Synopsis & Review: Your Money or Your Life

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Originally posted on Money with Merne’s Facebook Page March 23-24 and May 8, 2017:

The review:

While I didn’t quite get what I hoped out of the book (ie the secret to retiring in my 30’s while still living the life I live.  Maybe my expectations were a little too high ha), I still think it was a great read and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who wants a holistic life approach to finance. As many other financial bloggers have recommended it, I would venture to say if you read ONE finance book, this should be the one.  It made me start thinking about how much fulfillment my expenditures give me. If it doesn’t fulfill me and it’s not necessary, then why do it? I learned that the things that fulfill me often don’t cost any money (time with friends and family). Like many other books and articles, it emphasizes spending less and saving & investing more so you can achieve financial independence and potentially retire early!  Below are some interesting points from the book, but this book is definitely better read in its entirety.   

The Last Taboo:

I got a lot of good nuggets while reading “Your Money or Your Life” but I was struck by this statement:  “Psychologists call money ‘the last taboo.’ It is easier to tell our therapists about our sex life than it is to tell our accountant about our finances.”

Do you have trouble talking about money? Do you struggle to know how you’re doing relative to others? Are you starved for financial advice because it’s not something folks talk about by the water cooler or over dinner?  I believe the statement is absolutely true and I hate it! I wish we could all be more open about our money and therefore be able to help each other!  That’s one of my goals with this blog and my financial lunch and learns at work.  We make talking about money just another regular topic of conversation.  

Money can’t buy happiness.

I hope many of you know this, but like me, you are probably happy to have the reminder.  The book provided some data behind this:

  • A sample of 1,000 people in the US and Canada rated themselves on a happiness scale of 1 (miserable) to 5 (joyous) with 3 being “can’t complain” and the researchers correlated this data with their incomes.
  • The average happiness score was consistently between 2.6 and 2.8 NO MATTER THE PERSON’S INCOME.
  • When asked, “how much money would it take to make you happy?” the answer was always “more than I have now” by 50-100%. But clearly if people with incomes of $6000 a month are as unhappy as people making $1500 a month, that can’t be true!

So does this data surprise you? Or just confirm what you already know to be true?


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