Enjoy Your Money! How to Make It, Save It, Invest It and Give It
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Book Description Page for
TV Interview on Fox 5 Good Day Atlanta
Interview on CBS News
Interview (Follow-up) on CBS News
Review in The Oakland (California) Tribune
Gives Job-Hunting Tips in the Northside (Atlanta) News
Book Pleasures Site
- "A fast, fun read with
practical and often remarkable insights. Should be required
reading for every high school senior and every young adult
who has landed his or her first full-time job. I'm
incorporating parts of the book into my lectures. (Robert
Martin, Lecturer of Accounting in the prestigious Coles
College of Business at Kennesaw State University)
- "Had I read this book in my 20’s, I’d be financially independent today. It’s a remarkable blend of fabulous research with clear and lively writing. You’d pay an expert quite a sum for this caliber of counsel. That’s why I say that the best investment you make this year just might be this book. Your second best investment will be the copies you buy for your children."
(Dr. Dwight "Ike" Reighard, Former Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer of HomeBanc)
- "As a practicing CPA and financial counselor for the past 35 years, I've read scores of books and periodicals on personal finance. Just when you think you've heard it all, something like this comes along. It's rare and refreshing to find a book so enjoyable, so accurate, and so life changing. I’m purchasing 200 copies to give away to graduating seniors."
(Larry Winter, Winter & Scoggins, CPA's,
Certified Valuation Analyst, Certified Fraud Examiner,
Personal Financial Planning Specialist)
J. Steve Miller - educator,
investor, entrepreneur, and speaker -
has taught audiences from Atlanta to Moscow. He’s known for
drawing practical wisdom from serious research and
communicating it in accessible, unforgettable ways.
Steve is the founder and president of Legacy Educational Resources, providing global resources for teachers of life skills in public schools, churches, and service organizations at
A self-styled "wisdom broker," Steve collects wisdom from many
fields and packages it for teachers and writers via his
published books and the Web. His wife, Cherie, and their seven
sons continually remind him what works and what doesn’t. Connect
with him at
Q: Steve, what motivated you to write this book?
A: First, people are hurting with their finances. According to recent surveys:
- Twenty-five percent of American adults live paycheck to paycheck. They fear going under and desperately need to accumulate wealth.
- Ninety-eight percent of middle-aged people reported regret at how they spent their money in the light of how much they could have saved.
- Today's college students graduate with, on average, over $22,000 in debt. Their first job out of college doesn't pay what they expected. They want to get out of debt and accumulate enough wealth to purchase a house.
- Personal debt is reaching record highs as personal savings reach all time lows (under zero percent average savings in 2006). How will people ever get ahead?
B. Second, to get more personal, Cherie and I are raising seven boys, from 14-year-old twins to a 27-year-old. I don't want them to live their lives experiencing the misery of financial bondage. This book sums up what we're trying to teach them about finding financial freedom.
Q: Bookstores offer shelves of books on personal money management. Why write another one?
A: Some of those books are really good. I read wheelbarrows' full of them in my research and recommend many of them throughout my book and Web-based resources (www.enjoyyourmoney.org). But I thought a different approach was in order, something that could help people totally rethink the way our culture has taught them to manage their money. So I wrote a book with these distinctives:
- Well researched and documented, ensuring that the advice is solid.
- Story form to grab and hold attention
- Multi-Cultural (Afro-American, Hispanic, Oriental, White Anglo-Saxon)
- Multi-Generational, including characters from eighteen to eighty
- Defies stereotypes
- Likeable characters
- Neither talks down to students nor ridicules teachers
- Encourages learning from one another and multiple sources
- Includes building knowledge, skills and character
- Fosters giving as well as getting
- Encourages those with learning disabilities
- Includes reviews, thought questions and assignments
- Broad use of real people stories
Q: The story line reminds me of the movie The Breakfast Club, where high school students from different parts of the school culture broke through the stereotypes to find that they weren't so different after all.
