It's Not about the Money: A Proven Path to Building Wealth and Living the Rich Life You Deserve

Scarlett Cochran

February 14, 2023


A new, holistic way to understand money and find your own path to financial freedom, from the wealth-building expert behind One Big Happy Life.

You deserve to live your dream life. Mastering your finances and learning how to use your money to create that life is a nonnegotiable, because let’s be honest: life costs money. The good news is that you can create a money plan that you actually enjoy sticking to—one that allows you to build wealth while spending guilt-free on a life that you love today.

Scarlett Cochran knows because she’s been there, from starting out as a single teenage mom living under the poverty line and working to put herself through law school, to becoming the founder of One Big Happy Life and teaching millions how to create the rich life that we deserve, on our own terms. She now has a new book, It's Not about the Money: A Proven Path to Building Wealth and Living the Rich Life You Deserve, to further that mission. 

The following excerpt is from the book's Introduction.


Whatever is going on, whatever your big dreams and desires for your life may be, and wherever you’re starting out, this book is for you. My mission is to show you that it’s possible to live your life the way you want to while also being able to meet—or exceed—your financial goals. 

Because the truth is that you get to choose. Just like no two people are alike, no two lives are exactly alike. Not everyone’s financial priorities are, or should be, the same. What you want to spend your money on, what you decide to save for, and what you put first are all individual and completely up to you. 

I’ve spent the last two decades learning every possible thing about how money works, both as a banking and finance attorney and as a single mom struggling to make ends meet, trying to give my child a good life. Today, I help people of all income levels take control of their money and live their best lives now while still building wealth for their future. Some of my wisdom is self-taught; I spent many a night in my twenties learning basic concepts like budgeting and how to write a check (remember when those were a thing?). Then I put myself through Yale Law School so I could make more money to support my family. I spent years shaping policy at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)—the major federal bank regulators in the United States. 

I’m also a single mom who got pregnant at eighteen and had to learn how to manage the little cash I had, fast. Who has been married and divorced and remarried. And who, despite the odds against me, went from living paycheck to paycheck to building a multiple-six-figure nest egg while working a regular nine-to-five public interest job. I have studied or worked in finance for almost twenty years. Long before I’d taken a single law class, I found that I had a knack for intuitively understanding complex financial jargon—a talent that came in handy when a shady mortgage company tried to trick me into an adjustable rate mortgage when I was twenty-two years old. And over the years I’ve also discovered that I can explain these complex financial topics to other people in a way that makes money feel approachable and even fun—a talent that has helped me to build a successful company, One Big Happy Life, where I’ve helped millions of people take control of their finances and start using their money to build wealth while creating lives that they absolutely love. And in this book, I’ll be sharing these essential keys to holistic wealth building so that you can not only master your money but enjoy it, too. 

The first thing I want you to know about this book is that it’s going to take a completely different approach to money and building wealth than you’ve heard before. That’s because so much of the conventional wisdom about personal finance is outdated or not grounded in solid financial principles, or is just something someone made up that got repeated enough times that we all started to believe those rules of thumb are the one and only right way to manage money effectively. I know from my own experience and through working with thousands of our members inside Wealth Builders Society that you don’t have to follow specific budgeting ratios, be uber frugal, be debt free, or sacrifice your life today in order to be financially secure tomorrow. 

The truth is, you don’t have to subscribe to anyone else’s rules. It’s possible to enjoy your life and build a future that’s fulfilling, flexible, and free. I say often that life is the things that happen between your goals. Small changes that are sustainable—which for most of us does not mean pinching every penny—are what will actually stabilize your finances. And the best part is, you won’t have to give up the little and big things that make your days enjoyable. 

Trust me when I say: You can find your own answers. 

Your own path. Your own way of managing money effectively. 

And, like me, you can create a life that you truly love to live while also growing the financial wealth you need to support that life for the rest of your life. 


Excerpted from It's Not about the Money: A Proven Path to Building Wealth and Living the Rich Life You Deserve.
Published by Avery, and imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Copyright © 2023 by Scarlett Cochran.
All rights reserved.


About the Author

Scarlett Cochran is an attorney, financial expert, and entrepreneur. In her career as a lawyer, she worked on behalf of everyday Americans at government agencies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (where she worked on fair lending and equity issues).

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