I must admit that if I had only heard the title of “Your money or your life — 9 steps to transforming your relationship with money and achieving financial independence” without having heard more about its content, I wouldn’t have bought it. The title and the cover might sound about too promising if not too naive, especially here in Europe. Nonetheless, something pushed me to read it, what I did, and left me rather astonished. What a perfect example that we shouldn’t be judging a book by its cover!
“Your money or your life” by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez had been first published in the US in 1992. The revised edition I have was published in 2008. It is still largely a very American book that fits perfectly into an American lifestyle, however in its deep sense, it applies to every each of us. It tells us in a simple, critical and very honest way a lot about how money work and how we work for money. Through touching subtly on economy, environmental issues and even spirituality, the authors help us to discover our true values and to determine what in fact we are living for.
The book has introduced to me some great terminology like – making a dying — instead of what we usually call — making a living, as well as trading our life energy i.e. time for money.
“How many people have you seen who are more alive at the end of the workday than they were at the beginning? Do we come home from our “making a living” activity with more life? Do we bound through the door, refreshed and energized, ready for a great evening with the family? Where’s all the life that we supposedly made at work?”
The book is build on the 9 steps that you can read and learn from or even better, go through yourself. Although I haven’t done that myself, I might do, partly or at whole once. I still have taken an enormously lot out of their teachings. “Your money or your life” helped me to cure my false relations ship with work and money that has manifested throughout my life so far. It is a strange and a personal thing as each of us has a different relationship to work and money.
Being truly amazed with many quotes, I’ve highlighted them, as I usually do. Here are some of them to give you a feeling of this book:
“Watch your thoughts. Anyone who practices meditation knows that our grey matter is like a frenetic monkey, churning out a steady stream of unrelated thoughts at the rate of at least one a second. In just 11.6 days you’ll have 1,000,001 thoughts — and most of them will have something to do with desires. I want this. I don’t want that. I don’t like that.”
“So here are we in the twenty-first century. Or paid employment has taken on myriad roles. Our jobs now serve the function that traditionally belonged to religion: they are the place where we seek answers to the perennial questions “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” and “What’s it all for?”
“Savings, then, are a form of Financial Independence. Savings can give you new courage at our job and new energy to explore the neglected parts of your life.”
“But what if you think that who you are is what you do to make money? No amount of savings would keep you from that loss of purpose and self-esteem. As we’ll see, who you are is far greater than your paid employment. Our focus on money and materialism may have robbed us of the pride we can and should feel in who we are as people and the many ways we contribute to the well-being of others. Our task now is to retrieve that brightright of knowing ourselves as human beings rather than human doings or human earnings.”
“Insight can happen in a minute, but growth happens over time”.
Finally, I can say that “Your money or your life” is also a perfect book choice for entrepreneurs. It not only gives us really meaningful tips on how to get out of debt quicker, but also how to start saving without living on the minimum and how to best invest our hard earned money.