Your Money or Your Life is a different kind of finance book. It's not a get-rich-quick scheme or a lecture about how utterly stupid you are with money. It's a healthy perspective on the value of money. The tone of the book can be overbearingly optimistic and idealistic at times, especially for a cynical person, as I am, but even so, it delivers on getting you to think about what you are doing with your life and your money.
Recently, I have been budgeting and attempting to get my life together financially. It's all very painful. YMOYR states that is is not a budget book. Indeed it is not. For all of you that run away screaming at the sound of budgets, but really want to get your finances together, this is a book that doesn't ram it down your throat.
It made me analyze my job and my spending habits. A step in this book is to calculate how much you REALLY earn per hour, by calculating the transportation costs you need to get to work, work clothes, food at work, money spent on decompressing yourself after work, etc. It's amazing when you get down to it, you are making less because so much of that money earned is for work! Trust me, do the numbers and think about it. Is it worth slaving away at your job to spend so much of your paycheck on it? Taking a part-time job with less stress, at a lower paycheck, may net you the same amount of money.
Although the end is very Pollyanna - live off your investments - I think it is still something to strive for. Most of us would never, ever dream that would be possible. This book puts it into perspective. It is obtainable. You just have to stop spending your money on crap and stop draining your life away. Most of the stories are geared to those who want to retire early. As someone in my 20s and a large student loan, it seems so very, very, very far away.
I did like the focus the book had on relationships and finding your passion, and not by defining yourself by what you do. Again, it seems like common sense, but most of us schlep away to the 9-5, and think we are doomed forever, so this is an uplifting read.