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

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,018 Ratings  ·  618 Reviews
In times like these, it's more important than ever to know the difference between making a living and making a life. Your Money or Your Life is even more relevant today than it was when the book first hit the stands, and a great publicity campaign will bring this already strong-selling book to a whole new audience.
Paperback, 400 pages
Published September 1st 1999 by Penguin Books (first published September 1st 1992)
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The Total Money Makeover by Dave RamseyThe Richest Man in Babylon by George S. ClasonThe Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. StanleyRich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. KiyosakiYour Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin
Best Books About Money
5th out of 145 books — 294 voters
The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. StanleyThe Total Money Makeover by Dave RamseyThe Richest Man in Babylon by George S. ClasonI Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit SethiAn Average Joe's Pursuit for Financial Freedom by Michael Warren Munsey
Personal Finance
6th out of 84 books — 132 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Emily R.
Jul 16, 2007 Emily R. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone with debt or doubt
I could and will read and re-read this book, not for its literary value but for its simple explanations of concrete ways to observe your own connection with the material world. Whether or not you fully practice its program, it is the sanest and most convincing account of the importance of financial savvy for those of us who proclaimed, "Money and fancy material things don't matter to me - so why should I try to manage my finances?" Its message from ten years ago rings truer today than it did now ...more
Apr 09, 2008 Linda rated it it was amazing
I'm kind of squeamish about the 5 stars I'm giving this, because I don't think this is a well-written book. The tone is nearly unbearable at times: think of the most stereotypical motivational speaker you've ever heard. However, the ideas in this book are impressive, and I find myself thinking about them, rather against my will, even 3 years after having read the book.
Part of my struggle with this book is that I actually love my work, so trying to hurry up and earn my money so that I can retire
Apr 18, 2007 Claire rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those struggling to find work that doesn't make them miserable
YMYL was recommended to me by a friend, who gave up her stable teaching position to run a used bookstore after reading this book. This was my first foray into the self-help genre. The prose is laughably hokey at the most inopportune times, but the message is worth slogging through the mantras and the affirmations. Plus, the "nine-step program" actually works, if you're willing to commit to it. I started out, skeptical, with a step I thought I could stick to—keeping track of my spending, and beca ...more
Andrew Frueh
Jan 27, 2013 Andrew Frueh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Reader beware: the contents of this book might just shake the foundations of your did for me. Easily the most lucid, insightful, and valuable book I've read on money. Probably because when it comes down to it, the book is not really about money. It's about what we're trading our life energy for. The book had such a spiritual component to it, that I was tempted to add it to my Buddhism bookshelf.

One thing I gained from the book was an incentive to organize our finances from a total net
Mar 07, 2015 Kc rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in my early 20s ( when I had zero money and zero idea what to do with any if I had it) and it blew my mind. 15 years later I am retreading it and find it just as compelling. Guides you (gently, gingerly) into reevaluating you preconceived notions about money, how much is enough, and whether you really want to work in a conventional job track for 30+ years (hint: if you don't, there are other options!) The basic idea is that every day you go to work you are choosing to trade your ...more
The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being. -Socrates

This book is very challenging. In the sense that it is actively challenging the reader to basically change her entire life. It's not the typical finance book that gives tips and tricks, and you can pick among them for those that are easy to work into your life (you know the drill: "cancel cable? done! what kind of wastrel pays for cable? move somewhere cheaper? let's not get too crazy, I love this neighborhood..."). This book te
This is the first PersonalMBA reading list book I have read. The information that I found most intersting and insightful was:

- You have made a lot of money in your life, look around your home, go through your stuff... what do you have to show for it?
- The act of earning money is using your life energy, therefore money = life energy. Do you like what you are doing? Could you be doing something you love and be happier if your finances were in order and you appreciated living in a state of "enough"
Debbi Mack
Mar 09, 2016 Debbi Mack rated it it was amazing
Note: This is not the most recent edition of the book. I read the 2008 edition, which I couldn't find when I searched GoodReads.

For those who are struggling to save or just get a better understanding of how to handle money, YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE may seem like more than you need to know.

The book was actually written with debt-saddled people in mind--seriously debt-saddled, that is. The nine-step program within it (developed by the late Joe Dominguez) provides what I would describe as a holistic
Jun 11, 2008 Josh rated it really liked it
Shelves: personal-finance
This book holds so much good advice, it's really a shame that it's written in such a silly fashion. The authors try to be funny and make jokes, but they're just not funny and pull you out of the text. When they start talking about gazingus pins and stuff, I was wondering if there actually was such a thing whenever this book was written, before I realized they were just being funny. Maybe in the seminars this book is based on, they were, but on the page, it's really lame. Also, they try to convin ...more
Feb 04, 2009 jen rated it really liked it
Despite the silly title and the very outdated information about investing in government bonds (which may have been corrected in later editions - I read this book several years ago), this would be my top recommendation to anyone looking for a good personal finance book.

