Notes on the book entitled YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin

This book was not only life-defining in terms of my personal thinking and my self-image but it allowed me to shift how I spent my time. I went from working a job to working for twelve years at unpaid, purposeful work at the non-profit that I founded. That work benefited many thousands of people. It contributed to a better understanding about social justice issues in Washington State. It provided a significant source of hope to thousands of people who had long since lost all hope.

The ideas in this book not only helped me grow personally; they allowed me to live out the reality that my life’s energy could contribute to the greater good. I am very, very grateful for all of these life experiences and I am grateful for this book. By the way, if you’d like to learn more about this non-profit work, go to the “social justice” on my site.

Below is how Amazon describes the book which is accurate enough but, to me, it is a whole lot more!!

“”The seminal guide to the new morality of personal money management” (Los Angeles Times (on the first edition))

In Your Money or Your Life, Vicki Robin shows readers how to gain control of their money and finally begin to make a life, rather than just make a living.

In an age of great economic uncertainty when everyone is concerned about money and how they spend what they have, this new edition of the bestselling Your Money or Your Life is an essential read. With updated resources, an easy-to-use index, and anecdotes and examples particularly relevant today-it tells you how to:

  • get out of debt and develop savings
  • reorder material priorities and live well for less
  • resolve inner conflicts between values and lifestyle
  • save the planet while saving money”

Before reading this book, I had done some good basic thinking about money.  But, the book helped me be more clear about what I could do with my life. For those that need it, suggestions are provided to help the reader implement this new thinking into their day-to-day lives. In my case, I was already part of a cooperative that provided me free access to basic food and household items in exchange for participating in the work of the coop. We call this gleaning. And, for a reason I can’t really explain, I had already been making good financial decisions along the way and I didn’t have debt. I heat my house with free firewood that I’ve gotten for decades. Too much work you say? Did I mention that I’m also into fitness and that processing the free firework is just another good way to exercise my body? It is.

Before reading this book, I was doing ok. But after reading it, I had a bigger vision for my life.

Below is just one example of how this book crystalized my thinking and increased my confidence as I moved towards my non-traditional life-path. I wrote this little explanation back in 2007.

“A sweater, for example, isn’t just a thing; it is a reflection of the energy and time that it would take me to earn the money to get the sweater. So, if I look at it that way, I can decide, is the sweater more important than, let’s say, gas money which will allow me to visit my friends in Seattle more often? And, as it explains in Your Money or Your Life, we get to choose how we spend money (i.e. our life energy): the thing (sweater) or the purposeful life connection (time with friends). That’s an oversimplification but you get the idea.

Besides, I’d gleaned more sweaters than could be used in a lifetime! In my case, I realized that I could take the whole concept to a higher level. I was FREE to do what I wanted BECAUSE of the combined positive cumulative impact of many day to day small decisions I’d made over time. That allowed me to craft a life for myself which left me free to do what I wanted rather than feeling pressured or pushed or pulled or otherwise forced to take a job that only gave me money to buy the things that I could glean or things that I didn’t really need anyway.

So, I was ecstatic to be OUT OF THE INSANITY OF THE MATERIALISM LOOP! Some people have trouble understanding how the small decisions create the big thing that I call and LIVE which is actual freedom. Frankly, people often don’t understand my lifestyle, but that’s totally ok with me. I do what I do and let people see me however they want to see me.

One of the greatest things about finding ways to get things for free is being in a position to be generous with others. I love that. I can be as generous as I want without worrying that I won’t have enough for myself. I live an ABUNDANCE-based reality. I have way more than enough of what I need and even some things that I don’t even really need. Of course, there are certain things that you can’t get for free, like; iPods. But, honestly, I don’t need them. Other people don’t REALLY need them either. They WANT them which is fine for them but I really don’t need them. I’d rather have my freedom ANYDAY than an iPod or whatever gizmo is the latest. Instead, I GET TO do my non-profit work.

That kind of thinking is how I chose My Life over My Money – as per the book’s central point. “

Bottom line – combining specific philosophies about relationship with money (things) with ACTIONS that support those philosophies can and does provide a fulfilling life path.

Ironically, as I write this, I just heard a news report that says the people in Panama are listed as the happiest even though their country ranks 90th in GDP (a measure of overall wealth). And, Singapore, which has the highest GDP, also has the least happy people. Hmmmmmm…. What I was I just saying?

I sincerely hope that you, dear reader, will read this book and find that freedom for yourself!

You get to choose:


I hope for you to embrace all the wonderful possibilities of life!

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