Our Money or Our Lives

Imagine not being worried about money, and if you are married, surviving on one income, instead of two.  Think about,  neither husband or wife having to work after  hitting their forty’s. Visualize not worrying about bills anymore, having a sizable emergency fund and not living paycheck to paycheck. Think about the deep feelings of peace and comfort we would experience in good and turbulent times.

Joe and Vicki Robbins wrote a book in the 1990’s called, Your Money or Your Life. The premise of the book is to examine your relationship with money and answer the question of what’s more important: your money or your life?  We give up our days working to provide for ourselves, in exchange for our time and energy. Some people are very wise and prudent about how they spend the currency of their lives. They buy used cars instead of paying the average cost of a car, $523.00 a month. They figure out how to get through school with little or no debt, and  they realize how they spend their money now affects their future options.

Recently I watched, on youtube, a young mother of 5 children, named Jillian,   talk about how she and her husband  retired early. Yes, she looks 35-40, and this 6 minute video talks about even though she and her husband didn’t make high incomes, they saved $250,000.00 the first ten years of their marriage.   She said they found the ugliest house that had been flooded, so they took $ 20,000.00 off the purchase price and they got it for $50,000.00 which they paid for in cash. Next they bought a rental for cash. Now their income stream was his army pension, of $1450.00 a month, their rental income of $1200.00 a month, and $900.00 dividends from stocks and bonds which is what they did with the rest of their savings. With no mortgage or car payment, their monthly bills total $700.00 a month, utilites, home insurance, cell phone, groceries. She says they have $600.00 left a month for whatever they want. Because she has a non-consumerist philosophy, which means her enjoyment doesn’t come from buying things, she feels very wealthy and content.

Amy Dacyczn said:

“In my view, the point of aiming toward FI(Financial Independence) isn’t necessarily to never again work for money. Rather, it’s to acquire the freedom to choose when, where, what and how much work you do.” (Page 834, The Complete Tightwad Gazette)

“…I’ve hugely enjoyed shredding cultural mythologies, such as ‘Raising children is so expensive’ and ‘Americans are worse off than ever before’.” (Page 908, The Complete Tightwad Gazette)

Watching Jillian, from the above video, describe their 10 weeks of travel through the American West, is priceless. It’s our money or our lives, one of the critical secrets of life we can teach our children starting now.

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