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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific introduction to managing money and life.
The authors practice what they preach, and they preach a very thought-provoking new way to look at how our lifes revolve around money. New readers will appreciate their discussion in analyzing careers and values in terms of "life energy." Many will also come to see how hidden costs to particular jobs can be an added drain to financial and personal well-being. I see...
Published on Nov. 7 2003

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book on how to get out of debt..
I am in my mid 30's and into serious financial planning. I found this book interesting, but a bit long. Also, I am pretty much in-control of my finances, so some of the suggestions were common sense to me.
However, if you are a person who lives check-to-check and is looking for a way to get out of the earn-and-spend spiral, I'd highly recommend this book or 'The...
Published on Jan. 6 2000


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific introduction to managing money and life., Nov. 7 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence (Paperback)
The authors practice what they preach, and they preach a very thought-provoking new way to look at how our lifes revolve around money. New readers will appreciate their discussion in analyzing careers and values in terms of "life energy." Many will also come to see how hidden costs to particular jobs can be an added drain to financial and personal well-being. I see lots of friends scratching their heads and wondering where their fat paychecks have gone after subtracting the cost of commuting time, required work wardrobe, car maintenance, and gas. This book contains snippets of stories about individuals that faced money dilemmas and how they gradually overcame their fear, ignorance, and misconception about money.
The one major downfall in this book comes at the end, with the discussion of where to invest one's money. After a flawed attempt at miniming the dangers of inflation and a well-deserved jab at conflicted brokers, the authors advocate investing everything in treasury bonds, simply because it's the least volatile financial investment. While we currently live in a time of relatively low inflation, there is no guarantee this will remain so, given the ever-growing weight of the national budget deficit and the trade deficit in the U.S. and political and economic instability around the world. The authors brushed aside inflation by pointing out the possibility of product substitutions. However, general inflation occurs when prices of all products rise simultaneously, not just with one particular product. Just ask anyone who lived through the late '70s/early '80s on a fixed income. The yields on treasury bonds have been dismally low, barely over inflation.
It is also wrong to assume that living expenses will stabilize or fall during retirement. The cost of health care is rising. Given that it is nearly impossible to obtain adequate medical insurance in old age, a single major catastrophic illness can easily wipe out a one's nest egg. Housing costs in major metropolitan areas are also rising faster than inflation, except in rent-controlled areas. Rent alone in my city can easily run up to fifteen hundred dollars a month. Relying on only treasury bonds will not be the solution.
This book sets down an excellent fundamental discussion on how to view money and career, and assessing living costs. Readers looking to manage their own money should supplement this reading and gain a more sophisticated understanding of the financial market with books like "One Up On Wall Street" by Peter Lynch and "The Warren Buffett Way" by Robert Hagstrom.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WARNING!! This Book May Change Your Life, Nov. 6 2003
By 
Stephen Pletko "Uncle Stevie" (London, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence (Paperback)
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This book's contents can be summarized in one sentence: it outlines a life-changing philosophy and plan for financial independence.
However, this summary does not give credit to the number of features that enhance this riveting book. Some of these features are as follows:
(1) THE AUTHORS LIVE WHAT THEY TEACH. For example, one of the authors, the late Joe Dominguez was a financial analyst on Wall Street before taking an early retirement (at age thirty-one). Did he make a killing on Wall Street that enabled him to do this? No! What he did was to decide to take back his life by gaining control of his money and eventually gain financial independence through a nine-step program.
(2) A MULTI-DISCIPLINE BOOK. As mentioned, part of the magic of this book is that it teaches a life-changing philosophy. But within this philosophy you'll find other areas such as finance, economics, history, simple mathematics, environmental science, psychology, and spirituality. All these are blended together to form an interesting and instructional narrative.
A cornerstone of this book's philosophy is the following equation: MONEY = LIFE ENERGY. That is, you have to work or expend energy to make money. Most people see their life energy as precious.
(3) PRACTICAL ADVICE. Practical advice on how to save money can be found throughout this book. But the truly practical and another magical part of this book is its NINE-STEP PROGRAM. Readers have a chance to peruse the final, workable form of this program that leads to financial independence. (Financial independence as defined by this book is the amount of money that is ENOUGH for you or you and your family.)
A highlight of this program is that you only have to WORK FOR A FINITE PERIOD OF TIME.
A cornerstone of this practical advice, besides the nine-step program, is FRUGALITY. Don't worry! Frugality does not mean budgeting.
(4) DIAGRAMS. This book has many diagrams, charts, and tables. These help the reader gain a concrete understanding of all concepts introduced.
(5) REAL-LIFE STORIES. This book is permeated with real stories of ordinary people who have decided to follow the nine-step program. What I found interesting when reading these stories is their reasons as to exactly why they decided to follow the program.
(6) END-OF-CHAPTER SUMMARIES AND CHECKLISTS. These summaries highlight the major concepts introduced in the chapters. Many chapters also have a handy checklist.
(7) THE EPILOGUE. This is really an end-of-book summary. The steps of the nine-step program are summarized for review, reference, and reminders. The idea here is to read the corresponding chapter for further details. This summary comes in very handy!
