Top positive review
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Requires some effort, but WELL WORTH IT
on June 4, 2009
I was skeptical about this book when I first picked it up a few years ago. Some of the criticisms are fair: 'that there is a lot of "emotion" throughout, plus an emphasis on simplicity, ecological awareness, community involvement, and an overall re-evalutaion of our consumer habits. Plus, at the start, you have to do a lot of work. 'I know this may be "too much" for some people.
HOWEVER! If you want to start "Making a LIVING" for yourself, instead of "Making a Dying" (as the authors put it) then there is no better place to start than with this program. And it is a PROGRAM, like you would do in a college-level course, not just "helpful tips" for saving pennies in a jar.
The first few steps require a bit of memory, a bit of digging, a bit of math (basic addition and subtraction), a bit of organization and A LOT OF SOUL SEARCHING.
Once you understand what the program is REALLY about, that is, figuring out "How many of your (precious! finite!) LIFE HOURS do you give away in exchange for (very little) money" then the other steps become mostly a matter of tracking and organization, customizing as suits your needs.
And, I KNOW at first it seems impossible, unrealistic and downright painful, but please believe me when I tell you that it is very, very worth doing these steps, especially the first few, to the best of your ability. You don't have to do it all perfectly, it's just about doing the best you can, so that you can get a TRUE, HONEST and CLEAR understanding of your past and present attitudes about money.
I have been doing "the program" for exactly 1 year as of today. And I am not ashamed to post here on the internet for all to see that in this ONE YEAR I have radically changed my views on my money, my career and my life's purpose'; I am debt-free; AND have added more than $17,000 to my savings '' and I should add that I don't even have a full-time job! And I live very, very well.
Some people have posted here that the current economy has changed the reality of Bonds since the book was written. That may be true, and I don't think anybody has the answers for those big questions that are beyond the control of ordinary people. Nobody knows what is going to happen.
What I CAN control, however, is where I CHOOSE to spend the money I DO have, IF I CHOOSE TO SPEND IT AT ALL. After all, many people don't realize that you are "ALLOWED" to keep as much of your own money as you want for yourself! This was a huge revelation to me: It's not how much you MAKE, it's how much you KEEP that matters! (OK, so you don't need a book to tell you to spend less than you earn, but this book explores that issue in depth, and it is very eye-opening.)
A few other detractors have jumped to the conclusion that the book is too "liberal", too "new age", too "tree-huggy" or too "scrimp-and-save." Look: You don't HAVE to do ALL the things the authors suggest, like volunteer or live like a renunciate'. They are just presenting the issues from a values framework that many, many people would LOVE to embrace, but they feel they "can't afford to."
At age 40, I am far from rich (too many years in school!), but let me tell you JUST ONE THING: having a full year's salary safely stored in the bank, changes EVERYTHING about my working life.' ' Going to work is soooo much more pleasant now, knowing I don't HAVE to be there just to pay off some old debt for some piece of junk I no longer use or own or even remember. My work has become a joy and a delight. I feel sorry for people who have that old bumper sticker on their car that says "I owe, I owe, so off to work I go" '' Ha, ha, ha, very funny, suckers!
If you learn ONE thing from this book, it should be this: "THERE IS MORE TO LIFE THAN 9 to 5"
I hope that by posting this, I will have convinced someone, somewhere that they can take charge of their money' and get their LIFE back. Try it, YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE AND EVERYTHING TO GAIN.
PS: The authors would tell you to borrow it from the library, but really you need your own copy so you can flag pages and make notes, and hopefully refer back to when you need some advice! Get it second hand!