Blue field like crop rows and burgundy border, saying "Don't Just Survive - Thrive

Your Money Or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin

Thesis: Learn to manage your money because it has a huge impact on your quality of life.

Stuff to Remember: 

  • Make peace with the past
    • Determine how much you have made in your life.
      • Check with social security
      • Copies of tax returns
      • Paycheck stubs; employers’ records
      • Why? Give a clear picture of how powerful you are in bringing money into your life. Eliminates vagueness or self-delusion. Instills confidence.
    • What have you got to show for it? Find out your net worth.
      • List and give a current market value to everything you own.
      • List everything you owe.
      • Deduct liabilities from assets.
        • Why: you don’t know what enough is unless you know what you have.
  • Track your life energy
    • How much are you trading your life energy for? 
      • Deduct from your gross weekly income the costs of commuting and job costuming; the extra cost of at-work meals; amounts spent for decompressing, recreating, escaping and vacating from work stress; job-related illness; and all other expenses associated with maintaining you on the job. 
      • Add to your work week the hours spent in preparing yourself for wor, commuting, decompressing, recreating, escaping, vacating, shopping to make you feel better since your job feels lousy. 
      • Divide the new, reduced weekly dollar figure by the new increased wage – this is your real takehome.
      • Why: This should motivate you one way or the other – is it worth it?
    •  Keep track of every cent that comes into or goes out of your life.
      • Devise a record-keeping system that works.
        • Why: You are in the business of trading the most precious resource in existence – your life energy. This shows what you’re trading it for.
  • Where Is It All Going? 
    • Every month create a table of income and expenditures in categories.
    • Balance your monthly income and outgo totals
    • Convert dollars spent to hours of life energy in each category. 
      • How – just do basic math
      • Why:  this is a foundation to work on money tracking
  • Ask three questions
    • Did I receive fulfillment, satisfaction, and value in proportion to life energy spent?
    • Is this expenditure of life energy in alignment with my values and life purposes?
    • How might the expenditure change if I didn’t have to work for a living?
  •  Make Life Energy Visible
    • Plot your income and expenses on a wall chart and look at it every day
  • Value your life energy – minimize spending
  • Maximize income
  • Determine “enough”
    • Capital income x current long term interest rate/12 months =monthly investment income