(8) REFERENCES (or resources) and NOTES. There are a large number of notes (footnotes allocated to the back of the book) and many useful references.
(9) FINAL WORDS. Many people would not consider this a feature of this book but I think the fact that the authors were able to end the main narrative of the book with these important words indicates that the book was well planned out. These words are as follows: "There is more to life than nine-to-five."
Finally, the book's authors advocate that when you build up savings that you invest in long-term bonds. Critics (mainly investment "experts") who have read this book say that the rate of return on more aggressive but risky investment vehicles (such as stocks) provide a higher rate of return in the long term. What they fail to realize is that the authors are talking about investing your money in vehicles that will give you a STABLE and CONSISTENT monthly income that you can live off.
In summary, this book creates an awareness of how you are spending your money and your precious life energy. It is that awareness that will transform your dealings with money and lead to financial independence.
In conclusion, those who do not value their life energy need not get this book. But for those who do value their life energy, this inspiring and unique book is your essential guide!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sane Advice, Dec 16 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence (Paperback)
This book completely changed the way I live. Being born and raised in NYC (and I still live here) I was totally wrapped up in designer clothes, dinners out, $200 hair cuts, etc. I never felt fulfilled or happy. After reading this book I've made so many changes and, not only do I not feel deprived, I feel liberated. I feel like a fog has cleared in my mind. I've never been more relaxed, calm, and happy in my life. This book, if you seriously follow the steps, not only leads to financial freedom (which it does!) it leads to self awareness and happiness. It also made me feel less isolated and closer to the community.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book on how to get out of debt.., Jan. 6 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence (Paperback)
I am in my mid 30's and into serious financial planning. I found this book interesting, but a bit long. Also, I am pretty much in-control of my finances, so some of the suggestions were common sense to me.
However, if you are a person who lives check-to-check and is looking for a way to get out of the earn-and-spend spiral, I'd highly recommend this book or 'The Mindful Money Guide'.
If you are looking for a nuts-n-bolts book on managing your finances, there are better books. If you are interested in exploring your relationship to money and what 'enough' is in your life, then you'll find this book worth a read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Everyday Relationship Book! But a Lifesaving One..., July 5 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence (Paperback)
A friend of mine first recommended Your Money or Your Life to me ten years ago. I went out and bought the book, read it, put it on my bookshelf where it languished collecting dust, and finally re-read it three months ago. Why didn't the book's messages sink in the first time I read it? Was I lazy? Not ready to have a relationship with money? Or did I need to hit rock bottom and accumulate significant credit card debt to understand that money was controlling me and not the other way around? The bottom line is I finally admitted I had a problem with managing money and needed to do something about it.
Money is a very emotionally-charged, personal, and difficult subject. Dominquez and Robin attempt to take out the emotional and conduct a rational conversation with you about money and the role it plays in our lives. Money is simply a medium of exchange and you need to understand how you are exchanging it with your life energy. Some of the language is "new agey" and environmentally-oriented, but make sure you see the forest through the trees.
This book is the one that finally motivated me to start tracking my expenses on a daily basis. I've read books by Suze Orman, David Bach, Charles Schwab and countless other money experts. But Your Money or Your Life brings to life how tracking your income and expenses, in a way that works for you, will make you want to think about each and every dollar that you spend. We spend our time earning money, we spend our time spending money, but how much time do we spend thinking about and tracking where our money goes? And you don't have to use Intuit or some other fancy software program to manage your money. Design a format that works for you.
I now look forward to the end of each month where I tally up what I've spent, put it in into categories, and paint a picture of where my money is coming from and where it is going. I'm still recovering from the shock of what I spend on "communicating" with the world: a cell phone, a phone, an internet connection, and a cable connection add up to a significant amount of dollars each month. Is it all really necessary? The next step is to understand how my spending patterns match up with my values. I see a phone reduction in my near future!
For anyone who is ready to build a stronger relationship with money, this is the book to read. Your Life or Your Money clearly states that there is no shame and no blame for how you've managed your relationship with money in the past. However, I sure do wish I had listened to my friend and this book ten years ago. I know I would be in a different place financially than I am today, but am excited about what the future will bring.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Finance debunked, July 5 2004
By 
Robert Sharpe (Spring, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence (Paperback)
One of the great lessons of life that I thankfully learned at a relatively young age is that if you do what everyone else does, you'll end up with what everyone else has. Sadly, most people have nothing. No savings, no investments of any real value, excessive debt and a lifestyle that revolves around paid employment that they hate. You don't want that, or you wouldn't be here.
There are three challenges to implementing this program. The first is believing in the program enough to alter your behavior. After all, Dominguez asks you to do some things that most of your friends, financial advisors, etc. would claim to be a waste of time. They aren't, but it's going to require a little blind faith for about 90 days or so on your part before you figure that out.
The second challenge is to have the discipline during the early stages of the program to stay the course. We live in a society that expects instant gratification, but this program (like most things worth having) doesn't work that way. Writing down every penny of spending is boring, but it is absolutely necesesary if you're going to understand just how much money you waste every month.
