Updated on 02.20.07

Your Money or Your Life: Buy or Don’t Buy?

Trent Hamm

Your Money or Your LifeThis week, The Simple Dollar is conducting a detailed review of the personal finance philosophy title Your Money or Your Life. This book looks at a whole-life approach to the relationship between a person and his money and applies a nine step process to fleshing out this relationship. Do these methods work? Let’s dig in and find out!

Right at the start of the prologue of Your Money or Your Life, the authors have a list of questions for you to ask yourself:

  • Do you have enough money?
  • Are you spending enough time with your family and friends?
  • Do you come home from your job full of life?
  • Do you have time to participate in things you believe are worthwhile?
  • If you were laid off from your job, would you see it as an opportunity?
  • Are you satisfied with the contribution you have made to the world?
  • Are you at peace with money?
  • Does your job reflect your values?
  • Do you have enough savings to see you through six months of normal living expenses?
  • Is your life whole? Do all the pieces – your job, your expenditures, your relationships, your values – fit together?

If you read through this list and hear a lot of “no” answers in your head, buy this book. Rather than being a guide on what you can do with your money to make more money, this book instead focuses on what you can do with your money to make your life make more sense, and it does a very good job with this. I would especially recommend this book to anyone who has a guilt-filled relationship with their money and really want to fix it.

It’s important to note that this book is not in any way a guide to investing your money. If your goals are leading you to seek strong investment advice or methods of maximizing your net worth, don’t buy this book. There are plenty of books out there for you; this is not one of them.

The book has a lot of New Age-style “get in touch with yourself” sentimentality to it, but the connection to finances gives this perspective a real concrete value that it often doesn’t have in other contexts. This style may drive away a few readers, but it is this very style that makes it feel quite different than other personal finance books on the market.

I thoroughly enjoyed it; I think you will, too.

You can jump quickly to the other parts of this review of Your Money or Your Life using these links:
The First Three Steps
The Second Three Steps
The Final Three Steps
Buy or Don’t Buy?

Your Money or Your Life is the sixth of fifty-two books in The Simple Dollar’s series 52 Personal Finance Books in 52 Weeks.

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  1. Andy says:

    “Your Money or Your Life” is probably my favorite financial book. I’d definitely reccommend it. If I had just followed the steps since I first bought it I could be retired already. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough self-discipline but I’m still working on it.

  2. Tracy says:

    This is one of my favorite books. I’ll quibble with one of your points: The authors do make strong investment advice. They argue that the only option is to invest in the guaranteed income stream of Treasury bonds. I keep wondering how that could work, as you’d have to put a ridiculous amount of money into bonds, at today’s rate of return, to cover your income.

  3. Toby says:

    I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t stomach this book. Don’t get me wrong, the premise is great and I have considered my relationship with money and thought about the question of “how much is enough?” before, so I was looking forward to see what this book could bring to the equation. But when I recently picked it up and started to read, well, let’s just say the granola didn’t agree with me.
    “gazingus pin”??? “making a dying”???(instead of living, get it:P) I couldn’t take the stupid puns and made-up vocabulary. At first I thought it was confined to one of the introductory chapters, but when I flipped ahead 100+ pages and saw “gazingus pin” again, I knew I couldn’t finish the book.

    Oh well, perhaps someday I’ll finally find a book that can give me an intelligent counter-point to my current philosophical and spiritual teacher, Gordon Gekko;)

  4. rodgerlvu says:

    another well composed post

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