Book – Your Money or Your Life
Author – Vicki Robin & Joe Dominguez
Genre – Self – Help
Published in – 1992
You can never have enough unless you know what is enough for you? Your money or your life guides readers working through this most important question to lead fulfilled lives.
Do millions guarantee freedom or put it another way, do you need a million dollars to be free. This is the question one needs to ask rather than believing RICH=FREE.
Have you ever considered the following questions?
1. How much money do I need monthly to stop working in a job or choose a job based on love of the work than financial prospect alone?
2. What are my beliefs about money? Why do I believe what I believe about money?
3. How do I feel at the mere mention of the word money? Do I freely talk about my financial matters, opinions?
Your Money or Your Life, deals with these questions and as you embark on this journey with Vicki, you will be able to find out what is ENOUGH? and will be able to work on your financial independence.
About the Book –
Your Money or Your Life is one of the best books I have read so far on Money. It changed the way I look at money, how I earn, spend, save and invest.
You will master four FIs in the book: Financial Intelligence (FI1), Financial Integrity (FI2), Financial Independence (FI3), and Financial Interdependence (FI4).
1. Financial Intelligence – One tangible outcome of Financial Intelligence is getting out of debt and having at least six months of basic living expenses in the bank.
2. Financial Integrity – It is to know what enough money and material goods are to keep you at the peak of fulfillment—and what is just excess and clutter.
3. Financial Independence – It encompasses a lot more than having a secure income. It is also independence from crippling financial beliefs, crippling debt, and a crippling inability to manage modern conveniences.
4. Financial Interdependence – Along the way you realize that the independence we crave is a separation from dead-end routines, jobs, relationships, and ways of thinking—not from one another.
Vicki shares 9 steps guide to amend our relationship with money, get financially independent, and lead a content life.
Here are excerpts from Nine steps From The Book –
Step #1 – Making Peace with Your Past
- Dig through your past, and list down every single penny that has entered in life to the best of your memory. This will empower you with the fact that you are capable and must stop selling yourself short.
- One thing to keep in mind, Make your mantra ‘NO BLAME, NO SHAME’, As you go through your past you may regret not saving enough, indulging in short term pleasures. Take complete responsibility, don’t be ashamed or blame others for it.
Step #2 – Being in the Present Tracking Your Life Energy
- Once you decide what is enough, you liberate yourself from what others think. You don’t feel compelled to try anything out of peer pressure. You never buy things you don’t want or need, and you are immune to the seductiveness of malls, markets, and the media.
- Vicki demonstrates different approach to calculate per hour wages. Instead of including only number of hours at work, she also includes time/money spend on things which are only in place because of the job like commute, specific clothing, food, escape entertainment, and decompressing expense.
- Once your know your exact per hour wages, you will see all your accumulation in different light. You will be able to ask how many hours, days, weeks or months you have spent to accumulate all of it. This awareness will also make massive impact on your future expenses.
Step #3 – Where is it All Going?
- Inculcate habit of noting down every single penny that comes and goes from your life on daily basis. This will also help a lot to find our money leakage. Unless you know where it all goes and comes from, it will be difficult to begin the work.
- Refine your spending categories in as much detail as possible. Remember there is no right or wrong way to do this. Idea is to know what is required and what is excess?
Step #4 – Getting to Know Enough
Enough is a powerful and free place. A confident and flexible place. Here you are immune to outside yardstick and know what is enough. Vicki claims there are four parts while considering what is enough.
1. Accountability if you never know how much you have or where it’s all going, you can never have enough.
2. An Internal Yardstick for Fulfillment – you can never have enough if you are measuring by what others have or think. It’s like trying to go up on down the escalator. Self-awareness is the key.
3. A purpose in life higher than satisfying your wants and desires – because you can never have enough if every desire becomes a need that must be filled.
4. Responsibility, living for more than just “me, myself, and I. If we don’t give a hoot about anyone but ourselves, we can never have enough until we have it all.
Step #5 Make Life Energy Visible
- Once you have your monthly income and expenses jotted down. Prepare a chart paper big enough to include your three to five years of data.
- Write down your Income – Expense = Balance (Savings) at the end of every month. When, you follow first four steps you will see positive growth in this chart paper. This will also inspire to stay on track and keep improving.
Step #6 Valuing Your Life Energy – Minimizing Spending
This step involves the intelligent use of your life energy (money) and the consciously lowering or elimination of expenses.
- Frugality is enjoying the virtue of getting good value for every minute of your life energy and from everything you have. Waste lies not in the number of possessions but in the failure to enjoy them.
- One sure way to save money – Stop trying to impress other people – It’s an endless and fruitless waste of time and money, plus others are likely so busy trying to impress you that they will, at best, not notice your efforts. At worst, they will resent you for one-upping them.
Step #7 – Valuing Your Life Energy—Maximizing Income
- Step 7 is about increasing your income by valuing the life energy you invest in your job and exchanging it for the highest pay consistent with your health and integrity.
- Since you know that your life is bigger than your job, it makes sense to get a job that really “does the job”—that is “pays you well” without sacrificing your integrity and sanity.
Step #8 The Capital and Crossover Point
- By following step 1 through 7 we reach a stage in life with more income, less expense, lower or no debt, more in savings. Now the Step 8 changes the way we look excess cash that is saved.
- Getting in habit of passing every spending through life energy spent compass, we gain clear picture and likely to refrain from exploding that cash in trivia.
- This step asks reader to see these savings as ‘’Capital” and make it work for us to make more money and reach financial freedom sooner and staying free for life.
Step #9 Investing for Financial Independence –
- Having work through 8 steps, you will gain enough time freedom, and choice over how you spend your time. Author encourages working through best suited investments plan and starting investing to remain financially independent.
- There are various investment options from low risk, low return to high risk, high returns. Where, you investment depends on your what you value more. It solely depends solely on your priorities, risk appetite, and attitude towards risk.
Your Money or Your Life is worth your time. At the end of the book, you will walk away with a completely different perspective about money. Follow these nine steps and you will certainly become financially independent and may choose to retire early.
Hope this book summary helped you. Please share your thoughts in the comment. I would love to hear from you.
Wish you a Financially Abundant Life. Thank you for Reading,