A: Great observation! That movie was a part of my inspiration. So I've got this white cheerleader, an Afro-American muscle car enthusiast, a Hispanic do-gooder and an Asian low achiever. They meet at "In School Suspension" and discover that they've got at least one thing in common: their parents stink at personal finances and it hurts their families. They desperately want to do better, but they first must overcome their demons.
Amy, Antonio, Akashi and James
Akashi suffers from undiagnosed disabilities, making her the black sheep of her high achieving siblings. Can a "C" student get any better than a "C" vocation and a "C" life? Antonio loves outdoor adventures and serving the less fortunate. But can he make enough of a living to support a family while working in a potentially low-paying career? James wants to make a million dollars before age 40, but no matter how much he works, he can't seem to save a cent.
They're introduced to Mrs. Kramer, an eccentric teacher who's unusually successful with her finances. She meets with them each Saturday morning for breakfast to discuss money management.
The resulting package includes adventure, romance and fascinating people - everything you'd never expect in a financial book.
Q: This book is more about people than numbers.
A: Yes! And not only about my fictional characters, but about real people who've succeeded marvelously with their money. Kramer introduces them to Oseola McCarty, who washed clothes for a living the old fashioned way - boiling them in a kettle over a fire. After arthritis forced her into retirement, she shocked the world by giving a $150,000 gift to a college to allow deserving students to get the education she never had. How did she save $280,000 dollars while working such a low-paying job?
Young Warren Buffett started making money with lemonade stands, finding and selling golf balls, and running paper routes. With jobs that anybody could do, he ended up making more than his teachers while he was in high school. Then he multiplied that money into billions. What were his secrets?
The answers aren't hard to comprehend; they're just counterintuitive - not what you'd expect. The book introduces the reader to a host of interesting people and their finances, from Thomas Jefferson to Mark Twain to Sam Walton.
I think that principles of finances are more easily understood and applied when you learn them in the context of people stories.
Q: With the story line, I assume your target audience is high school seniors?
A: My characters range from 18 to 80 years old. Warren Buffett started investing at age 11. My grandmother started saving and investing at age sixty-five. At age 101, with her sharp mind intact, she's accumulated a small fortune. If the interest is there, I think that any age would enjoy it and reap the benefit.
Q: In the book, you keep referring readers to your Web site for more information. Why didn't you just include everything in the book?
A: Because few people would buy a 1000 page book that's about finances instead of Harry Potter! Even fewer would actually read it once they brought it home. Personal finance is a very broad subject. My copy of Benjamin Graham's classic, The Intelligent Investor, is over 600 pages, and it just covers one slice of personal finances: investing in stocks. The Web gives me unlimited space to cover topics that readers want to cover in more depth. I think many will especially find helpful the in depth summaries of other books related to personal finance. If you want to get a snapshot of the advice of several financial writers, or to get the scoop on a book before you buy it, I think you'll find my summaries valuable.
Q: How much do the Web resources cost?
A: They're free. You can find them at www.enjoyyourmoney.org.
Q: Do you have some sample chapters of your book that people can read?
A: They can find them on my author site at www.jstevemiller.com.
Introduction: Part One – Investing Money
- Breakfast 1 – Discover the Basics
Oseola McCarty cleaned clothes for a living the old fashioned way - boiling them in a pot over a fire. So how did she accumulate over a quarter of a million dollars, when people making multiples of her salary can't seem to get by?
- Breakfast 2 – Catch the Vision
Young Warren Buffet worked paper routes and found and sold golf balls - stuff that anybody can do. But through saving and investing, he out-earned his teachers while he was in high school. How did investing multiply that money into billions?
- Breakfast 3 – Don’t Lose Money in Stocks
"Hash Brown" made all of the mistakes that most investors make, losing tons of money trying to beat the market. He shares his hard-earned lessons with wisdom from Warren Buffett, his mentor Benjamin Graham, and Money senior editor Jason Zweig, leading readers safely through the investing minefield.
