So I have been wanting to read this book for a long time...LONG TIME--
Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence: Revised and Updated for the 21st Century
So I bought the audio version of it and listed to it on my way to a friend's house. And by the time I got there, the book had absolutely shut me down in regards to money and completely made me self-conscious of every purchase I was making.
Now, I know that's the point, the point is based on the idea that Money = Freedom, which I completely agree. But it says things like, "Once you've bought your sewing machine, that's the last sewing machine you have to buy in your lifetime and you can cross it off your list."
Statements like these make me panic-- dear gawd, if this is my last sewing machine in my life, I better make sure I buy the right one...which shuts me down and I do nothing. "The right one" - it's a killer in money and art.
Nothing will ever be "the right one" including spouses, sewing machines and poems-- but things can be "good enough."
Your Money or Your Life has you actually figuring out what your ACTUAL hourly wage is, for example, if you make $25 an hour, but to commute to work you spend $5 on gas, $10 on a ferry ride, $500 a month on daycare, etc.... You don't make $25 an hr.
Once all the expenses needed are taken into account for you to be at work, then your dollar-per-hour may only be $15 an hour, or $8. This formula helps make it easier to figure out if you *really* want to buy something-- now that $8 sandwich costs you an hour of your time, do you really want to get it now, or do you want to wait 30 minutes until you're home and eat the food you know you have in your refrigerator?
Don't get me wrong, this is an awesome book. It completely can change the your views on money and how much you *really* need and to put your TIME as your top priority. As a writer, I love this. As a Capricorn, this book was almost a little too much. I had listened to her talk for my 3 hour drive and when I went into a consignment shop to buy a new summer coat I needed (well, she may argue "needed" but I had just given my old coat to Goodwill, so I believed I needed one!) I found one for $20 and it was truly hard for me to buy it. I felt as if I had already failed.
Time has passed since I read the book and money moves more freely from my pocket again (both good and bad), but sometimes I need to feel as if I've found a middle ground-- How to Be a Poet and Live with Freedom Without Being a Stingy Jerk, will be the book that I need to read--or write.
Still, if you really need an overhaul for your money situation, while I still put The Circle of Simplicity: Return to the Good Life (as it type this I see it's $3.98 right now at Amazon!) as my top choice for changing your life to YOUR priorities and helping you be less materialistic and swayed by consumerism, but this would be #2. As hard as it was for me to feel normal after reading it, I learned a lot and I'm glad it freaked it me out a bit. It's a good reminder of what my goals in life are.
Oh and I heard this from Chris Rock of all people, "Being wealthy is not about having a lot of money, it's about having a lot of options." Oh, that is so true!