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Your Money or Your Life

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Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence

by Dominguez and Robin

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.”
  • STEP 5: Maintain a chart with your income and expenses month to month, and have it in a visible place: don’t hide it!
  • STEP 6: Frugality and tons of ways to save money -not trying to impress other people; not just going shopping; living within your means; taking care of what you have; wearing things out; doing more things yourself; anticipating your needs; researching value, quality, durability and multiple use of things ahead of time; getting things for less (find out how!); buying used (secondhand becoming chick); following the nine steps of the program; and 101 more ways… Most readers will probably enjoy this chapter, since it gives out lots of ideas you can start applying right away, but it definitely needs to be combined with the other steps for the entire program to have success for life.
  • STEP 7: Searching for ways to increase your income by valuing the life energy you put into your job, and exchanging it for the highest pay consistent with your health and integrity.
  • STEP 8: Having capital money start producing an income for you until you reach the magical crossover point, the point at which your expenses can be fulfilled through your investment income, technically without needing you to make any active income. Sounds neat? Well, this is the most interesting part of the book. Several pages are devoted to how you can better spend your time beyond this point, and volunteering becomes one of the biggest things (giving back) you can do to take fulfillment in your life to a point that can’t be reached by making more money.
  • STEP 9: this step is about making out of you a knowledgeable and sophisticated long-term investor, so that you can manage your finances for a safe, steady and sufficient income for the rest of your life. If you think this might be a little over the authors’ heads, consider the credentials of Mr. Dominguez, who had a successful career as a financial analyst in Wall Street before retiring at the age of… (are you ready for this?) thirty-one!Overall, this book shed valuable additional light on the topic of Financial Independence in ways that previous books I’d read hadn’t, simply because it works on the basic paradigms out of which your assumptions come from, such as the fact that you need A TON of money to live a life of fulfillment. If you ask me, my recommendation is to get this book, but don’t buy it (sorry, Amazon!) -get it from your local library!

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