- Breakfast 4 – Make Money in Mutual Funds
Here's how to choose stock and bond funds for the ultimate in diversity, safety and healthy returns.
- Breakfast 5 – Diversify with Real Estate.
Travis is a likeable "Dukes of Hazard" type who prefers muscle cars over golf and
real estate over stocks. At twenty-eight years of age, his cars and comfortable home in the country are totally paid off. How did he do it?
- Breakfast 6 – The Breakfast that Almost Wasn’t
A kidnapping, a car chase and a life lesson.
Part Two – Saving Money
- Breakfast 7 – Live WAY Beneath Your Means
"Watch your expenses more than your revenue." So says the successful CEO of Wherehouse Music. Since a dollar saved can equal two dollars earned (hint: savings aren't taxed), cutting costs is the most underrated trick to building wealth.
- Breakfast 8 – Save on Food and Clothes
Carmen, a spunky young mother, leads a whirlwind field trip through a grocery store, finding huge savings with "loss leaders," generic drugs, bulk buying and "store blitzes."
- Breakfast 9 – Save on Cars
Kramer asks a hairy, audacious question: "Is it possible to spend almost nothing over a lifetime on purchasing cars?" James's answer tells a lot about how to save a bundle on reliable transportation.
- Breakfast 10 – Save on Houses
Bob and Bud live in identical houses in the same neighborhood. Why is one paying half what the other is paying?
- Breakfast 11 –Ten Popular Ways to Lose Lots of Money
Thomas Jefferson was brilliant and famous, but spent his last years fretting over his huge debt. Mark Twain and coach Joe Gibbs lost fortunes in bad investments. How can we avoid their mistakes?
Part Three – Making Money
- Breakfast 12 – Find Jobs You Love
Researchers Stanley and Danko discovered that millionaires made their money at vocations they loved. How can we find jobs we're passionate about?
- Breakfast 13 – Excel at Your Job
It's more than college degrees and developing skills.
- Breakfast 14 – Invest in your Mind
"In times of profound change, the learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists." (Al Rogers, Global SCHOOLHOUSE Network)
Part Four: Enjoying Money
Breakfast 15 – Look for Happiness in the Right Places
People want to be financially successful because they think it will contribute to their happiness. What makes people happy? How should scientific studies of human happiness impact the way we use our money?
Epilogue: Where Are They Now?
Discover what happened to the main characters later in life.
Web-Based Complementary Resources
- "By far the most valuable book on finances I've ever read."
(Callie C. Brown, author of The Complete Guide to Investing in Gold and Precious Metals)
- "Financial responsibility has reached a state of crisis. This book attacks the problem in a common sense, refreshing manner that anyone can understand and apply to real life. It should be required reading for all young people, before they find themselves broke, deeply in debt and miserable."
(William C. Lusk, Jr., Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Retired, Shaw Industries, a Fortune 500 company and the world’s largest manufacturer of carpet.)
- "A very entertaining, engaging book! The characters are appealing and aid the reader in interacting with the principles taught. All ages will enjoy it and benefit. Meticulously researched and documented. Chock full of financial and lifestyle wisdom. I’ll keep plenty of copies in my office to hand out to clients."
(Dr. Ken Walker, Psychologist with the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice and Director of Dalton Counseling Service.)
- "A comprehensive look at managing your money. For me, the genius of this book is that it gathers wisdom from top financial gurus and uses it to explain clearly and practically how average folks can apply it to everyday living."
(Alan Buckler - Allstate Insurance)
- "Too many financial advice books
treat the subject in a dry, humorless way or, alternatively,
in a breathless “You can be a millionaire” style that dumbs
down the content. But here, author Miller follows a
storytelling path that brings a new life and energy to the
topic. ...Enjoy Your
Money! takes what could have been a fear-inducing
subject and sheds new light on it in a positive,
non-threatening way. All in all, it is simply a joy to
read." (Foreword Reviews, see full review
- "I loved the story and the characters! Read this book and you'll get the practical tools and wisdom to chart your own course toward financial freedom."
