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Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin

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norabird posted 4/3/2014 11:22 AM

Part of my NB is...trying to get into a healthier place financially! I need to pay don my credit card debt and then I want to start up a Roth IRA and a rainy day fund (probably in a year or two, depending on how fast I pay down my debt).

I've only just started. It's hard not to bridle at certain aspects, like the attitude to work--I like my work! And I don't pour lots of time into it or choose it in order to earn big bucks. I also like vacationing abroad and also like spending my money on the occasional nice meal, on going out with friends, theater tickets, etc. I'm trying to cut back and be more mindful but I guess I feel defensive about some of my values.

I do want to read the whole book though and hopefully to lead a less wasteful life, both in terms of my money and in terms of being more aware of what the cost is to society from my consumer choices (garment factories, factory framing, excessive packaging, emissions from plane travel and gadgets...).

Anyone here read this and what were your thoughts? How did you put it into practice?

Crescita posted 4/3/2014 16:36 PM

I've only just started. It's hard not to bridle at certain aspects, like the attitude to work--I like my work! And I don't pour lots of time into it or choose it in order to earn big bucks. I also like vacationing abroad and also like spending my money on the occasional nice meal, on going out with friends, theater tickets, etc. I'm trying to cut back and be more mindful but I guess I feel defensive about some of my values.

I haven't read the book, but have read other forums, blogs and books of a similar viewpoint and agree that money spent on experiences is worthwhile within reason.

Shatteredreality posted 4/3/2014 18:11 PM

I read it a really, really long time ago and found it very helpful in the sense of making it clear that the hourly wage of your work is way more complex than the number on your pay stub... Also that way of relating time to money is really useful for gauging how much you really want some consumer object.

Unless it's been updated very recently the scenario about getting to financial independence is very unrealistic nowadays!

norabird posted 4/7/2014 10:56 AM

There's a 2008 updated edition which is pretty reasonable in its advice. I'm skipping the 'figure out every dollar you've ever earned in your life!' step but trying to start tracking daily/monthly expenses in a more rigorous way as it recommends. Hopefully that will lead to more conscious decisions about spending. I'm also reading the Mr. Money Mustache blog as back-up...

phmh posted 4/7/2014 19:18 PM

I love it! I also didn't figure out every dollar I've ever earned, and I spend more than they think I should (I also like to travel, go to concerts, do nice things, live in a beautiful house, etc.)

But the basic concept has stuck with me. I tell people all the time about this book -- how our every day choices don't necessarily align with what we think our values are.

I'll be able to retire quite early thanks to concepts in this book (as well as MMM, Early Retirement Extreme -- though I am certainly not extreme -- and other, similar resources.) Bogleheads and Random Walk Down Wall Street are also good resources.


ETA: Definitely don't feel defensive! Take what applies to you and leave the rest.

Because of this book, I bought a house close to work so that I can bicycle commute most of the year. I do most of my errands on bike. I generalized the concept (aligning your values with everyday choices) and cut toxic people out of my life. I don't have a lawn and instead planted bird-attracting native plants (did not want to spend free time mowing!) You can definitely take it too far and suck all the fun out of life, but I think that it helped me to make more conscious choices about everything.

[This message edited by phmh at 7:22 PM, April 7th (Monday)]

norabird posted 4/9/2014 08:55 AM

I'm glad to hear the feedback!

Just curious as I make my way through the book--for those who read it, what did you end up determining your 'purpose' was? Mine feels secure when I don't articulate, but fuzzy when I do--pretty much, building good relationships with friends and family, being kind, staying interested and involved in the world. It's nice to live it but I wonder if I'm missing some bigger picture...

phmh posted 4/9/2014 19:15 PM

I think your purpose sounds great! And you can always refine it a bit over time.

It's been a few years since I've read it, but as I said above, the big takeaway I had (so I suppose my purpose) was to try to make my decisions align with my values.

Which includes commitments to:

self-improvement (physical and mental)
community (volunteer involvement and targeted charitable donations)
friends/family/pets
making conscious decisions (where to shop, what to eat, etc.)

Of course it's a journey and I still have a long way to go but I tell someone about this book several times a month and think about it as it applies to myself daily.

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