My Affluenza: Part 3

Your Money or Your Life

Ask yourself these questions:

  • 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?

-Your Money Or Your Life

I have to admit I am in the process of going through health issues that I hope you never have to deal with, and I am very glad I prepared for the worse in a sense, because I would not have had the safety net that I do, if I had not.  Health issues are a significant factor in the cause of bankruptcies, and are overwhelmingly something women will have to deal with more than men, because women are the caretakers in our society.  Part of me, thought this book was going to be a bit of a crock, because I am not really too much of a shopper.  Of course I have to caveat I do have some status stuff, that in retrospect I kind of regret getting (sometimes).  However this book did make me see how much I did spend on things that were not “retail therapy,” but are a kind of social community thing.  For example, I had spent over 300 dollars on going out to eat in the month before this project was started, which is definitely over-consuming.  Granted, some of this can be counted towards medical (comfort) expenses because it was when I was transitioning back and forth, but still it was a lot.  So, I put myself on a no going out to eat for a month, and it has been hard, I violated it once for a quick Panera run on my way home (I had not had any food for more than ten hours) and quite frankly got so sick that I really became hard core about packing “safe” food for me to take.  Furthermore, after some of the class readings I think it is best if I prepare my food anyway, so I can make sure and get organic, etc.

Your Money Or Your Life really points out how are you spending your life energy.  Is what you are doing working for you in that it satisfies you, brings you joy, and fulfills your life’s purpose?  Granted, it can be distressing to know how much your life energy is worth (well at least what others are going to pay you for), but it is necessary to know in that it helps you answer the question is this really how I want to spend my life energy.  I had not realized that for a well-paying for my degree post-college job, actually paid me less than minimum wage for the amount of hours I put in.  It is a pretty freeing idea to think about if I did not have to work for a living is this what I would be doing?  I can actually answer this question with a yes.   But I also wanted to know how to make my money work more for me.  So the book included this checklist:

Checklist: Think Before You Spend

  • Don’t shop.
  • Live within your means.
  • Take care of what you have.
  • Wear it out.
  • Do it yourself.
  • Anticipate your needs.
  • Research value, quality, durability, and multiple use.
  • Get it for less.
  • Buy used.
  • Follow the steps of this program.

-Your Money Or Your Life

Plus, I also know several women who have started doing this couponing thing, so I went with a friend over to the local recycling center on a Monday (we did not have to spend money on a paper this way), so we could pick up at least four packets of coupons from Sunday’s paper, and just in my first week I trimmed off $14.00 from my weekly grocery bill (and that was mostly organic stuff, except the TP).

In doing the graphs for some of the exercises in the book I did realize that I spent about $400 a month on non-covered medical items, just when I thought my entire medical was covered.   That was not something that the book really talked about, but it is something that I should have realized sooner.  Granted, we cannot all do what Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin have done, good luck finding a six percent or higher guaranteed investment according to the research I have done around Manhattan (such as a CD), but a lot of the tools that they use are very applicable.

(I am not a super religious person, but I think this is a neat little documentary film that is related to this topic.)

A Forum that I thought was really cool.