(Jamie Maddox, former Senior Business Analyst, The Coca Cola Company, present Pastor of Stewardship, NorthStar Church)
- "For me, the section on savings was worth the price of the book, detailing scores of hidden ways to save a fortune over a lifetime. Then, unlike many books, it goes beyond 'having more' to 'doing more with what you have.'"
(Bryan McIntosh, Ph.D., Dalyn Corporation)
- "I really liked the format! The dramatic layout used a totally different part of my brain when I read it...it's like watching a movie or reading a novel. The story line kept my interest so that I got through it quickly. The content was very inspiring. "Living differently" and "starting a financial counterculture" hits home to me. And it was SO PRACTICAL! I think it will also appeal to most of my generation and the one coming up behind me."
(Anthony Daniel, age 28, Chemist, Tiarco Chemical)
- "Clever! The movie script format pulled me into the story and endeared me to the characters. Before I knew it, I found myself thinking about money strategies that I'd have never learned from traditional finance books. Teaching finance through people stories works for me. Rather than staring at obscure charts, I just followed the lives of successful people. Finally! A readable book on personal finance for people who don't want to read a book on personal finance...which of course is me and just about everybody else!"
(Mark Hannah, Film Producer)
- "Teachers of financial management and life skills will be thrilled to discover this book! Miller uses people stories to breathe life into financial concepts, making lessons both memorable and enjoyable. As an educator, I was impressed that the book:
- goes beyond “the same old stuff” that students hate;
- expands minds with research-based facts;
- engages minds with intriguing angles and creative assignments;
- challenges students beyond selfish accumulation to consider service to humanity;
- meets state standards as detailed on the corresponding Web site;
- includes multiple cultures;
- offers hope to those with learning disabilities.
- "Having developed character education in several schools, I see the importance of integrating character into the curriculum. This book succeeds marvelously! Qualities such as diligence, intellectual curiosity, patience, integrity, service and thrift are woven seamlessly into the fabric of the book, so that readers are motivated to adopt these qualities in order to succeed with their finances."
(Phillip Page, Ph.D., Public School Principal)
"It goes to the top of my list of favorite non-fiction
reads, not just personal finance!" (E-mail
from Heather Sokol, founder of Inexpensively,
Featured Blogger and Regional Savings Coordinator for
Indiana Inexpensively. See full review
- "My parents told me it was important
for me to read this book. What they didn't tell me was that
it would be so interesting." (Graduating high school
senior who received Enjoy Your Money! as a gift)
- "Whether you are a beginner or advanced investor, do yourself a favor and absorb Miller's advice, filtered engagingly through rapport between a skillful mentor and her inquisitive followers."
[Cliff Pletschet, financial columnist,
For full review, click
- "This timely book is very unique, very
fun and readable, and incredibly well done. It gives the
useful, practical details that most books miss, making it a
perfect gift for graduating seniors. Banks and investment
firms will find it a useful and much appreciated gift for
investors and business owners. Businesses should consider
giving a copy to their sales team and any employees who need
the motivation and information to get ahead. In my
profession, I see thousands of books. This one's a winner."
(Guy Achtzehn, formerly with Simon & Schuster;
current president, The Marketing and Sales Group and The
Promotional BookStore. Represents such brands as Black &
Decker/DeWalt, Bulova, Coleman, Fuji and Ralph Lauren.)
- "Money can't buy happiness, but it
sure can help. "Enjoy Your Money! How to Make It, Save It,
Invest It, and Give It" is a guide for the early
twenty something just now becoming aware of the real word
where money management is the key to success and happiness.
Author J. Steve Miller seeks to inspire young people to pull
themselves out of debt, and find their niche to make their
keep and have something for themselves and the future.
