Wealth Watchers International logo Wealth Watchers: A Simple Program to Help you Spend Less and Save More

In The News

Naperville attorney launches Wealth Watchers program
 Naperville Sun | January 21, 2010  

Alice Wood submitted photo

She’s already convinced corporate heavy hitters like McDonald’s and Visa to embrace her personal finance plan. Now Naperville’s Alice Wood is the author of a new book. “Wealth Watchers: A Simple Program to Help You Spend Less and Save More,” was published Jan. 1 by Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster.

Wood, an attorney and lifelong Naperville resident, conceived the Wealth Watchers program several years ago after her own finances went into a tailspin.

One key to success, Wood said, is to often avoid thinking about the big picture, which can feel overwhelming. Rather, seek small successes every day.Wealth Watchers is similar to Weight Watchers, in which clients keep track of how many calories they eat in a day or week. By keeping track of spending, it’s easy to calculate the program’s key number: how much you can spend per day without getting into financial trouble.
Most people don’t know how much money they have to spend for the rest of the week, or month or year. This blind spot has put many American families in unprecedented personal debt and made savings a distant dream.
When a brain injury sustained on a commercial airliner changed her life, Wood encountered many new challenges. For the first time in her life she was overweight and in serious debt. Weight Watchers allowed her to lose the weight and keep it off.
Inspired by the Weight Watchers daily discipline of journaling and the principle of group accountability, Wood created a simple program to reclaim her financial stability. The first year that she and her husband kept a daily Wealth Watchers journal they spent $12,000 less than they had the year before. Wealth Watchers is now America’s largest workplace financial literacy program. Visa and McDonald’s have given 500,000 Wealth Watchers journals to employees around the country and on Jan. 1 the city of Chicago also joined the program.“Wealth Watchers” presents the program and principles in full for the first time. Readers will find all the tools they need to organize their finances, complete a monthly budget, determine their disposable income and understand which spending patterns are knocking them off track.
At the heart of the program is one simple calculation: your Daily Disposable Income, the money you can spend each day without going into debt. With the second half of the book dedicated to financial journaling, readers are encouraged to record daily spending and to track it against their DDI goal for 12 months.
The Wealth Watchers daily tracker is also available as a free iPhone app, where users can easily track spending against their goals and quickly gain access to a bird’s-eye view of spending history.
“Wealth Watchers” is the story of Wood’s journey from a life of having it all to a life of dealing with frustrating financial setbacks to creating a personal plan and launching an international financial literacy movement. All from a woman who simply wanted to manage her finances in a way that made sense to her.