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Thread: "How One Book Changed My Relationship With Money" (article about YMOL)

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    "How One Book Changed My Relationship With Money" (article about YMOL)

    Didn't we used to have a YMOL forum?

    Anyway, I'll put this thread here. It's been over 25 years since YMOL was published. It's been probably almost 20 years ago that the early genesis of SNL forum was started by Dave Wampler and many of us were introduced to each other. It has seemed that the popularity of YMOL has waned as other personal finance gurus have sought to attract newer, younger audiences.

    But I just happened to run into this article that was published in the NYT only 3 days ago. So happy to see it! I hope you don't hit a paywall. It was written by an immigrant from the Dominican Republic who found relevance in the principles because she had experienced the roots of them in her own family.

    “Your Money” teaches very concrete methods of keeping track of your finances — there are spreadsheets and expense tracking, simple graphs and investment recommendations — but what I took away from it was a shift in thinking, from chasing money for the sake of having it to using it in service to my goals: to help my parents, achieve financial and mental freedom and continue to write full-time. It worked for my family: My dad’s thriftiness helped him buy a home and start his own small business, and it helped my aunts purchase property back on the island for their retirement. I’d forgotten the values I learned as a child. “Your Money” reminded me.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    That book was instrumental in our decision to “retire” very early.

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    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I couldn't have cared less about the mechanics involved (financial matters have always bored me silly), but the philosophy of YMOYL resonated strongly with me. The vast majority of jobs define "making a dying," in my jaundiced opinion. I never made much of a plan (except to escape as soon as possible), and I should have, but it turned out all right anyway.

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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    While I cannot say that I followed every step, I did take careful note of the basic theme - thoughtful use of time and money - and did make some significant changes that have helped me immensely.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    I read YMOYL many years ago, and remember thinking that they had essentially rendered a first year textbook for Managerial Finance into the New Age Self Help idiom of the seventies. I think that proved to be very beneficial for people who would have hated to think of themselves as the sort of people who read managerial finance textbooks. Convincing people who might otherwise have scorned working toward entry into the rentier class to build an income portfolio did them a great service.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I wonder if the steps were redone with online, digitized tools if it could be a little more current? I still have graph paper, but I'd love some Excel-type version. I could do it myself of course, but I'm thinking of the most convenient option for those who might be interested in trying the steps.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    For me, the value of the book was not in the charts or the process or the investment advice - it was the higher-level concepts.

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    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    I have never read YMOYL, perhaps this makes me different than most of you. I scanned the summary provided online by Vicki Robin and learned that many of the philosophies, I had already adopted and had lived partially until retirement at a relatively early chronological age, however my physiological age naturally was much older due to a stressful profession.

    What significance this has to me is that my parents...one still living (the support) and one eleven years gone ( he made a dying) derived their relationship with money as a necessity for living. And as their marriage and family lengthened and grew they put many of these principles to practice in order that their children would have the opportunity to make aa easier more productive living. They did not reflect inward on personal satisfaction or happiness and instead projected any wealth or benefit directly on their two children in order to act as sacrifices to make it easier for their children.

    And in retirement my father became bitter because his plan was wasted by the bankruptcy of his retirement plan finances. He never recovered from that and spent his retirement years in a depression feeling sorry for himself and used. This cause him many serious illnesses and surgeries and many sullen times recovering from painful life threatening and debilitating physical sickness and mental anguish.

    His only comfort his guitar. I recently had a conversation with my mother regarding his last years. She regretted that she could do nothing to consol him about his financial ruin. He felt he had let her down. But he did her a great favor by using all his savings and investments at retirement to pay off every single debt he owed.....and so was debt free at retirement.

    Now my mother enjoys the freedom of knowing she can survive on a meager income without the burden of a mortgage, a roof payment, a loan of any kind. And that is the real legacy of my father. Not that his dream of financially pushing his kids into the aristocracy as it were never was realized....but that he showed us the way to be secure and at peace....with less. Even though, he never personally was.

    I have the only thing in life he ever valued more than his wife. She told me, he loved that guitar and it kept him from entering the darkness of depression many times. She said knew the value of living debt free but never came to terms with happiness without striving for more. And that it seems was the lesson he provided me with his own tragic struggles in life and in death.

    So I gratefully remember those lessons that made my life easier when I play his guitar.

  9. #9
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    I agree with Bae 100%.

    The concept that that changed my life was the life value of money.
    eating lunch out like most of my coworkers for lunch might cost one hour of working after taxes and expenses vs. a sandwich or bowl of homemade from home and a piece of fruit that was worth an hour of working for the whole week and better for me. Say that $50 per week you save is $2500 annually with little effort. Plus that $2500 per year adds up with interest. Add all the other dollars per week you can find by buying secondhand, doing your own home repairs and so on makes the huge difference. Of course you have to make a good wage for this to make the most sense. If you do all those things and are starting with a $40,000/ year income there is little wiggle room
    Evaluating how much you spend, and how long it takes to earn that money puts a whole new spin on everything. Is it worth it?

  10. #10
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Yes, I agree that the value of the book is its concept. I just felt that maybe if it had more modern day tools it would make the book appear less "dated" (of course the concept can never be dated) and might attract younger generations.

    I'm so sorry about your dad's retirement, WS. I've been up and I've been down financially, and I think it's a failure of culture--which YMOL addresses--that people are identified by what they earn, and when they "fail" financially their lives are effectively over. Stories of men jumping out of windows during the Depression--I've always thought to myself "it's just MONEY!!! Is it worth losing your life over?" I'm not judging the people. I understand their feelings and what brought them to that. It's just a shame that people come to feel that way.

    So that's part of the beauty of YMOYL. It teaches you to not just adapt to, but to choose, a less consumer-centric lifestyle. It's the ultimate survival tool.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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