Meet Jean Chatzky: Financial Editor for NBC’s Today Show, Best Selling Author & Motivational Speaker
For women, our relationship with money can often be complicated. Making, saving and spending money can be filled with emotional complexity, and the world of finances can be intimidating, overwhelming or stressful. Jean Chatzky has dedicated her career to helping women solve these challenges with money. She is the financial editor of NBC’s Today Show and Founder and CEO of the company HerMoney, dedicated to helping women manage their money successfully. However, becoming a business owner wasn’t always the path Jean thought she would go down.
Jean had enjoyed a successful career working as a financial journalist for publications such as Working Women Magazine, Smart Money Magazine and Money Magazine, where she continued to excel and move up in the ranks. As she was working, Jean had also started to cultivate side projects, saying ‘yes’ to new opportunities. She landed an amazing side-gig on the Today Show, she wrote a book about money and she also began giving speeches in her spare time.
Yet around the age of 40, everything in Jean’s world seemed to start falling apart. Jean’s father passed away and she went through a divorce. Then after Money Magazine consolidated, Jean lost her steady job. This was a very difficult time personally, professionally and financially for Jean, yet it ended up being a pivotal moment in her life.
After Jean searched for a new job but couldn’t find anything, she decided to focus on turning her side projects into her main source of income. She continued her work on the Today Show, and ended up starting a business doing what she did best – developing content that helps people manage their money better. Turns out that she filled a need in the marketplace and she began growing the business, providing content for financial services companies, organizations and people across the U.S.
Jean is now a bestselling author, motivational speaker, spokesperson for the AARP, and the face of the HerMoney platform that empowers women by helping them make sense of their money.
4 Lessons to Take from Jean Right Now
To Be Chosen, Choose Yourself First
When Jean was working at Smart Money Magazine, they started to do TV segments featuring different people’s stories. Jean knew she had what it took to go on TV, so she spoke up and asked for her shot to go on-air. After working very hard to prepare, she knocked it out of the park and ended up getting noticed by the TODAY show where she has now been for 25 years.
Know Your Personal Story around Money
It’s important to understand your personal relationship with money, Jean advises. There are emotional and psychological factors at play when it comes to how you spend and manage your money, starting with the lessons you learned about money while growing up. In order to live successfully with other people, it’s important to understand your own relationship with money and to talk about it with your significant other.
Figure out What You Want in Life, then Design Your Finances to Get You There
Before you begin a financial plan, it’s important to understand what you want out of life. Once you have outlined your goals and know what your dreams are, you can reverse engineer how you are investing and saving your money. You can create a financial plan that work towards achieving your goals.
Spend Less Money Than You Make
The habit of saving brings contentment to your life. From Jean’s perspective, knowing that you have enough to take care of the people you love, to feel safe and secure, and to create the change that you want in the world is a really nice way to go through life.