Working With Vicki Robin, Author of Your Money or Your Life

Over a year ago, I created a Resources page to direct people to great books and websites. At the top of my book list was the New York Times best-selling Your Money or Your Life9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial IndependenceAt the time, I was a huge fan. Now I’m pleased to say I have become so much more.

The History of Your Money or Your Life

A culmination of 1980s financial seminars and instructional tapes, Your Money or Your Life is the brain child of Vicki Robin and her late partner Joe Dominguez’s work to improve financial literacy, create sane consumers, promote healthy financial relationships, inspire financial independence.

Joe grew-up on welfare in New York City and went on to retire at the ripe old age of 31 after a very modest career on Wall Street. He never got caught up in the fancy trappings of traditional high finance and retired with less than $300k to his name. Joe understood the simple workings of money better than anyone, but Vicki truly brought it to life. Not only that, she infused her own socially responsible lifestyle and cohesive vision for how people would apply these principles. Together they shared this message with the world. Their book has impacted millions of people since it’s original release in 1992, the year I was born.

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My soft-cover copies of the original 1992 release and the subsequently updated 2008 release.

For decades, Your Money or Your Life (future site for book) has shared a nine-step approach to transforming people’s relationship with money, leading them (and their family) to a path of financial independence. It takes the reader on a fresh and easy-to-understand journey exploring how to relate to this thing we call money.

It examines work and play. It injects the very element missing from many finance books: humanity itself. Our habits, beliefs, desires, goals, nuances, and guilty pleasures. It connects our personal lives with our financial lives in a meaningful way. And by the end, the reader is empowered to respect themselves, honor their time, save intelligently, spend intentionally, and create a richer world. Through the application of these steps, people have gained the knowledge and skills required to whether inevitable financial storms. Their stories are numerous and inspiring.

I’ve long called this a book about life, not so much one about money. It’s a philosophy in which can bring a large amount of peace and joy to our everyday lives. Think about it as a holistic approach to life design and management. It will do wonders to solve many folk’s greatest cause of stress.

Personally, I used the book’s philosophy to craft my own concepts of simpler living, “enoughness”, financial freedom, meaning of work, and reasons for living smart. While many themes are timeless, it’s hard to ignore the outdated cultural references and financial tools existing throughout the book. Your Money or Your Life was revised once in 2008, but that was before iPhones, America’s Great Recession, and the remarkable proliferation of FIRE bloggers (Financial Independence, Retire Early).

It was time to ignite the flames of finance once again.

Sharing a Lunch with Vicki Robin

In August 2016, I had the pleasure of speaking at a conference about using the Meetup.com online platform as an effective tools for creating in-person community. For two years, I served as the co-founder and co-organizer of Seattle’s Simplicity Project, a 500+ member community helping each other live simpler and intentional lives. While reviewing the conference’s agenda, I recognized a name on the list of attendees–none other than teacher, author, and speaker Vicki Robin!

After a brief introduction and memorable lunch, we began to share visions for our perfect world. What does the future hold for the Millennial generation? How are young people navigating student debt, strained market opportunities, rising rents, and home ownership? How do we create more dialogue about “smart money” and create communities dedicated to eradicating financial illiteracy? These concepts keep both of us up at night.

I was fostering a community of people young and old, discussing life purpose, values, and improving our community. She was eager to meet the next generation of Americans and empower them to be financial ninjas–get out of debt, live below their means, and spend their money consciously. We immediately saw a connection.

Fast forward a couple months and we had a book deal for Your Money or Your Life 2018! Since the inception of this idea, I’ve poured hundreds of hours into the careful crafting, tweaking, improvement, and expansion of this book’s existing manuscript. With Vicki at the helm, we’ve re-imagined this message for the current and next generation.

We had one goal in mind: how do we revise this classic to become an evergreen reference for people of all backgrounds in the years to come.

New and Improved Additions

The largest changes to this book come in a few different forms. First, mobile and web technology has drastically changed the way in which we track, spend, earn, and observe our money. Online and mobile advertising, blogging, and consumption has drastically altered consumer habits in ways we never had before 2000.

Secondly, the definition of financial independence (FI) has become very diverse. What was once an accelerated retirement plan, perhaps age 50 or 55, has become a variety of options. Everything from second careers to world travel, local volunteering and online businesses are all possible after FI’ers retire. Furthermore, the life expectancy continues to rise, giving some people decades of health to deeply align their values with how they earn and spend money.

While this has been brewing for years, the access to high-paying jobs though traditional four-year education is becoming markedly more expensive. Trade schools are once again gaining traction. People are opting for gap years before evaluating their options. Others are taking summer classes and pursuing practical experience in lieu of traditional degrees, especially in the flexible tech sector.

And speaking of leniency, the American workforce is adapting to the largest population influx in our nation’s history: Millennials. As boomers accept their pensions and collect social security, a new era of America is rushing into office buildings, co-working spaces, service arenas, the gig economy,  government, and our military at lighting speed. As establishments adjust to a changing workforce, the employee/employer relationship continues to change.

Last, we worked hard to thread a variety of discussion questions into the book. These exist throughout the chapters to inspire and ignite conversations many of us could benefit from. Not only that, but we draw on years of community conversation experience and put forth a sure-fire plan to create these discussions with neighbors, families, friends, partners, and children.

Above all, we hope to remove the shame, guilt, panic, fear, and awkwardness around finance. We want to daylight false beliefs and collectively take one giant step for our current and future generations.

Due Out Early 2018, Get Your Copy!

What does all this mean for the financial future ahead? How will people adapt to changing economic conditions? What securities can people count on in the years to come? All these questions and more can be solved by developing strong financial principles and tools of resiliency–grab your copy to learn more! With my young perspective and Vicki’s endless creativity, we’ve crafted an even better Your Money or Your Life.

I encourage you to evaluate your own financial life for a moment…what’s the pulse of your money relationship? Are you happy with where things stand? Do you have any ideas for how to improve it? Please share in the comments below!

I encourage you to search your local bookshelves, Amazon, or library after release! I wish you peace of mind and many healthy discussions.

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