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Steps To Financial Happiness

March 4, 2014, 10:10 PM by Angela Kennecke

Steps To Financial Happiness

Fights over money, mismanagement and debt can make our lives very unhappy.  But an Iowa man says he has the key to financial happiness--he's even written a book on it.

Michael Finley uses gimmicks to get your attention--such as the color pink and a pink wig theme on everything he does.

"I use the pink wig as an illustration to people to say, 'You know what?  I'm going to have to be different. I'm going to have to be willing to walk a path that is not the norm,'" Finley said.

Finley's taught a course on financial literacy for 25 years and has a class at the University of Northern Iowa.  He wanted to pass on a lesson he learned in financial freedom by getting rid of debt and investing regularly. 

"And gradually over time, through compound interest, that money grew and grew. It's not exciting. It's not really sexy," Finley said.

Finley says rather than seeking a financial advisor, you should become your own.

"Because the financial industry is basically set up to take money from you--not necessarily to help you grow your own money," Finley said.

He adds you have to be willing to forgo the latest electronics or other luxury items. 

"It's very easy to get caught up in thinking you're going to be successful if you have the latest computer, phone, pretty outfit or new car, big home--and the truth is--those things will make you less wealthy, not more wealthy," Finley said.

Finley says obtaining financial freedom is the key to financial happiness.

"Ideally, financial freedom allows you the opportunities to live out your passions, your dreams and when you're doing that and you're giving back to yourself and your community--that's how you find happiness," Finley said. 

Finley's also holding a contest and plans to give away a total of $100,000 of his own money to ten winners who read his book and take a test on it.  You can find out more information online.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
This story was updated with new information.

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