Jean Chatzky is known as an American financial journalist, author, and motivational speaker. She is most famous for her work as the financial editor for the Today Show on NBC. She also wrote popular finance books like Make Money Not Excuses and Talking Money.


Jean Sherman Chatzky was born on November 7, 1964 in the state of Michigan. Through her life, she has grown up in Wisconsin, Indiana and spent a lot of her early years in West Virginia. There is not so much public information available about her parents. It is known that her father was a professor at a college while her mother ran a school library. Jean also has two brothers in her family tree.

After completing high school, she enrolled into the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with a BA Degree in English.

Finance and Journalism

Jean started her career off as an editorial assistant at the “Working Woman” in 1986. Later she was promoted to the role of assistant editor. After three years of hard work at the “Working Woman”, she decided to leave the journalism industry.

She went on to work at the equity research department of Dean Witter Reynolds until she made a return back to journalism in 1991. With new fresh start in the journalism world, she joined Forbes magazine as a reporter as well as a researcher. After her stint with Forbes, she moved on to work with the Dow Jones Company, which is a publishing and financial firm.

In the year 1992, she provided her service and expertise to Hearst with a start-up project known as “SmartMoney”. After a few years, Jean was promoted from staff writer to senior editor. In the year 1998, she started her work at the “Money Magazine”.

In early 2000, she widely appeared on the television which gave her a lot of experience in front of the camera. Since that time, she has made many appearances on different TV shows like “Oprah”, “Live With Regis and Kelly”, and “The View”. She now mostly works as a financial editor for NBC’s Today Show.

She became the Director of Education for the financial resource website in the year 2011. Jean was also awarded with the Nora Magid Mentorship prize at the University of Pennsylvania, a college where she is an alumni.

In addition to her television career, she also is an author and has published multiple books about finance. Her first book was titled “Talking Money” and was published in 2001. She is a very talented writer and got a lot of success thanks to her books like “The Ten Commandments of Financial Happiness”, “Pay It Down: From Debt to Wealth on $10 A Day”, and “Money Rules: the Simple Path to Lifelong Security”.


During her brilliant career she has received several awards like the Clarion Award for her magazine columns. She also was nominated by the National Magazine Awards for her excellent work. She was named to as one of the country’s thirty best magazine columnists by the Chicago Tribune.

Financial Advice For Women and Youth

In an interview with Jewish Women International, Jean spoke about how she talks about money with other women and her children. At Jewish Women International, they found that a lot of young women are resistant to learning about money because it seems too complicated to them. There is an undercurrent of feelings that men are more able to handle money so women should just take a back seat.

Since Jean is a strong female who is an expert with finance, Jewish Women International wanted to know what she tells women about finances, “I try to convey that although there are parts of the world of money that are difficult and complicated, you don’t necessarily have to get into them in order to have a very successful and comfortable financial life. The parts of the world of money that tend to get the most complicated are related to investing and certain insurance products. Although you do need to participate in the markets, and you need to save and put your money to work, you don’t need to do it in a complicated way in order to succeed.”

Jean advises that women start out with easy tasks first before they decide to tackle more complex financial topics, “In fact, there is a lot of research that shows that the simpler, more basic, more boring investments, as I call them in Money Rules, are actually better for many, many people, because they are significantly cheaper.”

There are no better students to teach finance to than Jean’s own children. She believes that life lessons can come along with managing money “I am teaching them to make choices by only giving them a certain amount of money and making them decide where they believe it’s important to spend it. I am teaching them that they have to work for things that they really want. I discuss things with them when it comes to value and making smart choices about how we use our resources. We have discussions about charitable giving because again everybody has a certain budget for the amount they are giving to charity.”

She just wants her children to put their money to the best. Her children are now teenagers that require more money. She has one in college and one in high school so her expenses are building as she raises her young adults. She is glad that they are now old enough to talk about finances and understand where she is coming from.

Personal Life

She was married twice in her life. Her first marriage to Peter Chatzky was unhappy and she got divorced from him at the end of the 90s. Her second husband is Eliot Kaplan. They met each other in the early days of the year 2000. She has two children named Julia and Jake Chatzky. Currently, she resides in Briarcliff Manor, New York with her family.

Her net worth is not available because she has kept her own finances private.

Last Modified: Mar 10, 2020

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