Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence: Revised and Updated for the 21st Century

Category: Personal Finance
Author: Vicki Robin
All Reddit 87
This Month Reddit 3


by jazybp   2021-12-10

Taking on the advice that everyone else here has shared like consolidating credit cards into a 0% one for 12 - 18 months and trying to negotiate a payment plan for your hospital bills is a good idea.

As others have mentioned, you need to have a budget and be able to stick to it. Have you taken the time to go through your last 3 months of bank statements and work out where your money is going? That's the only way to identify areas that you can cut back. I'd categories them as:

  1. Must have: Without these, you really would be in a bad place... (e.g. rent, critical bills, groceries and basic clothes)
  2. Should have: Without these, you lose some key comforts but you can get them elsewhere for free but more effort (e.g. broadband [you could go to a public library], running a car)
  3. Nice to have: Without these, you'll sacrifice a nicer lifestyle (e.g. going out for lunch, nice clothes, new gadgets, gym membership, Spotify subscription)

Then look really hard at each item in those categories, even the must-have (e.g. are you living in a bigger apartment than you need? Do you shop at a fancy grocery store as opposed to a more affordable one?) to see where you can make cutbacks. The only way to get out of debt is to spend less than you earn, use what remains to clear it.

There are plenty of tools out there to help you, like Every Dollar and YNAB. Also worth checking out podcasts by the likes of The Minimalists and reading Your Money or Your Life, which offer very practical advice.

In terms of tackling the debt, you have 2 options:

  • The mathematically smart way: Start paying off as much as you can on the debt with the highest amount of interest
  • The rewarding way: Pay off the smallest debt you have (e.g. your $1,000 credit card), then work on the next smallest, adding on your previous payments so they snowball into bigger ones. This is more rewarding, as you see debt disappear and you feel a sense of progress.

All the best with your situation. You can do it, your debt is definitely not insurmountable, you just need to be disciplined and make some sacrifices to clear it.

by rolyhammond   2021-12-10

So I’ve just started out also, and in not too much of a dissimilar scenario.

I heard a podcast, read a blog and I was hooked! So like you it started to spiral even further but the 1st real stop for me was this book.

Your Money or Your Life , 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence - Vicki Robbin

There are plenty more out there but this basically gave me a good starting point, leading down a path of more and more resources.

Good Luck.

by ohwowohkay   2021-12-10 fairly certainly that's the one OP was talking about

by Yozki   2019-11-17

by Nodoxxintoxin   2019-11-17

It was written many decades ago, and the actual investment advice was very much tied to the times, but the philosophy is still valid, it is entitled “Your money or your Life” .

MMM (Mr Money Mustache) blog and forum are somewhat international, but English speaking based. The blog is a great resource for understanding the math behind savings rates and time to retirement

This guy is a little too out there for me, but Jacob Lund Fisker. Aka “early retirement extreme” or ERE, is a Scandinavian guy who lives by extreme frugality He has his own website and forum too

by racl   2019-11-17

I’m really glad that you’re being honest with yourself, introspective and detailed with your relationship with money. There are a lot of fantastic recommendations already so I won’t belabor the point.

However I’d like to recommend two books that may be of great use for you:

  1. Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robbins ( The other posts in this thread have great tactics and suggestions that I wholeheartedly agree with.

In addition to implementing those tactics, I would encourage you to read this book which does a wonderful job of also adding more logic, data, perspective, “oomf” and meat to the feelings of “this has to stop” you currently have. It’ll be a book that helps your attitude stay changed if you are tempted to relapse.

  1. I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi. The title is rather flamboyant and lame. The content is not. Ramit is a Stanford grad son of Indian immigrants who takes a no-nonsense and often hilarious attitude to writing about getting your shit together when it comes to personal finance. It has a fantastic list of tactics, strategies AND philosophical frameworks to think about money contained in it. Really worth the read. Get the 2nd edition (recently released) since it has about ~80 new pages of content that covers some of the newer fads (e.g., roboinvestors like Wealthfront and the like).
by strolls   2017-08-19

You might want to read *Your Money or Your Life * - I saw it recommended somewhere here recently, although I haven't started reading my copy yet.

Try not to sweat it - this trust just means that your fiancé has enough money to pursue his art, and to for you to pursue your academic interests.

Assuming you're happy with the way you've been living your lives together, then you can keep doing that, and you have loads of security.

You don't need to worry too much about maximising the earnings from this money. Assuming the £25k loan from your dad is to last you the 3 or 4 year length of your PhD then, even invested quite conservatively, this inheritance will return a bit more than you're used to.

For me, the biggest risk of such a large sum would be of me doing something "clever" and stupid. Buffet is a sophisticated investor, and he has stated that he will instead favour index trackers for his wife. You should probably read up on what those are - one of Bogle's books (Common Sense on Mutual Funds, perhaps?) might be a good start.

by dasbif   2017-08-19

It sounds like you are doing everything right. Just don't fall victim to lifestyle creep, keep your savings rate high.

Reading list: (most of them recommend other books within their pages, which are all worth your while to check out also)

If You Can [PDF] author's website:

Millionaire Next Door [amazon link]

Your Money or Your Life [amazon link]

Bogleheads' Guide to Investing [amazon link]

by USCEngineer   2017-08-19

Do yourself a favor and read your money or your life