Thursday, January 12, 2012

Book of the Month: Money matters

In the gene pool distribution between my siblings and I the universe decided that I was not to get the money smarts.  Cut to the girl who bought a shirt with her $20 that she only wore once, cut to her sister that had a substantial savings account by 15, cut to her brother that usually pays with cash, cut to a 25 year old who suddenly had a light bulb moment and decided that in order to not live hand to mouth she should get a steady J.O.B.  Again, I would like to make clear that my parents were/are excellent with money, as is most of my extended family (many of whom came of age during the Depression and worked really hard to get all they had) but little old me has had to learn the hard way.  Repeatedly.  And becoming a parent has certainly helped me to learn it fully and take notes and get my act together.
Reading Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez has helped me to get a plan, and see money as a tool instead of in such an abstract way.  I still have a brain that balks at numbers, math, and the like (it still boggles my mind when people say they think math is fun...pardon?) But this book does line up with my values.  It is about not living the set dream that North Americans seem to adhere to, you know: big house, two cars, two paychecks, shopping as recreation, consuming to affirm your life choices.  Rather it asks you to work out what you want and make a plan to achieve it being resourceful, thinking outside of the box and being true to yourself, the environment and society as a whole.
We have yet to implement this book since I'm waiting for Dave to read it.  Our financial life is joint just like every other part of being married, so beginning without him on board seems pointless.  But it will get read and we will take the 9 steps it recommends and I have every confidence that this book will provide our map to a financial future that will be positive.
The new year is a great time to take stock and begin again.  Finances are always an area that can use improvement.  If you want to transform your lifestyle to match your values and reach financial independence I would recommend reading this book, it has the tools you'll need. 

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