Green With Envy: A Whole New Way to Look at Financial (Un)Happiness
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Green With Envy: A Whole New Way to Look at Financial (Un)Happiness

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  93 ratings  ·  19 reviews
A silent struggle with our money is raging across America. Everyone wants to keep up with the Joneses, regardless of income, occupation, or net worth. Our contentment is based not on the size of our bank account but on how we measure up to those around us. But how can anyone make realistic comparisons to others when everyone's personal finances are shrouded in secrecy and...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 21st 2007 by Business Plus (first published 2006)
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Natalie
Fascinating anecdotes about people the author interviewed. You get to see into their financial lives and how money (or lack of it) can make life unhappy. However her analysis seemed unsupported and her conclusions personal, not academic. One interesting chapter covered Washington politicians and the fact that they don't get much beyond their salary so unless they are independently wealthy, it is a struggle to cover rent, their home in their home state, and travel expenses to see family. Her reco...more
Leanne
Skimming the aisles, what stopped me at this book was the subtitle: "Why Keeping Up with the Joneses Is Keeping Us in Debt." "She's right." I thought, thinking of my neighbour's gorgeous sofa and how I envy it. Of course, I have a totally serviceable sofa-- I just don't like the way it looks.

Boss writes of her own struggles to keep up with her Joneses, Tina and John. As it turns out, while she envied them, they had their own financial struggles. Similarly, she profiles several others while uncov...more
Jill Kemerer
Great premise but not much follow through. I love reading the juicy details of how other people deal with money, and the author clearly does too. While this book does have great insight about society's taboo about money, our own keeping up with the Joneses propensities, and how any income level stresses about finances, I was disappointed there wasn't much follow through.

We learned about the couple next door, but once we knew their situation, we never really found out how they ended up. We learne...more
Mark
Aug 07, 2007 Mark rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: money
Fast read, and compelling enough, but it's pop sociology. There isn't enough info about the root causes of overspending and dealing with one's own place in the social networks we travel in. There also isn't any kind of counter-example - someone who makes more money than he needs, and therefore finds decent uses for it; charity, saving, long-term goals.

NYTimes just did a series on something very similar called Age of Riches. Millionaires Who Don’t Feel Rich and Making Do, With $10 Million by Gar...more
Kendra
I have recommended this book to so many people....and each has found it fascinating......a book ahead of our time, it explains, through so deep dives into personal stories, how our country ended up in such severe debt. A great read.....and cautionary tale.
Deborah
I got this book for 50 cents off a clearance table at Big Lots. It proved to be quite a bargain. I enjoyed reading this book and learned a lot about why we have some of the attitudes we do about money and why we often do stupid things with money as we compare ourselves and our financial situations with others. Often what we think we see with regard to other people and money, is not reality at all. This book gives great insight into personal finances -- our own and others. It talks about debt, ba...more
April
I got this at a dollar book store, and it was a good find. I found it particularly interesting that this book was published in 2006, yet she was digging into the values and mindset that caused our current financial situation before it really happened.

The book switches between personal stories and research/interviews. The personal stories were fun (and made it a quick read). However, I would have preferred more research and formal information, as opposed to book quotes and poems to reinforce some...more
Cynthia
The idea is great -- a review of research that explains the taboo of talking about money and why people think the neighbors' finances are rosy. The chapter about the upwardly mobile suburban family is good. It is not written in a very interesting style and a "solutions" section at the end that is just silly.
Tiffany
Read this for book club...some parts were really interesting and other parts I found kind of dull. I found it fascinating to read about the different people and their financial troubles. It made me grateful for what we have and where we are in life.
Erin
I've been thinking a lot about money lately (unemployment will do that to you) and picked up this book as a result of that. It talks about the way money and envy of those with it shapes our society. A pretty honest and frank look at the subject.
Christine
Ever wonder what the neighbors earn? Where they're getting their money, and how much? So did
Shira Boss, and she wrote up what she found out. Hint: there's a lot of debt and pretension involved.
Christa
This was a really interesting look at different social classes and how they manage money and debt. More an entertaining read than anything else, but definitely worth checking out of the library. :)
Tiffani Morgan
Analytical and thought provoking regarding the misconception of who we think appears to "have it all."however it didn't offer anything I haven't heard or read before regarding finances.
Bella
A little on the "lite" reading side. Good research and interviews but there could've been more of both. Great bibliography that I will explore further.
Amber
A peek into the lives of people who are living way above they're means, and why they feel the need to keep of with the Jones.
Alexa
I really, really enjoyed reading the anecdotes. Just wish the book had been longer!
Irene
miami bankruptcy lawyer best part of book
Jennifer Soto
Never assume, never assume.
shannon
eh. feels half-finished.
Chrisine
Chrisine marked it as to-read
Apr 11, 2014
James
James is currently reading it
Mar 27, 2014
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