This 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!
Your Money or Your Life is a bit unusual in terms of personal finance books that you’ll typically find at your local bookstore. For starters, the book has very little concrete information about increasing your wealth. In a section that typically is loaded with books about becoming a millionaire, this is an unusual approach.
So what does Your Money or Your Life offer instead? Rather than focusing on being rich, the book instead looks deeply at finding the central values in one’s life and realigning your life and money to follow these values. The idea here is that most people’s money problems are actually connected to a lack of fundamental direction in their life: they work just to earn money, not because it’s what they love doing.
The book uses a number of rather unorthodox methods for exposing this truth in your life. Much of the book is spent defining values and placing them in real financial perspective, going so far as to often conclude that you should quit your job. In terms of a get rich quick scheme, this is anathema, but it is also quite enlightening.
The book’s real purpose is to reframe your relationship with money, not to reframe your management with money. If this seems kind of “New Age-y,” that’s because it is. The book makes no qualms about stating that for many people, working a full workweek is not the best way to live life, and that one should seek the best way to live their own life, not live the life others expect or demand.
The book has lots of anecdotes – but it has a lot of detail, too. This is a fairly long book, as personal finance books go, but it provides a lot of food for thought even if you don’t buy in to the overall plan.
For the next three days, I’ll walk you through the nine steps that the book describes, and then conclude by giving my usual “buy or don’t buy” recommendation.
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.