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Your Money or Your Life

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  23,489 ratings  ·  1,922 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. ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published September 1st 1999 by Penguin Books (first published September 1st 1992)
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Catherine They just came out with a new edition in Feb 2018, so yes, it's relevant now!…moreThey just came out with a new edition in Feb 2018, so yes, it's relevant now!(less)

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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  23,489 ratings  ·  1,922 reviews

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Emily R.
Jul 16, 2007 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 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 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
Jan 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: money
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
Aug 25, 2012 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
Feb 19, 2019 rated it did not like it
What a bunch of life energy wasted reading this.
Sep 20, 2012 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
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My book had 300 pages. I took a month to read this bc I wanted to absorb the book and think about the lessons. It keeps stating NO BLAME, NO SHAME which I really appreciate. I used to be a "I want this, I'll buy it" kind of person. I grew up with immigrant parents working so hard to get all 4 of their children ahead by hard work on their part. Money seemed to be more important than bonding. Not a boohoo story just the truth. I appreciate my parents' hard work and love them but I also grew up wit ...more
Joe Pickert
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Honestly, I'm surprised that this book is included in so many reading lists throughout the financial independence community. First, a caveat: the book was published in the early 90's, so some of its advice and information is dated by default. Even so, I have a hard time giving the authors a pass on some of the recommendations they made in this book. The most glaring example is their one-ingredient recipe for attaining financial independence: US Treasury Bonds. Yep, according to Robin and Domingu ...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
Nov 05, 2010 rated it it was ok
The material was frusteratingly repetitive. While the points are valid, they were unfocused, and I had trouble overlooking the jumbled-up writing style.
Aug 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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"
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
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I decided not to buy anything in 2018 and it was great (though I fell off the wagon in November because I went to NYC and I was really cold so I had to buy a jacket and shoes....and a necklace). Anyway, I didn't do it to save money, but because I had too many things. I read this book on a friend's recommendation--not because I need to save money, but because I wanted to learn something. My point is that even if your goal isn't to save more money, this book is really useful. It's useful because i ...more
Apr 20, 2008 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
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended!!!

At first, I was about DNF this book because I felt like it was not meant for me. I'm not American and I don't live the American way, so I thought that this book is not the right pick for me.

Well, it turned out that this book speaks to all of us. Why? Because there's no one on this earth who doesn't use money, even though the relationship is different from one another.

I truly feel lucky to stumble upon it because it made me rethink my decisions, habits and how I view my relat
Dec 01, 2008 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.
Sep 19, 2019 rated it liked it
I do not know much about the life of the author. But I imagine that Dave Ramsey had a lost twin sister who was abducted from her evangelical family and raised on a commune near San Francisco and fed a steady diet of locally sourced vegan organic food and the Grateful Dead albums. Her philosophy is to live simply without debts and save for the future. The book is full of inspirational stories along these lines :" Juanita was stuck in a toxic wall street legal firm and in a loveless marriage. She ...more
João Cortez
Jun 28, 2020 rated it did not like it
Very basic and outdated book. First half of the book can be summed up in keeping track of your net worth as well as creating a chart for your income and expenses. It very briefly touches inflation, doesn't mention the effect of compounding and it recommends investment primarily in treasury bonds - all while constantly promoting the book and the company workshops. Avoid this book. ...more
3 stars for the audiobook, but I'm holding my review until I can get a physical copy because people have told me they're much different experiences and the content is more in the physical copy. ...more
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book with a lot of simple but useful ideas. I intend to read it again, and again, .... and again.
May 02, 2022 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: personal finance beginners
Shelves: finance
As a long-time lover of personal finance and money books, I had heard about Vicki Robins's Your Money or Your Life for years. It's a seminal text in the personal finance field and has even been highly recommended by many, including people whose opinion I value highly like Ali Abdaal, who claimed it "changed my relationship with money."

Did it live up to the hype?

The main points of the book are:
- Your money isn't just an inanimate thing, it's a reflection of your life energy (hours worked), and
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: life, society
This is a powerful book. Others probably think the same as I had to wait a year for my hold to come through at the library! It was absolutely worth the wait.

This is not just a book about personal finances. It's a book about life and how to structure yours to match your values. Not in the "follow your passion" kind of unhelpful advice, but at a much deeper level. It addresses consumerism, which destroys not just our finances but also the planet and its limited resources. It aims to help you disco
Aug 08, 2008 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
Gabrielė Bužinskaitė
“We no longer live life. We consume it.”

The first half of the book is informative, thought-provoking and practical. It challenges your belief system about work, life, the cost of time, etc. However, the second part of the book was unnecessary, extended repetition of the first.

“What is “rich”? Rich exists only in comparison to something or someone else. Rich is way more than most other people have. But we know the fallacy of the myth of more. More is like a mirage. We can never reach it because
Dec 24, 2007 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.
Jacquelyn Dunn
Feb 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m not usually one for books about personal finance, but I loved this book. The way it talks about money is rooted in a type of ethical and humanistic morality that I can get behind. Tbh, I didn’t read the last section on investments, but I look forward to trying to apply some of the concepts in this book going forward.
Jennifer Cole
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great content, but the moralistic or motivational speaker tone is grating. Still, don’t pass up this book. This puts into perspective quality of life over material possessions with some functional tools for financial control.
Mrs C
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sobering. I’m interested in the psychology of money and the writing feels old-fashioned at times, but the message is clear. Money is not the end and it shouldn’t control how one lives one’s life.
Antonio Stark
Jun 16, 2022 rated it really liked it
This book is an age-old classic on financial independence, and has been a bestseller since its first publication in 1992. It was recently remastered in 2018 to accommodate for new technologies, gig economies, and various financial vehicles that one can utilize. This is ONE book that I will consider re-reading, as it gives a dynamic and well-positioned plan of how to structure and rethink one's life to achieve financial flexibility and long-term stability. It's especially worthwhile to read this ...more
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#debtfreecommunity: December: Your Money or Your Life 1 26 Jan 03, 2020 03:45PM  
Your Money or Your Life 7 27 May 14, 2019 01:16AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Page Count Request ISBN 0140167153 2 14 Jan 31, 2016 02:52PM  
YNAB Book Club: Your Money or Your Life 2 60 Sep 15, 2014 03:04PM  

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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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