Book: 'Your Money or Your Life'
Lately, I have been reading 'Your Money or Your Life.' I believe that brownysmom recommended this one. Please correct me if I am wrong.
I skimmed the book ... and came across the pages of the chapter that lists "101 ways to save money." I am already doing a lot of these. Not a lot new there. I was all set to take the book back to the library, but then I came across Chapter 3, which spoke to me.
It basically said, "You've tried to make a budget and stick to it. Then you gave up, because your budget didn't take into account the way you really live." That is what I experienced. I gave up early, instead of going through all kinds of ridiculous efforts to spend only what I had designated for each category.
Later in the chapter, it said something like, "Your monthly budget gets blown by a large, one-time expense. It might be expected, such as an insurance payment, or an emergency, such as a vet bill." Yes! How many times has that happened? It made me decide that a budget was a waste of time. How could I possibly spend my money exactly the way I planned in advance, before my life actually happened?
The chapter goes on to explain that one cannot expect a budget to work; one can only track expenses, then (by a formula explained in another chapter) decide if our time spent earning the money is equal to the benefit we get from spending the money that way.
The author gives an example: Magazines. We have discussed magazines on this very forum. You buy them, or they arrive in the mail. How much time at work did that cost you? (And that is your adjusted rate of compensation, not just based on salary.) You have to make time to read them. How much of your time does that take? Then, when you are done with them, assuming you actually read them, if they don't end up lining your closet, you must give them away, or recycle them. How much of your time does that take?
No blame. Just be objective. Just calculate the time involved with handling magazines.
Then, how much pleasure do you derive from your time with the magazines? If it is enough enjoyment that you say it is worthwhile, then go ahead and keep getting magazines. You have a nice hobby.
But if you realize that it just isn't worth it to you, this exercise will help you make the decision to stop wasting your time with magazines, and use your time elsewhere, for more pleasurable activities.
This is a great book! Thank you for recommending it!
MaryLiz in Michigan