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Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Ind ependence: Revised and Updated for the 21st Century Paperback – December 10, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


"In this time of crashing markets, soaring prices, tent cities, and melting ice caps, no book is more useful to readers and to the planet than Your Money or Your Life."
-Mary Pipher, author of The Shelter of Each Other and Seeking Peace

About the Author

Joe Dominguez was born on February 2, 1938. Considered a pioneer in the sustainability movement, he, together with partner Vicki Robin, co-authored the best-seller Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence. Dominguez was 31 years of age when he retired from a job as a technical stock analyst on Wall Street with a nest egg of about $70,000. He continued to live off of the investment income, about $6,000 a year, with a strong desire to tell others how to do the same. The proceeds of his book sales and other efforts to increase financial literacy have been donated to the New Road Map Foundation, an all-volunteer, non-profit foundation founded to promote the reduction of North American consumption. Dominguez died of cancer in Seattle on January 11, 1997. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Revised edition (December 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143115766
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143115762
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Vicki Robin is a prolific social innovator, writer and speaker. She is coauthor with Joe Dominguez of the international best-seller, Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship With Money and Achieving Financial Independence (Viking Penguin, 1992, 1998, 2008). It was an instant NY Times best seller in 1992 and steadily appeared on the Business Week Best Seller list from 1992-1997. It is available now in eleven languages.

Her new book, Blessing the Hands that Feed Us; what eating closer to home can teach us about food, community and our place on earth (Viking/Penguin 2014) tells how her experiment in 10-mile eating not only changed how she ate, but also renewed her hope and rooted her in her community. She calls this "relational eating." She went on to investigate how we might restore the vitality of our regional food systems so everyone could have the benefit of relational eating - healthy food, healthy communities. She calls this building "complementary food systems," not to replace but to work along side of the global industrial systems we now depend on for almost 100% of our food. Her book offers many practical tools for transformation, from changing our attitudes, to changing our habits to changing our food sources to getting active in social and political change.

Called by the New York Times as the "prophet of consumption downsizers," Vicki has lectured widely and appeared on hundreds of radio and television shows, including "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Good Morning America" and National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition" and "Morning Edition"; she has also been featured in well over 100 magazines including People Magazine, AARP, The Wall Street Journal, Woman's Day, Newsweek, Utne Magazine and the New York Times.

Vicki has helped launch many sustainability initiatives including: The New Road Map Foundation, The Simplicity Forum, The Turning Tide Coalition, Sustainable Seattle, The Center for a New American Dream, Transition Whidbey and more. In the 1990's she served on the President's Council on Sustainable Development's Task Force on Population and Consumption.

In addition to her sustainable consumption work, Vicki has been a leader in the field of dialogue. She co-created the Conversation Cafés method and initiative, promoting it first in Seattle and then throughout the world. Conversation Cafés are hosted conversations among diverse people in public places on subjects that matter. Vicki has spoken at workshops, conferences and to the media (Readers Digest, National Public Radio, Utne Magazine, The New York Times, The Seattle Times and many local media) about the Conversation Café method and its possibilities for revitalizing our public life.

For fun, Vicki is a comedy improv actress, appearing frequently with her troupe, Comedy Island.

Born in Oklahoma in 1945, Vicki grew up on Long Island and graduated cum laude from Brown University in 1967. She received awards from Co-op America and Sustainable Northwest for her pioneering work on sustainable living. Vicki's one of 61 visionaries featured in Utne Magazine's book, Visionaries: People and Ideas to Change Your Life. A&E Entertainment's show "Biography" honored Vicki as one of ten exceptional Seattle citizens. She currently lives on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

624 of 646 people found the following review helpful By Sachmo on November 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
The fundamental premise of this book is pretty good. The idea is as follows: You devote a given amount of time a day into work (say 10 hours). You earn an hourly wage, let's say for argument's sake it is $16 / hour. But there are many hidden costs associated with having a job.

