Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence - by Vicki Robin;Joe Dominguez;Monique Tilford

7 minute read

ISBN: 978-0143115762, READ: 2017-02-25, RATING: 6/10

Everyone should read at least 1 book about finance in their life. It doesn’t matter which book. It could be this one, or Ramit Sethi’s “I will teach you to be Rich”, or something else. These books will make you aware of the importance of saving, frugality, financial independence and life itself.

I read this long back, and don’t remember what I felt about it. But reading through the highlights, I’m reminded of its value.

See Amazon Page for details and reviews.

Key Lessons

  • Financial independence doesn’t mean “loads of money” in the bank account. It just means “enough, and some”. But you have to decide for yourself what your “enough” is.
  • In the pursuit of money, we often forget life itself. A happy and fulfilled life doesn’t have to have “money” as its primary ingredient.
  • For any job that you do, ask yourself how much you are paid per hour. And then remind yourself that you are exchanging your “life energy” for that amount. Decide if it’s truly worthy.

My Highlights

To have savings is to be free. Savings means freedom from debt. Money in the bank means the freedom to leave your job if the boss is intolerable or the benefits have just been yanked. And if you lose your job, having savings is the freedom to keep your house and car because you can cover your payments—if you have any to make in the first place. Having savings means you can start a business or buy land, even if the bank won’t lend to you because, ironically, your habit of savings means you don’t have a debt trail or a credit record.

Once upon a time “earning a living” was the means to an end. The means was “earning”; the end was “living.”

When we are not taking our identity from our jobs, we are identified as “consumers.” According to the dictionary, to consume is to “destroy, squander, use up.” We consider shopping to be recreation, so we “shop till we drop”—

Our old financial map, instead of making us more independent, fulfilled individuals, has led us into a web of financial dependencies; our lives are so woven into the fabric of the economy that many of us no longer have the other kinds of wealth to fall back on—close knit families and communities, growing our own food, knowing how to make and fix the tools of daily life.

The bottom line is that we think we work to pay the bills—but we spend more than we make on more than we need, which sends us back to work to get the money to spend to get more stuff to . . .

In an environment of more is better, “enough” is like the horizon—always receding.

The survey has proved conclusively what has long been held theoretically to be true, that wants are almost insatiable; that one want satisfied makes way for another.

Where people work less they buy more . . . business is the exchange of goods. Goods are bought only as they meet needs. Needs are filled only as they are felt. They make themselves felt largely in the leisure hours.16

The average American child aged two to eleven sees more than 25,000 advertisements a year alone.

What’s needed isn’t change, it is transformation. Change seeks different solutions to intractable problems. Transformation asks different questions so that we can see the problems in a new light.

Money—not necessarily how much we have, but how we feel about it—governs our lives as much or more than any other factor. More marriages are wrecked by money than any other factor.

We have learned to seek external solutions to signals from the mind, heart or soul that something is out of balance. We try to satisfy essentially psychological and spiritual needs with consumption at a physical level.

What do we do when we are depressed, when we are lonely, when we feel unloved? More often than not we buy something to make us feel better.

became even more deeply embedded. Remember your excitement as a child when you got a toy you’d been dying for? If our parents were being responsible, they soon taught us, “Those things cost money, dear. Money that we go out and earn for you—because we love you.”

At the peak of the Fulfillment Curve we have enough

Enough for our survival. Enough comforts.

Enough is a fearless place. A trusting place. An honest and self-observant place. It’s appreciating and fully enjoying what money brings into your life and yet never purchasing anything that isn’t needed and wanted.

Clutter is anything that is excess—for you. It’s whatever you have that doesn’t serve you, yet takes up space in your world. To let go of clutter, then, is not deprivation; it’s lightening up and opening up space for something new to happen.

The Fulfillment Curve strongly suggests that most clutter enters our lives through the “more is better” door.

A gazingus pin is any item that you just can’t pass by without buying.

Enough—The Peak of the Curve.

“I don’t have to worry, I can always earn lots of money” (often said by individuals being supported by someone else).

once we’re above the survival level, the difference between prosperity and poverty lies simply in our degree of gratitude.

it’s important to remember that net worth does not equal self worth.

write down the most accurate definition of money you know. What is a universally and consistently true definition of money?

Did you have an allowance? Did you have to earn it by doing chores?

What were the messages your parents gave you about money?

the belief that money is security is one of the more rational insanities you can have. So the myth that money is security is just that—a myth.

One of Nedra’s myths was that money meant happiness and “the good life.”

We ignore intellectual, emotional and spiritual growth, having gotten stuck trying to continue to grow physically by adding more and more possessions.

Money is something we choose to trade our life energy for.

Life energy is all we have. It is precious because it is limited and irretrievable and because our choices about how we use it express the meaning and purpose of our time here on Earth.

Financial Independence has nothing to do with rich. Financial Independence is the experience of having enough—and then some.

Financial Independence is an experience of freedom at a psychological level. You are free from the slavery to unconsciously held assumptions about money, and free of the guilt, resentment, envy, frustration and despair you may have felt about money issues.

You never buy things you don’t want or need and are immune to the seductiveness of malls, markets and the media. Your emotional fortunes are no longer tied to your economic fortunes; your moods don’t swing with the Dow Jones Band. The broken record in your mind stops, the one that calculates hours till quitting time, days till payday, paydays till you have a down payment for a motorcycle, costs for the next home improvement project and years till retirement. The silence, at first, is thundering. Days and even weeks can go by without you thinking about money, without you mentally reaching for your wallet to handle life’s challenges and opportunities.

you are actually selling an hour of your life energy for $6, not the apparent $17. Your real hourly wage is $6. Before taxes, even! A good question to ask at this point is: Are you willing to accept a Job that pays this hourly wage? (You should make this calculation every time you change your Job—or change your Job-related habits.)

Is it coincidence that “Job” is also the name of the Old Testament character who was plagued by difficulties?

people who have achieved a high net worth relative to income know how much they are spending on clothes, travel, housing, transportation, etc., and those who don’t achieve high net worth relative to income have no idea how much they spend. It’s a stark contrast.

As one wise person said, you can never get enough of what you don’t really want.

  1. Eat when you’re hungry. 2. Eat exactly what your body wants. 3. Eat each bite consciously. 4. Stop when your body has had enough.1

You may need to distinguish between utility and vanity (the need never to appear in the office in the same outfit twice in a row, for example, or one-upmanship in elegant attire at social gatherings).

This isn’t just accounting—this is a process of self-discovery. It may even be the only process of self-discovery that promises to leave you in better shape financially than when you embarked on it.