As I mentioned in an earlier post, right now I’m reading “Your Money Or Your Life”, a best-selling personal finance book. Because I’m not organized enough right now to review, I’m jotting down my impressions as I go along.
So far I’m getting a lot out of the book. At the same time, I’m a bit resistant to some of the messages. I suppose some push-back is natural and human. I know that in the end, I’ll probably embrace a new way of looking at things and my relationship with money. However, I just like to play Devil’s Advocate sometimes.
Acceptable Lifestyle? For example, while the writer really emphasizes lack of judgement about your past choices and lifestyles, I can’t help feeling that only a certain frugal mindset is really acceptable, and that approved life does not include gadgets or Starbucks. Maybe I’m wrong and this feeling will pass as I dig deeper into the book.
Most Chores suck: There’s the implication that you’re paying for cleaning help, gardeners, cooking and other chores because you don’t have time due to work. I know that’s true in many cases, including for our household. At the same time, I hate certain chores. I’d much rather be selling widgets than mopping floors.
Life Energy Fuzzy Math: I still haven’t calculated how much time I spend working in order to live a certain life, or my “real” wage once you factor in drycleaning, commuting, eating out etc.. I definitely agree that much of my spending is directly or indirectly related to work. However, I think the writer attributes way too many costs simply to work, like vacations, nicer clothes, and wine just to name a few. I would like to travel even if I didn’t work. I wouldn’t spend as much on clothing or drycleaning but it’s not like I wouldn’t like new clothes for my daily life. Working or not, I would spend just as much on good wine!
Now on to the good…
Spending Personality Revelation! I thought I was really good with money (well, I got good with money in my 30s..) However, after reading the early chapters, I realize that I’m just as much a slave as a Wall Street Broker/yuppie who must keep up with the Joneses. I attribute security to money, so much that I’m unwilling to take risks. I have a tendency to underspend or hoard money with spending bursts that have little to do with my ideal life goals. I’m going to really ask myself the tough questions and try to align my spending better with my dreams/goals.
I’m having a lot of trouble answering the questions about fulfillment and what I would do if money wasn’t an issue or if I had one-year to live. I think I’ve forgotten my childhood dreams, too, and the ones I do remember are not aligned with my goals today.
Back to reading…