Photo Credit: MargoLuc
I have been re-reading Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. In my opinion this is the one personal finance book that everyone should read. Instead of focusing on earning, saving, or investing this book focuses on your relationship with money. Once you have a clear understanding of that relationship, you empower yourself to make the life changes needed to put you on the path to the life you want to live.
There was a line that really hit me this time through the book:
So much dissatisfaction comes from focusing on what we don't have that the simple exercise of acknowledging and valuing what we do have can transform our outlook. Indeed, some people would say that, once we're above the survival level, the differences between prosperity and poverty lies simply in our degree of gratitude.
Most people see prosperity as a financial measure, but you can measure it in so many other ways. By focusing on what you have, you may see that you already live a prosperous life whether you are a millionaire or not. Everyday you will see examples of how fame and fortune do not buy happiness. Celebrities are in the news all the time for affairs, drug usage, criminal activity, and premature deaths.
When you think back over your lifespan, we all have highs and lows, but the times that often stick out most as being the happiest were often when you had the least. In my college years I was scraping by financially but my life was filled with so many wonderful adventures. The spontaneity of a life not weighed down by things and responsibilities brings such great joy. Your Money or Your Life will lead you on a path to financial independence, a path that will return you to the life of spontaneity and happiness.
Check out the New Road Map Foundation, a site by the authors based on the steps discussed in the book.