psychological Society prize for best popular science book of the year. He has practiced professionally as both a financial advisor and an industrial and organizational psychologist.

Ann B. Hutchins, CFC, ACC, is the principal of Ann B. Hutchins Financial Coaching. She received a Masters of Business Administration degree in finance from Babson College, Wellesley, MA, and a bachelor's degree in American studies from Hamilton College, Clinton, NY.


"Stephenson and Hutchins are financial wizards who know something extremely important—they know that money isn’t everything. Finance Is Personal will help you connect with what really matters and make financial decisions that serve your deepest values and highest priorities. Reading this book is like having a wise, kind, and determined coach at your side. This kind of guidance is rare and potentially life changing."—Dave Mochel, CEO, Applied Attention Consulting

“Stephenson and Hutchins blend financial acumen with sound psychology in a seamless way. Their book explains complex topics in a very accessible form, offering guidance to the college student population in an engaging manner that speaks directly to their issues and concerns about where they are going and why, and how they can manage their money to achieve their aspirations.”—Clive Fletcher, Emeritus professor of psychology, Goldsmiths’ College, University of London

“Although some of the most important decisions we make in life are financial, most people rely on their intuition rather than reason. In Finance Is Personal, the authors digest key findings from psychology to help readers leverage their natural style, preferences, and values in order to make more effective and profitable choices. This book will do more to increase young people’s financial IQ than any formal course, MBA, or business experience—a must read!”—Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premunzic, professor of business psychology at University College London, visiting professor at Columbia University, vice president of research and innovation at Hogan Assessments, and cofounder of

“Stephenson and Hutchins provide a wonderful and valuable discussion of personal finance. This book is highly understandable and substantive for college students learning about finance for the first time. The authors present a well-balanced approach between academic findings and application of this subject matter.”—Victor Ricciardi, coeditor, Investor Behavior: The Psychology of Financial Planning and Investing
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