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Teresa Ghilarducci

Three Steps to Yield Financial Happiness

Creating a household budget, enlisting the help of a financial planner and carrying out the resulting plan can help to relieve financial anxiety.

Budgeting is like this: First pain, then gain.

Budgeting is like this: First pain, then gain.

Photographer: Al Bello/Getty Images North America

The new year could bring a new you. Despite what the poets say, money, or at least financial security, can be one of the most important steps toward happiness. On the other hand, money mismanagement and debt can result in financial anxiety, which can cloud decision making and lead to a bad cycle.

There are three basic moves those who want to be smarter about finances should make: gather information, plan and execute.