Is it for Money or Your Life?

Is it for Money or Your Life?

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By Jan Larraine Cox 

What is the purpose of your paid employment: are you earning money to purchase necessities such as food, shelter and clothing?  

Or are your earnings more for amenities to make your life more comfortable or luxurious?   

Some are attracted to intellectual stimulation or the entertainment of working in contact with fun, interesting people. Others work their jobs specifically to acquire new skills for personal growth, perhaps to make a contribution or to be a transforming agent in the world.   

If you are more concerned about earning for others’ benefit through service or philanthropy, how are you utilizing your endeavors to enhance your health and well-being? 

Best-selling author Vicki Robin challenges her readers to “use their wits more than their wallets to meet their needs,” since money is simply something we “trade our life energy for.” She says we then can “regain quality, values and self-worth as our bottom line.”   

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In other words, she says that by separating work and wages, we can bring together the different parts of ourselves and reclaim balance and sanity by living our values as best we can. We get our life back! 

She was surprised to discover she has become the “Money Whisperer,” an icon that the millennial generation considers one of their gurus! 

In her book “Your Money or Your Life,” Robin details ways in which many Americans honor consumption as a “nationally sanctioned addiction.”  For example, the overwhelming majority of mall shoppers do not go in search of a specific item. They are instead searching out their favorite high: consumption of things they don’t need or want. 

Robin details several ways to reclaim sanity, which seem so logical that hopefully, many Americans are already practicing them.   

Vicki Robin’s Ways to Be Smart About Your Money

First of all, live within your means. This way you avoid interest charges by avoiding the overuse of credit cards. If you wait until you have the money to purchase an item, you may discover you don’t want or need it after all. 

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It also may be that you can take care of what you already have, maintaining everything from cars to hairdryers. Frugality experts from the 1930s kept a pile of wood scraps and assorted junk on hand for just such needs. Learn how to do it yourself (DIY). 

Learn basic automotive maintenance; don’t assume you can’t learn it. Enroll in an automotive adult education class or ask a friend to teach you!  

Alternately, shop around and identify a reliable and reasonable mechanic—before you need one.   

Consider starting a neighborhood tool and skill swap. 

Comparison shop by phone to find the best price for the same item, like a car. Once you decide on the model you want, call all dealers within a 100-mile radius for the best price. Offer to pay by cash if you can and then ask for their best price, lower than the list price. Nothing to lose by negotiating! You could also be lucky enough to close a deal on an excellent slightly used item or a floor model. 

Speaking of maintenance, maintain your body! Do not smoke, of course. Be sure to eat a proper diet, get enough rest and exercise (aerobic, strength-building and stretching), and maintain your recommended weight for your body type.  

Transform your relationship with money, which will reduce stress and lead toward maintaining a healthy outlook! 


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