Finally, the last obstacle (and perhaps the largest) is getting around your old friends, because they're not going to like the new you. They will try to derail you, because most people are uncomfortable with change and they won't like the fact that you're trying to make such radical changes in your life. Be prepared.
The good news is that the goal of FI is realistic. The changes to your lifestyle are easy to make once you understand the author's concept of life energy. Ironically, once you understand life energy, you'll realize that spending less doesn't mean giving anything up. You actually gain by having less. Finally, those acquaintences who resent your new casual lifestyle can be replaced by real friends who understand and respect your choices.
One of the great paradoxes of life for most Americans is that they think being financially independent is difficult and they think they want it badly. In reality, it's not at all difficult...they just don't want it badly enough.
Read the book, implement the complete plan for 90 days. Figure out how much of your life energy you're wasting on trinkets and junk. Change your life. You won't regret it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It's your life - Take charge of your personal finance, May 18 2004
By 
christin (minneapolis, mn) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence (Paperback)
YMOYL is one of my top ten books of all time. Why? Because it maturely and rationally analyzes your personal relationship and attitudes about money, status, and life style and basically forces any sentient human being to realize that living within his or her means is a plausible and desirable way to live.
By doing a personal inventory and finding what we really want to do and cutting all the unnecessary crap out of lives that isn't fulfilling. It encourages you to reduce your consumption, reevaluate your career path and dare to do what you really dream to do, or even work less. You rethink the American Dream, maybe you don't need to have a house or a fancy car. Maybe you'd rather have your time. Maybe you just know that the way you are living isn't how you want to.
The books teaches you to see money as your life energy. To think of every dollar as an increment of your time. And it teaches you how very precious your life energy is.
In our hectic, status-fueled, mad world this book is a breath of fresh air. It offers a lot of information on how other humans simplified their lives and to open up the possibilities for you to live this way as well.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Helps you examine your ideas about money and work ., April 5 2004
By 
Dan (Boulder CO) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence (Paperback)
Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin, is a collection of simple, common sense observations about money. Perhaps because money is so fundamental to our lives, or because we associate it with work, often we don't examine these simple truths. But the first step to making sound decisions, about money as about every other topic, is to gather all the facts so you can make a knowledgeable and concious decision. This book helps you do that.
The book takes you through 9 steps to Financial Independence, from cataloging all the money you've ever made to keeping a budget to their solution for non wage income. The lessons are told in a easy, simple manner, with 'real life' stories interspersed throughout. Some of their most profound ideas aren't about money, but about work--what human beings look for in work that they used to look for in community and family.
I'm a single guy, and I felt this book was aimed at big spenders with families, mortgages and boats, but I still felt there were lessons to take away. Their end solution is something I'm still up in the air about, but the steps along the way were fabulous--every one simple enough to understand, yet powerful enough to change the way you thought about the concepts discussed. I liked this book and would recommend it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Your Money or Your Life, Jan. 30 2004
This review is from: Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence (Paperback)
I worked with this book in several groups of 10-15 people to discuss "Voluntary Simplicity". The book is easy to read and inspires people to simplify their lives. It is perfect for a Sunday Morning Discussion with people of different ages. They learn from each other,with the book offering a framework for the discussion. The "above 65 folks" already understand this book in spades,and it is quite a revelation for the younger people in the class that have big house and car payments, and haven't thought about "how much is enough".
The authors suggest that you write down all your expenditures to document that much of your life is spent making a "dying" and not a "living". If you're not an obsessive type you can easily skip the "recording your expenditures" section and go to the "meat" of getting some balance in the American pursuit of materialism. Others will enjoy seeing how they spend their money by writing down each expenditure. People are shocked by the hours they spend working for the newest "toy".
If you are reading this review, you are probably interested in getting more balance in your life. This book is definitely a "buy" in my opinion. It is the kind of book you will want to share with a friend or group. It is a wonderful book to read with your spouse and talk about over dinner. You may even find time for dinner after reading this gem:-)
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book will help you get your ducks in a row., June 22 2003
This review is from: Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence (Paperback)
Even though this book is called Your Money or Your Life, I finished reading it and thought, your money IS your life. --And I don't mean that money is what your life revolves around (although sometimes it feels like that, doesn't it?). This book taught me that money is essentially what we trade our "life energy" for, and that we should spend it the same way we'd spend our time and energy--in accordance with our values.
For example, if one of your values is sustainability, then you should use money as a means to achieve that end. But all too often we associate money with greed and sustainability with sacrifice. The authors recount the story of an activist named Jason: "...the formula [money = life energy] made him see clearly that for all his best intentions to 'make the world a better place,' his stubborn financial ignorance made his efforts ineffectual. To be truly effective in his desire to make a difference in the world, he needed to master money." (p. 55)

Although the book is a little outdated, and at times it can get a bit preachy, it's unlike any other personal finance book I've ever read. It's the only one that really covers all the bases, from how you spend your money (and the values associated with that) to how you get the money (finding a job you love), and ultimately, reaching a point where you can really live life on your own terms: financial independence.
After reading Your Money or Your Life, I stopped seeing money as just something to be made or spent or saved...I started seeing it as a tool. After all, money is a means to an end, not an end itself...
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