You don't have to use everything in the book or agree with all of the authors' points to get something out of this book. One of the more useful exercises is the calculation of your net worth, which includes inventorying everything
Aug 08, 2008 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wsh-list
This book is phenomenal. It's one of those books where you *have* to do the prescribed exercises to get the maximum benefit out of it. I loved it b/c it addresses the emotional/spiritual aspect of money and work, helps you calculate your true hourly wage (which includes things like commuting time and clothing expenses), and figure out if how you spend your time is in line w/ your values. It has a spiritual focus but is also immensely practical at the same time, providing you w/ a step-by-step wa ...more
Jul 08, 2008 Inder rated it really liked it
Recommended to Inder by: Linda
Shelves: selfhelp, work
I'm going to be the first one against the wall when the "frugal living" revolution comes.

(This is your Depression-era grandparents' personal finance book. A really radical, anti-consumerist, deeply challenging book. I agree with everything in it, except that I'm also incredibly resistant to everything in it. Reading this was like an exercise in seeing how resistant Inder can become - at times, I felt so threatened, I wanted to physically put it aside. Still, it's good to know it's out there. As
Dec 24, 2007 David rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual, financial
This book really makes you re-examine what it means to have money. It will make you change the way you look at earning money and the way you look at spending money.

For those who are interested in not competing with their neighbors in the endless rat-race of social finance, this will teach you how to evaluate your spending habits and spend on those things that bring real value to you - independent of what your family, friends, or neighbors value.
Dec 13, 2014 Jon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book was okay, but I've given it a middle of the road rating because I found it excessively wordy. I'll be honest--I skimmed or skipped a good chunk in the middle. None of the concepts in the book are new or revolutionary. This is especially true if you've taken an economics or personal money management class of any sort. I would distill the contents of this book to two points: (1) track _all_ of your money (e.g. Quicken or Excel), and (2) understand your cash flow and make sure that your sp ...more
Apr 04, 2011 Maddog rated it really liked it
Like a lot of things lately, this book was a "take what you can use and leave the rest" sort of thing. I liked out of the box type of thinking regarding jobs, because, as a boring adult less willing than she once was to take risks, I sometimes have a tendency to lock myself into only traditional options. So, the view the book gives into a world where you don't hate your job is a pretty nice one, and it offers encouragement to take risks to feel more satisfied by your work and subsequently the wa ...more
Feb 18, 2009 Rosey rated it it was ok
reading dates: January 1 - March 5, 2009

So I didn't actually follow the book club thing, and in fact I haven't visited their forums yet.

This book was alright. There was some good advice about reducing expenses, redefining your definition of "needs," and the principle of generating enough interest income to cover your expenses. But the tone was so cheesy, the examples seemed incredibly out of date, and the exercises seem overly complicated for the purpose.
May 19, 2011 Jackie rated it it was amazing
This is a book that should be read by all high school students before planning the rest of their lives and then it should be read again every 5 years or so thereafter. The beauty of the book is not only its non-threatening tone and "no shame, no blame" theme, but most importantly its timeless wisdom. To follow its steps will most certainly be a lot of work, but I am excited to start the program and I look forward to the freedom that will inevitably come from figuring out how much money we really ...more
Feb 25, 2008 Alison rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, own_it
This was interesting, if a little new-agey at times. (It originally came out in the '70s, I believe, and was updated in the mid-90s.) Basically it's a nine-step plan to early retirement, based on determining your optimal comfort level in life, and what sort of income is required to sustain that. I don't currently have any plans to follow the entire program, but I did think that the sections where they talked about determining the real value of something you buy -- both in terms of how many hours ...more
Carl Klutzke
May 03, 2014 Carl Klutzke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably everyone should read this book. Retirement has nothing to do with age and everything to do with financial independence. In our culture we tend to think retirement just happens automatically, but most older people are finding it harder to retire, and some younger people (like Mr. Money Mustache) are starting to find that they can retire much earlier.

After completing the first reading, I'm starting to read through this again to go through the nine steps.
Apr 23, 2016 Ryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: environment
I am no fan of self help books, and I suppose this would fall under the category being ostensibly about personal financial planning and advise. However it seemed to be a highly regarded book by many in the voluntary simplicity and downshifter community, so I kept it in my to-read list. I must say this book deserves all the hype for being a real classic and a potentially life changing read! As I was a professional in the finance industry and am trained to provide financial advice, I did not read ...more
Jan 30, 2016 Traci rated it liked it
In these tough economic times, I thought this book would be a very enlightening (and hopefully helpful) read. "Your Money or Your Life" is supposed to be one of the Holy Grails of financial advice; pick up any other book about how to cut your bills, save money, etc, and chances are very good that you'll find this title listed in the bibliography.

