Welcome to our first Frugal Moms² Book Club Discussion/Read Along! We’re glad to have you with us! Please note that there is still time to win one of two copies of our first book selection, Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin! For full details, see this post.
The Book Club:
This is something new, so there’s bound to be some learning, stretching and mistakes involved (at least on my part!) Here’s what you can expect:
- Chapters: Every week, I’ll post a summary and discussion questions for the latest chapter. Some chapters are big and I may break up a chapter over a couple of posts, like this week.
- Pace: Feel free to follow along at your own pace. Do not worry if you fall behind! These posts will stay up. The important thing it to just keep going and add to the discussion when you can.
- Email subscriptions: You can sign up to get the full posts sent to you via email, and post comments by replying to the email! The sign up box is on the right hand side of all our pages, under “FMs Newsletter”.
- Comment as much and as often as you like, but please keep it clean and civil.
- Your first two comments are moderated, but after that, they should show up right away.
- If you have problems with comments not showing up, contact me.
- You can comment by email! When you comment for the first time on a post, click the “participate by email” box (shown below). When you get a comment notification in your inbox, you can simply hit reply instead of having to come to the page to comment! (I love this feature!)
- Spam: Our spam queue is pretty good, and should keep out most spam comments, but sometimes legitimate stuff can get stuck in there too. Contact me if your comment didn’t show up, or if something made it through the spam filter.
- Commitment: Our first selection is a doozie. There may be times when you want to throw this book across the room. Or times when you don’t agree with the politics and view points of the authors. It may also cause you to look at things about yourself that you don’t want to see. But it’s definitely worth the struggle. The authors absolutely nail the psychology of money and how much it truly “costs” us in our lives.
- Resources: I’ll try to post relevant resources, especially to worksheets and tools online. Feel free to post any you find as well.
- Schedule: In October, we’ll be overlapping two different Book Club Selections so we can get Unplug the Christmas Machine in before Christmas.
- Disclosure: I’ve post Amazon affiliate links to the books if you want to buy them online. You don’t have to, but if you do, it helps support site costs. Get the books wherever you like: used book store, library, friend, whatever.
- Copyright: I love the books we’re about to discuss and have no desire to infringe on any copyrights. I’ll summarize and expound on main points in the chapters, add a few quotes directly from the books (credited of course) and post discussion questions.
The Book: Your Money or Your Life
Our first selection is Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps for Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. It’s a classic in the field of frugal living and financial independence, for good reason. It works. It asks tough questions and requires you to take a very hard look at some difficult things, but that is sometimes what it takes to transform your life, especially in an area as tricky as our relationship with money.
The book has been around since the early 90s. The progam itself was founded in the early 80s through a company called The New Road Map Foundation, which is a non profit. You can find a complete history and many success stories on their website, Financial Integrity.org They are generously sharing their program guides, teacher guides, group study guides and more for free! We have full permission to use their materials under the Creative Commons license, so I’ll be pulling from those as well.
Overview: The Nine Steps
Here are the 9 Steps to Financial Integrity as explained here on Financial Integrity.com. Don’t be scared off! We’ll go through these step by step together every week. There are no deadlines and no one is selling anything. We’re all in this together!
Really no surprises here. We all know things are not great out there. More people are in debt more than ever, our savings rate is at an all time low, and so is the happiness rate. Economically the world is in bad shape, as well as environmentally. We can turn on the news and see all of these things first hand. But you don’t even have to do that. Just log onto Facebook or any other social media. If it’s a big enough story, it will be plastered all over the place.
The prologue of the book focuses on “managing your life as an integrated whole”, rather than in separate, unrelated compartments. Traditionally, money has been seen as something compartmentalized from the rest of our lives, but in truth it isn’t. Our relationship with money is often a complicated psychological and emotional dance between our past, present and future. Perhaps that’s what makes it so difficult sometimes to talk about. But money affects every area our lives, whether we like it or not, and every area affects our finances as well.
The purpose of this book is to transform your relationship with money. That relationship encompasses more than just your earning, spending, debts, and savings; it also includes the time these functions take in your life. In addition, your relationship with money is reflected in the sense or satisfaction and fulfillment that you get from your connection to your family, your community, and the planet. ~Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin
This transformation includes reexamining the old financial road map and creating a new one.
This requires thinking outside the box, in new ways. These are defined as:
- Financially Independent Thinking– Applying consciousness to the flow of money by:
- examining basic assumptions you’ve adopted unconsciously
- evaluating the old financial road map
- learning to build a new map
- paving a new financial path that fits your life
- Financial Intelligence– the ability to step back and objectively observing your own assumptions and emotions about money
- Financial Integrity-learning the true impact of your earning and spending and tying it into your value system. Knowing how much is enough for you
- Financial Independence-anything that frees you from dependence on money to handle your life, including crippling financial beliefs, debts and social pressures
Discussion Questions: What brings you here?
These are from the beginning of the introduction, under “Why Read This Book?” You don’t have to answer all of these. Answer the ones you’re most comfortable with or that hit home and make you uncomfortable!
- Do you have enough money?
- Are you spending enough time with family and friends?
- Do you come home from your job full of life?
- Do you have time to participate in things you believe are worthwhile?
- If you were laid off from your job, would you see it as an opportunity?
- Are you satisfied with the contribution you have made to the world?
- Are you at peace with money?
- Does your job reflect your values?
- Do you have enough savings to see you through six months of normal living expenses?
- Is your life whole? Do all the pieces- your job, your expenditures, your relationships, your values- fit together?
Stay Tuned for:
Wk 1: The Money Trap (goes live on Tuesday)
Step 1: Lifetime Income & Personal Balance Sheet (goes live on Wednesday)