For example, you may spend 30 min. commuting to and from work. After you get back from work, you may spend an additional hour "decompressing" - as in mindlessly watching TV in order to relax. You may also spend maybe another 30 min. or so talking about your work situation to your significant other.

So when you calculate your REAL hourly wages, you have to take all of this extra time into account. After all, you wouldn't be doing all of this stuff if you didn't work at this particular job.

Also, there are monetary costs to working. Such as spending money on nice work clothing. Buying lunch in the afternoon, because it would be too time consuming to prepare lunch every night. If there are things that you might do yourself but don't because of your job (taking care of your lawn, car, house, etc), you have to subtract the monetary costs of outsourcing all of this work.

What the book points out is that your REAL hourly wage is often much less than you think it is. In the example above, $16/hour could easily fall to $10 or $11/ hour.

The book then goes on to argue that when you start looking at stuff to buy - you should think about the cost of a new iPod for example in terms of hours spent working for it, not money. So for example, if you buy a $200 iPod, and you REAL hourly wage is $11/ hour, you've just spent about 18.2 hours of your life working away for that iPod. It really puts things into perspective.
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157 of 162 people found the following review helpful By Trinity the Voracious Reader on January 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
I got this book after reading in several blogs how good this book is. Now I know why. To start with, the nine steps mentioned in this book are:
(1) Making Peace with the Past;
(2) Being in the present - Tracking Your Life Energy;
(3) Where Is It All Going? (The Monthly Tabulation);
(4) Three Questions That Will Transform Your Life;
(5) Making Life Energy Visible;
(6) Valuing Your Life Energy - Minimizing Spending;
(7) Valuing Your Life Energy - Maximixing Income;
(8) Capital and the Crossover Point;
(9) Managing Your Finances.

You really gotta do the steps! Sure the steps take times and discipline to implement, but once I started, I got a lot out of it. Some of the shifts that I experienced:
1. A way of thinking that "money is simply something you trade life energy for".
Because I really want to know how much I trade my life energy for doing my job, I become very discipline in tracking my spending and created many new categories in my Quicken to be able to answer the the 3 Questions in step 4.

2. The attitude of "no shame no blame" when evaluating what one had done with one's finance. The book mentioned many times this mantra that helped whenever I felt bad about my previous decision, I would tell myself "no shame no blame" and no regret (my own addition).

3. The hope of being financial independence. The step of charting and making life energy visible were very helpful. I am looking forward to the time when my monthly investment income crosses over with my monthly spending. The book gave examples of people who successfully crossed over this point which are very motivating.
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93 of 97 people found the following review helpful By James Ryan on February 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
Your Money or Your Life is one of the best books I've ever read on personal money management.

In Your Money or Your Life, money is introduced from a refreshingly new perspective. The book argues that you are currently making a "dying", as opposed to making a "living". A 9-step process is introduced to get you back on track toward living a fulfilled life through smart spending and financial independence.

The basic premise of Your Money or Your Life is that life is too valuable to waste away working 40+ hours every week, one week at a time for the rest of your life... Just so you can have enough money to buy all those material possessions to keep up with the Jones's.

The book goes on to make an eye-opening connection between money and your personal life. Basically, you only have so many hours of life - which the book refers to as Life Energy - and the fulfillment we get out of life depends on how we spend those precious few hours. Most people trade a significant amount of their Life Energy in exchange for money to buy things - unimportant, unfulfilling, and at times even wasteful things.

Your Money or Your Life goes through the exercise of having us determine the number of hours each of us has to work in order to make a purchase. The book doesn't suggest budgeting, but instead uses the connection to force us to make conscious decisions about how we spend our money. You're actually encouraged to spend money on the things that are meaningful and fulfilling to you. On the flip side, the book argues that you should reduce your spending as much as possible on the things that are meaningless to you. Any money you save from reducing your meaningless expenses should be invested toward early retirement.

We are caught in a never ending trap...
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