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

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  4,971 ratings  ·  459 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 Joe Dominguez
Best Books About Money
5th out of 109 books — 209 voters
The Devil in the White City by Erik LarsonFreakonomics by Steven D. LevittIn Cold Blood by Truman CapoteA Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill BrysonGuns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
Best Non-Fiction (non biography)
240th out of 3,144 books — 5,144 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 5 of 5 stars
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 18, 2007 Claire rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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
Andrew Frueh
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
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"
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
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
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 4 of 5 stars
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
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.
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
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
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
Debbi Mack
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
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
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 5 of 5 stars
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.
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
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
I really appreciated this book because it espouses a view I've had for quite some time but have seldom heard from others: that the amount of money you make from your job is actually the net after subtracting the taxes, transportation, clothing, and the dozens (possibly hundreds) of other expenses you wouldn't have if you weren't doing that job.

The other idea that immediately felt 'right' to me was that of determining the cost of items not in dollars and cents, but in the number of hours of your
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.
Andrew Mutch
"Your Money or Your Life" is really unlike any other personal finance book I've read. It's less about managing money than it is about managing the role that money plays in our lives. It really forces you to think about how big a role money plays in the decisions we make every day and whether those decisions are in our best interest or simply part of a quest to have more. The goal of the "YMOYL" program is to move you to a point of Financial Independence where your every day decisions about going ...more
This book could really change your life-- as long as you have the ability to be extremely organized and detail oriented. (Which, sadly, most of the time I don't). Like its spiritual cousins, "What Color is Your Parachute" and "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People", "Your Money or Your Life" is full of great advice that is almost impossible to execute. "You don't have to understand it," say the authors, "Just do it." I guess you can consider me Ye of Little Faith. Sorry, but I like to unde ...more
In short: A worthwhile read.

The longer version:

Frankly, I found some of the "transformative" concepts to be common sense. Having forgone more lucrative career paths -- much to my parents' delight -- to work on issues that I care about, I have already faced decisions about the lifestyle and social circles that I am comfortable with.

However, it is never a bad idea to get new ideas on how to ensure your approach to money, work, consumption, etc. are in line with your values. And there are some go
Jan 22, 2009 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone in whom money causes anxiety
This feels like true confession time....I have had a long history of a dysfunctional relationship with money! But this book "changed my life" when I read it (can't recall just what year, but over 15 I'm sure). In all situations, my first question about something was "How much did it cost?" Now I'm at least aware that money isn't the all-important thing I thought it was. (I was raised by a struggling farm couple, in the aftermath of the Great Depression, so money was scarce, and we did without wh ...more
Robin Marie
Part of my holistic self-examination that I have taken on recently has to do with finding ways to reduce stress, and figuring out what my life is all about and establishing a greater sense of self-worth. I know. Heavy stuff. Believe it or not, with this one little book I made SERIOUS headway on these questions.

This book isn't just about money, it's about how you value yourself and your time. It's about what you REALLY think is important in the world and how closely you live by those beliefs. It'
I'm currently on a kick of reading books about money and frugality, and I would recommend this one with one caveat: I suspect their advice to invest your money in U.S. Treasury Bonds, while still excellent, will not give you the sort of interest-generated income to enable you to be financially independent. Not in these current economic times, anyway. Other than that, there is a lot of good, Big Picture thinking in here, especially the common-sense observation that money is what you trade your li ...more
Jennifer Campaniolo
I agree with some of this book's message (pay attention to where your money is going, consider how much of your hard-earned money is going towards some silly things you don't need.) I already track my expenses in a little notebook--that's what most of the financial gurus say to do. But there's such an anti-job sentiment here. What if you want to work, what if you LIKE your job? And some of the other exercises would have taken forever to accomplish--how much have I earned and spent thusfar in my ...more
Ben Grieger
This was a life changing book for me. Some of the specific strategies in it are a bit dated now, but the core principles are as sound as ever. I think it should be required reading in secondary education.
Feb 09, 2011 Melissa rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Melissa by: Trent Hamm
This one just didn't resonate with me. I think this is a book that you need to be receptive to in order to really get a lot from it, and I am just not there (although I want to be).

The other problem with this book? The edition I have (I assume there are more updated ones) is from 1992, and the references and statistics are too dated - it was annoying. If I decide to read this again, I would definitely look for something more up-to-date.

The principles are certainly sound, and it is a lot of comm
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YNAB Book Club: Your Money or Your Life 2 45 Sep 15, 2014 03:04PM  
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“If you live for having it all, what you have is never enough.” 41 likes
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