Money management is often depressing (we can’t afford everything we want), tedious and no fun. But the upside is you gain leverage over the boss who wants you to keep working, the bank that wants your interest payments forever and the retailer that wants you to overspend.

When you think of it that way, feeling free of money worries and taking control over your financial reality could offer up a lot more fun and happiness in the coming new year.

Teresa Ghilarducci is the Schwartz Professor of Economics at the New School for Social Research. She's the co-author of Rescuing Retirement and a member of the board of directors of the Economic Policy Institute.

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