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Book Club: What are you Trading Your Life Energy For?

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If I had a hard time with the beginning of our book, this chapter completely turned it around for me! I enjoyed the description of asking the audience to define money. But even moreso, the definition of money.

Money is something you trade your life energy for.Your Money or Your Life Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin

Seriously. We all know that, but I never would have thought to use it as the definition of money. But it’s perfect, and truly encompasses the role money plays in our lives. What do you think about this money definition?

Your Real Hourly Wage

This immediately brought up the task of calculating your “real hourly wage.” Again, this process is logical, but we don’t always or often think about it in this context.

But my mind was blown away as I really started thinking about all the “money” categories that are so closely tied to work. We all know our wardrobe is affected and commute costs, but I don’t think we always factor in the time tied to those things. It put work in a whole different perspective for me.

Track Your Income and Spending

The second task in this chapter is more straight forward: track every cent which I began doing just as soon as I read this chapter so I would be ready to do the work after reading the book through the first time.  Did you start tracking then too?

I set up a basic spreadsheet on my phone and input every penny that went out and came in. This  included money spent from rewards, gift certificates and gift cards.  I won’t be able to reconcile the spending with any bank records, but for the purposes of this book, I have a 100% complete view of where my money goes in every form.

What is Worth Trading Your Life For?

My big, giant take away from this chapter really came with the money definition. As long time readers know, my work situation over the last few years has been pretty miserable, especially this past year when I stepped back into the corporate world. The joy and passion that filled my life previously has been drained.

I realize that much of that is the result of the ginormous amount of stress I’ve been under financially with job loss and being a single mom, but even moreso, I feel like I’ve given up so much of what I’m passionate about. I am no longer fostering kids. I am no longer homeschooling my kids. I’m not teaching at our homeschool co op anymore.

Instead of working to live, my life seems to be more of a working to live scenario know. It has made me pretty miserable. This book has really put that into perspective for me. How am I spending my life energy? And does it matter at the end of the day?

This has given me a new perspective and a new boldness if you will as I approach my job search. Trying some new tactics, new approaches, we will see if they pay off. (More on that in another post.)

Discussion Questions

Are you earning what you are worth? Elaborate.

What belief about money keeps you from being, doing or having what you want? Why?

Previous Book Club Posts

Your Money or Your Life Introduction

Chapter 1: What is Your Enough?

Chapter 2: What are you Trading Your Life Energy For?

Chapter 3: The Opposite of a Budget

Chapter 4: Coming Monday, May 21st


Book Club: What is your Enough?

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Welcome to Week 1 of our online book club. (I’ve detailed the plan for this book club at the bottom of this post. Please share any suggestions.) Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez has really given me a lot to think about the last several weeks.  These thoughts inspired me to begin tracking my spending and income religiously, made me wonder if I was having a mid-life crisis and so much more that we will get into.

Chapter 1: The Money Trap

I have to be honest, I almost quit the book during the first chapter. With ten pages on the ecological affect of consumerism, I sighed and said “oh, it’s one of those” and almost quit reading.  I am so glad I didn’t.

Two really important questions are asked during this chapter. How much money have your earned (in your entire working lifetime?) And what do you have to show for it? The process for establishing these jumping off points are detailed and pretty intimidating. The results (in my case) were depressing.

No Shame, No Blame

Thank goodness the mantra of “No Shame, No Blame” is pushed simultaneously. The author points out the difference between recrimination and discrimination when you are attempting to change unwanted behavior.  I continue to revisit this as I work my way through the chapters actually doing the work!

What is Your Enough

This chapter introduced me to a concept I have often thought about but could never put into words: ENOUGH. This place at the peak of the fulfillment curve where you can identify “for yourself that point of maximum fulfillment.”

enough

My Enough has definitely changed over the years. And even moreso this year than any other. I thought getting back into the corporate world, making 6 figures and so on would finally give me the fulfillment I was seeking. I was so wrong. That is not my enough.  I’m still figuring out what is, but sometimes you need the process of elimination to really figure it out. Or is that just me?

Discussion Questions

What messages did you get about money growing up? Where did you get them?

What does ENOUGH mean to you?

Book Club Process

I will post weekly on a new chapter. I will highlight what I found important and my personal take aways. Then I will post a couple of the questions provided by the book for discussion.  Remember, there are no right and wrong answers, please share your perspective.

Several days later, I will post my responses to those questions in the comments.  It is important to me to hear your perspective and what your take aways were.  I am really excited about this and this book in particular.  Happy reading and writing!

Previous Book Club Posts

Your Money or Your Life Introduction

Chapter 1: What is Your Enough?

Chapter 2: What are you Trading Your Life Energy For?

Chapter 3: The Opposite of a Budget

Chapter 4: Coming Monday, May 21st


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