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Your Money or Your Life
by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin, Paperback, 364 pages, Penguin Book, ISBN: 0140286780 version

Bon Journal

Your Money or Your Life

One of the two books my friend Lemondrops lent me in September was the classic "Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence" by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. I abandoned "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" midway in favour of this much-needed book.

For someone who has worked at a bank, taken courses in finance, and started saving and earning an income as a kid, I did not think I needed to learn about personal financial management. However, this book, as I soon discovered, is not about pensions, life insurance, cashflow management, or the typical topics that such books cover.

Anybody with a "money racket" should read this book. A racket is a persistent complaint. In some cultures, it's taboo to talk about money. But the complaints are still there.

You might complain about not having enough money. In fact, most people, however rich they might be, will have this complaint. You might complain about poor investments, lumpy cashflows, not having the money when you need it, or having too much money and not knowing how to invest it properly. You might also complain about being a slave to a 9 to 5 job or a two-income household.

If you worry about whether you would ever see the day when you could retire early and finally enjoy life, please read this book NOW.

This book was written by two Americans largely for the American public. When I go to the US, I am reminded of the land of plenty --- the culture of shop till you drop, purge and splurge, don't buy one but buy a dozen, and simultaneously also one of waste and not enough consideration for re-use, reduce, recycle, restore, and repair.

The book introduces a new movement that's been gaining ground through the New Road Map Foundation. Frugality. Budgeting. Living within your means. Charity. Volunteering. Philanthropy. Life energy. Ultimately it redefines what is meant by financial independence.

Verdict: a must-read for anyone with a money racket, especially if you suspect that money might not be everything.

18 November 2003 Tuesday

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The New Road Map Foundation
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Anne Ku

writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.