Your Money or Your Life Book Review

One of my blog goals for 2017 was to write 12 book reviews. So, with a delayed start, here’s my first completed book review of 2017. I’m excited to be sharing some of the key takeaways I had from Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez.

Before I dive in, I want to emphasize this won’t be a recap of the book itself.

The point of these book reviews is to share with you the lessons I learned and show how I’ve applied these lessons in my life.

The emphasis is on the application of the material rather than the material itself.

I wouldn’t want to bore you with a recap of a book you could pick up and read yourself.

So, let’s get right to it:

Your Money or Your Life Book Review

This book opened up my eyes beyond the simple phrase of, “Time is money.”

My first big takeaway was understanding we exchange time (not money) for goods and services. But, how much of our time depends on how much is left AFTER our expenses.

Depending on how much of our income goes to rent, transportation, insurance or taxes, our real per hour wage turns out to be much less than we first expected.

Personally, I reviewed what my actual $ per hour calculation was. This understanding led us to curb more of our useless spending. We have a clear view on just how much we’re giving up in exchange and so our purchases are now only for items that we truly want and need.

Which brings me to my 2nd big takeaway: We don’t need to work our entire lives.

Instead of consuming excess goods and services, we can instead focus on investing the surplus earlier. The benefit here is we let compound interest do the heavy lifting as we set ourselves to reap the benefits of financial security.

My previous view was that of a 40-year-career as a prerequisite. We needed that much time to accumulate the resources necessary to live out another 20-30 years in retirement.

Compare this with our current lifestyle: We enjoy investing a large portion of our income towards our goal of reaching financial independence at an early age.

Another great point I took away was understanding how much time we devote to work.

Technically, I work about 8-6 each day. If I factor in the time it takes me to get ready for work and the time it takes me to decompress, then my work day might look closer to 7-7. Those ten extra hours a week also see a little more activity when I tackle in work-related tasks at home. (e.g. ironing my shirts, networking events, industry related reading, and etc.)

We spend much more time “working” than the standard “9-5,” so the need to be efficient with our resources should be an even higher priority.

The same principles  apply to our income as we spend more money AT our jobs than we might realize. For me, that means a nice pair of leather shoes and a wardrobe of corporate dress shirts.

Luckily, I don’t need to wear a tie! 🙂

Many of the personal finance books I’ve read over the years dive into many aspects of frugality and investing. The often overlooked piece relates to maximizing value and our income.

Needless to say, the book made me much more efficient in how I spend my time and money. The newfound surplus means we live happier, richer lifestyles.

I definitely recommend the book, especially for someone who isn’t particularly passionate about “retirement,” in the traditional sense.

What were the big takeaways you had from this book and what did you do differently with that information? Any other personal finance books you want highlighted in the next book reviews?


7 comments… add one
  • Debbi Feb 17, 2017, 6:24 am

    I read this book shortly after the first edition came out many years ago and it really helped shape my view of both money and job choices. In my case, I became more careful with spending but also chose to work at jobs that I cared about, rather than only ones that maximized my income but cost too many life hours on soul numbing work (and yes, I realize that the fact I had a choice shows just how privileged I am and that many readers do not get to choose their careers). I own a much later edition of the book now and, in my case, this book changed my life in positive ways over the years. Go ahead and check it out of the library to see if you agree but I suspect this is one you may find yourself purchasing because you turn to it for re-energizing over the years.

  • Mrs. Picky Pincher Feb 17, 2017, 7:55 am

    I recently checked out this book from the library and it was pretty good! I guess there’s a reason it’s a classic. 🙂

    The most eye-opening/depressing part for me was realizing so much of our lives are consumed by work. We even pay for the right to work–by owning and operating cars, buying foods on the way to work, buying work clothes, using personal phones for work, etc. Much more of our livelihoods go into work than we realize, and that’s what makes our modern work model unsustainable–leading to an increasingly unhappy workforce.

  • Jay Feb 17, 2017, 8:41 am

    Great book review! I haven’t read this one yet but will add it to the list. I think the awareness of how we’re spending our time is critically important and often overlooked. It’s great to see how well you’re living this lesson!

  • Making Your Money Matter Feb 17, 2017, 10:18 am

    My opinion: this is the GREATEST personal finance book ever. Period. You can follow Dave Ramsey’s teachings until you turn blue in the face (I’m not his biggest fan, but hey…) but unless you take a bigger perspective of what money really means and how it relates to time and life energy, your not going to get as far. This book really changed the way I think about earning and spending money. Money’s just a tool, it can be used to buy you everything you ever thought you wanted or it can be used to provide freedom.

  • Ryan @ Just Another Dollar Feb 18, 2017, 1:25 pm

    I love the approach of writing about your take-away rather than summarizing the book. I’ve also incorporated some of these in my life and gained a lot. By seeing the ways I spend my time as having an opportunity cost (I.E. not doing something else) I’ve learned to live much more intentionally and efficiently.

    What’s next on the read list? Maybe eventually somebody could organize a #bloggerbookclub where we can network and share ideas.

  • Benjamin Davis Feb 20, 2017, 12:08 pm

    I’ve read this book a long time ago. Its on my re-read list:

    I liked how you reviewed the book (providing a clear take away).

    What is the next book?

  • Rob @ Money Nomad Feb 23, 2017, 9:02 pm

    I’ve seen this book around and have debated picking it up. Now I’m definitely thinking I’ll give it a read-thru. Anything that suggests we should work smart and efficiently resonates with me. I love your goal to reach FI by 35, and I’d say that’s around what my own goal is, although I should probably sit down and really hash out the details. Keep up the great blogging! Looking forward to reading more.

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