An updated classic is reviewed by the next generation of readers
Your Money or Your Life is an immensely practical book. But its usefulness, and its continued popularity since its original 1992 release, surely exist largely because this practicality is rooted in a deep and discerning analysis of our society's current economic and cultural systems, and in careful observation of human behavior and character. Authors Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez, and Monique Tilford wisely see personal growth not as a matter only of individual will, but as a matter of reconceptualizing the frameworks that shape how we perceive the world, both individually and collectively. Change thus comes from new understandings of the world we live in, and of how that world shapes us; new realizations about our own needs and wants, and new visions of how to fulfill those in transformative ways; and ultimately, in connecting our new understanding to habits and practices that can instill in us financial intelligence and help us to become financially independent.
One of the best examples of this is the way in which Robin and her coauthors help readers to reconceptualize the idea of 'work' and the notion that a job – especially the high-powered jobs that fit common, modern notions of success – is the best available method to provide for ourselves. They offer revealing exercises that help us to understand how much of our personal resources – both financial, emotional, physical, and others – go into maintaining our job, rather than into ourselves, our families, and the many other things which we value, and to see new ways in which we might meet our basic needs. These exercises and tools help readers to draw useful comparisons between financial and non-financial resources, empowering us to see new possibilities for action, and new solutions to old problems.
If you are a skeptic of self-help books (and the book's subtitle, “9 steps to transforming your relationship with money and achieving financial independence,” surely marks it as such), Your Money or Your Life is worth setting aside your preconceptions to experience what it has to offer. With humor and optimism, the authors have crafted a unique toolkit for helping all of us draw the connections between our personal lives and the larger financial crises happening around us, and for taking meaningful action in response. Now “updated for the 21st century,” it is an important book for the times in which we live.