I was really hoping for some wise insight here. With gas running almost $3.75/gallon, milk over $4/gallon, eggs up to over $2/eighteen, etc, I could rea
Lisa Lewis
Dec 13, 2015 Lisa Lewis rated it it was amazing
When I first read this book (a previous edition) more than ten years ago, it truly was life-changing. While I did not ever completely follow the program outlined in it, the perspective change that it gave me was huge and lasting. Recently I decided that it was worth reading again, in part because I wondered what updates the current edition would have, particularly related to investing. I realized that this is the kind of book I should re-read every few years.
I wish every adult would read this bo
Jun 25, 2015 Jocelynn rated it it was amazing
A great book that really puts money, and our relationship to it, within it, around it, in perspective. Helps to pull out these unconscious ideas and beliefs we all hold around it, and really have us think, on a personal level how we are affected.

I do feel a bit conflicted in the fact that there's talk of matching your values to the money you spend, but then the investment piece only briefly touches on that's not the authors fault's a reality of our time....where it's rather dif
Jan 18, 2015 Geof rated it liked it
This book's most popular Amazon review is surprisingly negative: 3/5 stars. I agree more with the 5-star Goodreads evangelists. That said, I have a few qualms with the book. It's dated and frequently redundant. Like most personal finance books, it's full of suspicious stories. The Epilogue summarizes in 9 pages what has been beaten to death in the previous 327!

At one point, the author talks about being financially secure whether the Dow is under 1000 or above 4000. When the book was copyrighted
Feb 06, 2014 Cyndie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Cyndie by: Josh Kaufman
Different than any other financial planning book you've read. Teaches a more holistic way to think about how you feel about life changes the context of your money. Talks about changing the way you think about money and the value you get out of the hours of your life to make your life and bank account feel more full. While partly ideological - has very practical tips you can put to use today to make a difference in your finances. One of the books I wish I could make everyone read.
Mar 04, 2016 Amy rated it it was amazing
If you only ever read one personal finance book, READ THIS ONE.
Not only does it offer helpful tips like many other financial books, it changes the way you look at money, work, and your priorities. I cannot recommend this book highly enough to anyone looking for a personal finance book!
Jul 29, 2014 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finance
Fantastic book - want to read it again.

Biggest useful takeaway - money is your life energy.
Dec 12, 2015 Ido rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
כדי להתחיל לחיות - מספיק לדעת כמה זה מספיק :-)

צפו בסיקור בערוץ שלי! :-)
^Click to Watch my review (CC included!)^

הספר הכסף שלך או החיים שלך מדבר על אחד הנושאים הכי רגישים בחיים שלנו: הכסף
שלנו - ומבטיח 9 צעדים בדרך לעצמאות כלכלית שהיא:
לא לעבוד למחייתך דרך ניהול פיננסי חכם והבנת הפסיכולוגיה שמאחורי הניהול
הכלכלי. הוא מדבר על ניצני מרוץ ההנאה ומסביר למה הוא האויב הכי גדול בדרך אל החופש
על מניעים פסיכולוגים שלא משחררים אותנו מהעבודה, הרצון לעבוד מעבר למה שאנחנו
באמת צריכים ואיך לקחת את המושכות לשנות
Apr 11, 2010 Jim rated it really liked it
Hey, I finished a book! I've been reading this one for quite a while. I picked it up because I'd read great things about it on the blog The Simple Dollar. In keeping with the spirit of the book, I bought a used copy. While I've been reading the book, a newer edition has been released, which is probably a good thing because my only real concern about the book is that the edition I read is about 20 years old, so some of its advice was dated. The message of the book is inspiring. It really gets you ...more
May 17, 2009 Jon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finances
I really enjoyed this book. Of all the personal finance books I've read I would say this is the best one I have read. I won't go into details about what is is about since others already have.

For someone who is already frugal like me (even my frugal friends call my wife and I really frugal!) this book made me think more about how I spend. It has encouraged me to get rid of a lot of the clutter. It's made me realize I don't need $3 million in todays money to retire, which is really nice, I was won
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Your Money or Your Life 1 2 May 13, 2016 05:30AM  
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Vicki Robin has lectured widely and appeared on hundreds of radio and television shows, including "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Good Morning America" and National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition" and "Morning Edition." She has also been featured in People Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Woman's Day, Newsweek, Utne Magazine and the New York Times. Vicki has helped launch many sustainability initiat ...more
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“If you live for having it all, what you have is never enough.” 48 likes
“Americans used to be 'citizens.' Now we are 'consumers.” 26 likes
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