Book Review: Your Money or Your Life
Your Money or Your Life is a book about how to build a healthier relationship with money and how to improve your personal finances. It focuses on reducing excess consumption, and encouraging frugality while also providing steps to gain financial independence (FI).
But perhaps more importantly, it helps you understand that when you spend money you are spending the time (life) you used to earn that money. It also helps you rebalance and to look at work as just work, rather than the root of your identity as a person and a source of self worth.
The book is split into nine different parts called the 9-Step Program. The idea is that you follow these steps and you'll be in control of your finances and on the way to financial independence.
- Step 1: Figure out your net worth.
- Step 2: Figure out your real hourly wage, considering work related expenses.
- Step 3: Track all income and expenses and calculate how many hours of your life you spent on expenses.
- Step 4: Look at the output from step 3 and ask yourself if it was worth it.
- Step 5: Create a chart to track income and expenses over time.
- Step 6: Minimize your spending.
- Step 7: Maximize your income.
- Step 8: Track your investment income on your chart.
- Step 9: Investing for FI.
It all might sound rather simple, but I particularly liked how this book makes you compute a real hourly wage that you think of as your life energy, and then using that to think about expenses in terms of time.
I also really liked how it emphasizes that work is for income. If you get satisfaction from your job, then great, but it's probably not healthy to draw all your self-esteem and identity from your job.
The book has a running theme of sustainability as well. The authors recognize that we live in a society focused on over consumption and that it is unsustainable. But more importantly, consumption doesn't really make us happy.
Step 4 is all about looking at where your money has gone and asking yourself if it was worth trading hours of your life for whatever you spent it on, was it really worth it? Did it bring you fulfillment?
My main criticism of this book is probably that is doesn't talk much about leveraging debt, it only talks about paying debt.
Despite practicing a lot of what this book teaches prior to reading it, I really enjoyed this book and I found a lot of little nuggets of wisdom in it. I will definitely be recommending it to friends.
I think this book will be most useful for people who don't already have their personal finances in order, and are looking for a step by step guide to do that.
The last chapter is about investing conservatively for IF and I think reading the Intelligent Investor would be a great fit once you finish this book.