"Enjoy Your Money" is a solid and recommended read for those
who want to plan well now so they don't have to live in debt
later." (The Midwest Book Review)
- "Highly recommended."
"If you are any age and wondering about money, this is a
book for you to read and learn a new way of thinking about
money and how to use it to your advantage over the long
haul." "This reviewer found the premises to be compelling
and to the point." "If you wish to learn more about personal
finance, and possibly be ahead of the game, you need to read
this book." (R.J. Medak, Allbooks Reviewer)
Click here for entire review.
- "Happy to recommend...." "Miller
offers a work written in an exciting and pleasurable format
intended to keep the reader engaged and turning the page.
Each page is filled with engaging and nicely organized
information presented as assignments, discussion materials
and inspiration filled notations." Writer Miller has crafted
a well written, well organized work designed to aid anyone
at any stage of earning, saving, investing and enjoying
their money. Writing is taught, chatty and filled with lots
and lots of useful information." (Molly's Reviews)
Click here for entire review.
- "Wow! Wise, funny and wonderful. While
some will see this as a book aimed at young adults, I think
parents with pre-teens and even younger children will
benefit from the book's wonderful wisdom. ...makes learning
about money, spending, and savings, a game and not
punishment. ... Again, I love the book and how it teaches
the reader, no matter their age, to think outside the box.
... Cannot praise this book enough. It's a keeper!" ("MotherLodeBeth"
a top 100 Amazon reviewer)
- "...useful to anyone." "Books on
financial planning are generally either so broad that they
don't really help provide a plan of action or are so
detailed and complex that they can be used to cure one's
nights of insomnia. Enjoy Your Money is different in that it
is written as a novel (and reads like one) while
simultaneously providing sound financial planning advice."
(Muhammed Hassanali for TCM Reviews) Click
here for entire review.
"Have you ever wanted to teach your kids about
investing, money management, savings and more? The
prospect can seem daunting and, truthfully, boring. Mr.
Miller makes this process easier with the characters
from 'The Counterculture Club.'
As a homeschooling mom, I was unsure how to teach these
skills. Thanks to Mr. Miller's book, I have found the
perfect text. With questions to think about, short
assignments between lessons, and resources for digging
deeper into each topic, I have a complete guide for my
Written in a straight forward, easy to read manner,
Enjoy Your Money! does not overwhelm one with
technical terms or concepts. I especially enjoyed the
section on saving on food and clothes, something near
and dear to every teenager's heart.
This is a book I will use with both of my children and
can learn from myself.
- "...one of the best and most complete
resources for money management at the personal level. Yet,
the concepts are equally applicable to any business of any
scale. (S.V. Swamy,
here for entire review.
"...provides teachers and support groups a
wealth of information and direction.
Lucy Schall, VOYA Magazine, Voice
of Youth Advocates, "The Library Magazine Serving Those Who
Serve Young Adults"
here for entire review.
"In my work with a
reentry program for inmates, I'm confronted with
people who are ill-equipped to start life over. Had
they read a book like this during their incarceration, they
would be far ahead of others, since they'd understand so
much more about getting and excelling at jobs, the
importance of savings, how to get more satisfaction out of
life, etc. More than the life tips, I think it would give
prisoners hope - the feeling that they've acquired expert,
inside information on how to make it in life - information
that few high school and college graduates understand. For
those who can read on a ninth-grade level, it could change
their life." (Beth Clark)
- "I’d recommend giving it to any teen,
college student or recent entrant to the workforce to start
them off on the right path. Some of the facts, stories
and methods will get them psyched to invest, save money, cut
expenses and do things right, as opposed to what most of the
country is doing." (Darwin's Finance - popular personal
here for entire review.
