top of page
  • Writer's pictureRoshan Loungani

Your Money Or Your Life - Chapter 1 Notes

Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin & Joe Dominguez

Chapter 1: The Money Trap: The Old Road Map for Money

Notes by Roshan A. Loungani, CFP® CRPC®

Retirement Specialist

- When Asked, your money or your life, can you respond with “Ill take both, thank you”

- Are you making a living or making a dying?

o Do you spend all your time focused on commuting, working and then fill life in-between?

- We think we are our jobs

o Identity and self-worth come from our jobs.

o Jobism – hidden hierarchy based on what you do for money

- High Cost of Making a Dying

o Led 60% of LaBier’s sample group to depression, anxiety and other disorders

- What do we have to show for it?

o Savings rates are down from 10% pre 1980 to 5% now

o Debt is up to $3.7 Trillion, more than double that of the end of 2000 ($11,000 for every man, woman and child)

o Low savings and high debt make the 9-5 routine mandatory

- We make a dying at work so we can live it up on the weekend

o We spend more than we make on more than we need which send us back to work to get the money for more stuff.

§ A vicious cycle

- What about Happiness?

o Their study showed that people were unhappy at any income level and that they all believed that they needed more money to be happy.

- Prosperity and the Planet

o We Only Have One Planet

- Is More Better

o Percent of Americans that are very happy has been declining since 1950

- The Cleopatra explanation

o Is it worth it?

o Are we getting the fulfillment we are seeking if not, why do we persist like addicts in habits that are killing us?

- The Creation of Consumers

o We no longer live life, we consume it

o Needs can be fulfilled, wants are endless

o 1929 introduces the concept of the standard of living and leisure as an opportunity for consumption

- The Right to Buy

o If consuming is the way to keep the economy strong and savers are people willing to put fellow citizens out of work.

o People are driven by fear, promise of exclusivity, guilt and greed and by the need for approval

- The beginning of a new roadmap for money

o We are more uncomfortable talking to our accountant about money than to our therapist about sex

- What do our actions say

o We know that money can’t buy happiness and the best things in life are free however

§ What do we do when we are depressed, lonely or feeling unloved? We buy something to feel better for example: a new outfit, a drink, a new car, ice cream cone, a trip.

§ When you want to celebrate good fortune, we buy something (seek external solutions)

· A round of drinks, catering a wedding, a diamond ring

§ When we are bored, we buy something

§ When we think there is more to life, we buy something, a workshop, self-help book

- Step 1 Making Peace with The Past

o How Much Money Have You Earned in Your Life?

§ Knowing how much money entered our life allows you to know what could enter your life going forward.

o What Have You Got to Show for It?

§ Your Net Worth

§ Great line – once we are above the survival level, the difference between prosperity and poverty lies simply in our degree of gratitude.

o Why do a balance sheet?

§ Consider converting fixed assets to cash

§ Determine if you are financial independent

- Money Talk Questions

o Who gave you your first lessons about money? What did you learn?

o What messages did you get about money growing up? Where did you get them from? Parents, teachers, ads or…?

o Talk about an early memory of money and how it affects you now.

o Talk about a money mistake. What would you do differently?

o What does “enough” mean to you?

o What do you have (in storage or closets) that you’d be better off without? Why do you keep it?


Robin, Vicki. Dominguez, Joe. Your Money or Your Life. New York: Penguin Books, 2018,pp 1-42.

588 views0 comments


bottom of page