According to authors Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez in “Your Money or Your Life,” you are so much more than what you do for a career. This book encourages readers to take a few steps back and look hard at their financial lifestyle. The idea is that you should not have to choose between having money and having a life. This guide includes tips on spending less, how to earn more, and how to invest so that you can live how you want. A lot of the focus is on values: What is most valuable to you in your life?
The authors reframe work income as “life energy.” They make the striking observation that every dollar that you spend on an impulse purchase is one portion of your life traded away. A bubbly tone engages readers with the message of prioritizing joy through work and money habits. Readers learn how the idea of “standard of living” evolved and took over America’s psyche along with idea of needing extra things to have fun or relax. When you read the quick stories in chapter one of all the people and their struggles with satisfaction at the expense of money, you may resolve to take a better path.
This guide can offer hope even if you feel buried alive in debt. Robin and Dominguez provide statistics and figures to highlight the fact that most Americans need major changes if they are going to be happy. For example, one survey found that 50% of Americans are unsatisfied with their jobs. Some of the statistics come straight from early on in the authors’ seminars. They also get into the details about overconsumption and how people always wanting more destroys the environment. There is a spiritual aspect to this book: It calls on readers to stop waiting for smarter people to save the world and start saving it themselves.