"Steve Miller has written an engaging story that will
allow young people to learn a great number of useful
things about personal finance in a relatively painless
manner." (Ann D. Witte, PhD, Professor of
Economics, Wellesley College)
Los Angeles: USA Book News
announced 10/19/09 that Enjoy Your Money received
Best Book Award in
the category of Personal Finance. USA Book News bills itself as
"the premiere online magazine and review website for
mainstream and independent publishing houses." Submitted
books represented such publishers as Simon & Schuster,
Penguin, Revell, McGraw-Hill, and Thomas Nelson. Books are
judged by a "distinguished panel of industry judges who
bring to the table their extensive editorial, PR, marketing,
and design expertise."
Kennesaw, Georgia (2/16/10): Nominated for Georgia
Author of the Year Award (GAYA) - the oldest award in the
Southeastern United States.
Titusville, New Jersey
(4/15/10): Finalist and Honorable Mention, Eric Hoffer Award
, which was established "as a means of
opening a door to writing of significant merit. It honors
the memory of the great American philosopher Eric Hoffer by
highlighting salient writing...."
Events and Features
Interview in Engage: The E-Journal of Youth Culture from
7/14/10 - Return to "Money Wise Radio"
6/9/10 - "Money Wise Radio"
4/23/10 - YouTube book review by Sarah Cook for the upcoming
interview for Cash Savvy Kids:
4/21/10 - Book Giveaway at
4/12/10 - Week-long book feature, guest
blogs and giveaway at
3/24/10 - Article on "Enjoy Your Money" featured on
Young Money site.
2/3/10 - Cherokee County Chamber of
Commerce, seminar for business owners.
1/10/10 - Article in Youth Ministry Journal -
Working My Way Down the Corporate Ladder
1/9/10 - Teen Leadership Retreat -
Cherokee County, GA.
11/13-15/09 - Youth Retreat on Personal Finances
11/12/09 - St. Martin in the Fields
Episcopal Church, Theological Discussion of CCM Debate
11/7/09 - "Red Clay" Georgia Writers Association, speaking on
8/1/09 - Book Signing in Hawkinsville,
7/23/09 - Radio interview with WOCM-FM, Ocean City, Maryland.
7/11/09 - Five star review by The Midwest Book Review
6/26/09 - Interview at
6/09 - Job-Hunting Tips in the Northside (Atlanta) News
5/30/09 - Book signing at Dalton, Georgia library.
5/21/09 - CBS Atlanta follow-up
interview with Steve concerning financial advice for grads.
5/20/09 - CBS Atlanta interviews Steve
concerning financial advice for grads.
5/9/09 - Financial Columnist Cliff Pletschet recommends Enjoy Your Money! in his
column in the Oakland (California) Tribune.
5/7/09 - Good Day Atlanta! WAGA Fox 5 TV
interviewed Steve about his book. Click
here to view video.
4/19/2009 - Miller speaks to a singles class at First Baptist,
Fairburn on personal money management.
4/16/2009 - Miller fields money questions on panel at KSU.
1/24/2009 - Auction of first copy of Enjoy Your Money!
An early galley of Steve's book was auctioned off at the annual
Scrabble Wars silent auction in Bentonville, Arkansas, the home
of Wal-Mart. The book was in good company, as other auction items
have included books by Pat Conroy, a Franklin Mint Scrabble set from
Graham Nash, and a signed copy of Bob Newhart's script of the
last episode of the "Newhart" show. It was all lots of fun, and for
a great cause - to increase adult literacy in Benton County.
Blog Interviews, Guest Posts
Dr. McGinnis review on BookStove
Linda Weaver Clarke interview and giveaway
The Mama Lisa review
Out of Debt Again (Mrs. Accountability) giveaway
Beating Broke charity auction
Bargain Babe review and giveaway
Money Reasons review and giveaway
Beating Broke review and giveaway
Dink's Finance review and giveaway
Young and Thrifty review and giveaway
Saving Money Today review
5dollardinners review and giveaway
Savings and Stewardship guest posts and giveaway
Redeeming Riches review
of Wealth" Book Giveaway
Center for Parent Youth Understanding review
Sweating the Big Stuff giveaway (supplied by