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Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence Paperback – September 1, 1999

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (September 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140286780
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140286786
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Vicki Robin���is a renowned innovator, writer, and speaker. In addition to coauthoring the bestselling Your Money or Your Life, Robin has been at the forefront of the sustainable living movement. She has received awards from Co-Op America and Sustainable Northwest and was profiled in Utne Magazine���s book Visionaries: People and Ideas to Change Your Life. She lives on Whidbey Island in Washington.

Customer Reviews

This book literally changed my life, because it changed the way I think about money.
Well, if you work like a dog for as much money as you can earn, you can save and then have the freedom to do it.
David J. Huber
This is a great book and really does help change the way we think about money, but I have a few issues with it.
K. Robertson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

697 of 710 people found the following review helpful By Manny Hernandez HALL OF FAME on April 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book attempts to demonstrate by means of a 9-step process, how you are now making a "dying" as opposed to making a living, and how you can get back on track, and start directing your actions toward a life of fulfillment and financial independence. The 9 steps look like this:
* STEP 1: Look back on your life and add up all the money you have made, and how much do you have with you (in the form of assets of some type) to account for it.
* STEP 2: Since money is something we choose to trade our life energy for (central idea of the book), determine how much money you truly get for doing your job, including the fact that you have to spend money in commuting, clothing, meals at work, etc. and start to keep track of every penny that you earn and spend. Just to illustrate the power of this step, I found myself making 25% (hourly rate) less than I thought I was by doing this exercise, and that takes into account the fact that I live 20 minutes away from my work and I half the time I bring my food from home.
* STEP 3: Tabulate all your expenses into categories, add them up and convert them into hours of life energy.
* STEP 4: Determine to what extent all the expenses you found in your categorization provide you with fulfillment, how they are in alignment with your life's purpose, and how they would change should you not have to work for a living (I start to see some frowning faces now... hold on a bit more!) This chapter brought back memories of reading Stephen Covey and Viktor Frankl, in terms of coming up with your life's mission. A very nice quote by Buckminster Fuller mentioned in it says: "I learned very early and painfully that you have to decide at the outset whether you are trying to make money or make sense -I feel that they are mutually exclusive.
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330 of 336 people found the following review helpful By Mark Wieczorek on November 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
I'm always wary of books stating that they have "9 steps to a different life" and didn't buy this book for years after after I learned of it. I picked it up a couple of months ago when a new boss caused me to look at my job in a different light. If I was fired or wanted to quit, how would I survive? If I wanted to get a lower paying job doing something I enjoyed, could my lifestyle afford it?
With these things weighing on my mind, I purchased this book. Most of the steps I understood, and many of them made sense, but it was the 8th step that "hit me on the side of the head." What a revelation! I needed the previous 7 steps to fully appreciate it. I *can* change my life. This isn't some new-age feel good, think positive mumbo jumbo, but a solid plan for achieving financial independance.
I tell my friends about my plan to retire early, and they say "Oh, that's nice" and "You'll never do it" and "I could never cut back my spending enough to do that." The promise, though, of not having to work for a living is keeping me motivated, and I think of it every time I spend money.
Oddly enough, I recognize some of the principals as being similar to what financial guru types like Robert Kiyosaki and Robert G. Allen recommend - spend less, save more, invest what you save - yet this book, unlike those, provides a proven method for getting there.
Some books I read, such as Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt and Live Prosperously by Gerrold Mundis prepared me for this book, and it agrees with my personal philsophies, even though I tend to spend more money than I should.
The 9th step details how to invest your money, but is now out of date because of changes instituted by the federal government. These issues are dealt with on by Vicki Robbins on a website based on this book.
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101 of 105 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
Your Money or Your Life is excellent for a) highlighting just how excessive our consumption is, b) showing how we could easily manage with much less, and c) making clear the tradeoffs we make for a "good" lifestyle. I also really admire the author(s) for walking their talk.
I do, however, have a few problems with the book. First, I wish they wouldn't advocate shopping at the Walmarts of the world. Second, I don't think most people (especially with kids) can live on the thread-bare shoestring budget the authors do (although I suppose its the spirit of what they say more than the exact numbers they suggest that matters most). Last, I wouldn't take the book's investment advice (which is buy long term government bonds). For a more balanced--or at least an excellent supplement--read The Mindful Money Guide. Its coming from a similar place (i.e. how to manage money so it doesn't manage you--for both a better quality of life and a better world), but The Mindful Money Guide gives the reader more options to choose from. I also found it more fun to read.
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64 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Michael Mendenhall on June 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
The first thing I did when I finished reading this book was to set aside time to read it again. This is a truly outstanding book.
First some pros and cons, and yes, there are some drawbacks. You guessed it: this is not a "get rich" type book. It's not about making money and all that. Some people might classify it as "psychobabble" because it talks about your relationship with money and how it fits into your life. The primary focus of the book is to show just how much of our waking hours are dominated by working for a living and to show you how to get past that. After following some of the advice in the book, I found myself facing the realization that most of my waking hours are devoted to money. I didn't believe it at first, but after doing the exercises, I was pretty surprised.
To give you a taste, here is perhaps my favorite quote from the book:
"And they call this making a living? Think about it. How many people have you seen who are more alive at the end of the work day than they were at the beginning? Do we come home from our 'making a living' activity with more life? Do we bound through the door, refreshed and energized, ready for a great evening with the family? Where's all the life we supposedly made at work? For many of us, isn't the truth of it closer to 'making a dying'? Aren't we killing ourselves - our health, our relationships, our sense of joy and wonder - for our jobs? We are sacrificing our lives for money - but it's happening so slowly that we barely notice....After all, if we didn't work, what would we do with our time?"
I can't think of anyone who could not benefit at least somewhat from reading this book and really pondering the message.
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