Vicki Robin

Your Money or Your Life to the rescue

In Uncategorized on June 26, 2009 at 5:16 PM

Duh Uh. I’m in a time of financial change (who isn’t?) and my anxiety around money has been rising. It took a while to understand the creepy feeling as I’ve only had it a few times in the last 40 years. The Your Money or Your Life program has served me that well. I’ve lived high on the hog but low on the financial food chain – and that worked for me exceptfor three times:

  1. After my coauthor Joe Dominguez died in 1997 several team members in our non-profit foundation moved on and we had fewer people were carrying the same work load. We had an ethic and identity before of “we do it for love not money” but had to hire someone finally to help;  our staff person was investing tons of love in the work – but needed a paycheck.
  2. When I was diagnosed with cancer and realized I had plenty of money if well, but I could die of frugality if I only stayed within what my HMO would cover (grrr to the sickness care system).  That was when I started to take a stipend myself from New Road Map for my work as Executive Director working full time til then for free.
  3. Now, when three stable financial realities are shifting all at once. I chose to buy a house with pretty much my all liquid savings, all but one of my little income streams disappeared temporarily and a friend decided to buy into the house and live in 1/4 of it (I live in 1/4 and we share 1/2). There’s been a great sucking sound out of my bank account (both house and minor remodeling), a trickle coming back in and … discovering my housemate has a different money style than mine (this IS the sandpaper of shared decision making).

Why am I telling you all this? Because as soon as I realized I was having financial discomfort I turned to doing Step 1-4  of the Your Money or Your Life program. I’ve spent this week doing a financial audit: what I own, what i owe (nothing – still pay cash for everything), what my enough point is (how much money do I spend month in and month out for what brings me fulfillment with neither deprivation nor excess), and how much I need to supplement current income streams to have enough – again.

I am actually going through that wonderful Your Money or Your Life shift – from fog, fear and confusion to clarity, ease and do-able steps.

Since I’m such an old hand at this approach, it’s not been hard to get a handle on it, and I’ll keep reporting here what adaptations I make to make ends not just meet but happily marry… again.  I’m also engaged in an even more interesting inquiry – what happens to your “enough point” when your life circumstances change (by chance or choice)? More on that too. Stay tuned.

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  1. My enough point shifted dramatically when I tried work free-income free living. I had not estimated my love/need for driving. I had also begun at age 50 the accounting associate degree program after being laid off just at my FI point. I never would have chosen accounting except for the YMORL program I had been on since1995. I am now a senior, with two classes to go before i can sit for the CPA exam. I am once again unemployed, except for a volunteer job that turned into a few hours paid a week. I do not limit my driving, but only attend free stuff once I’m there. Knowing that I must return to work, but will be doing work I enjoy, and my substantial safe finances due to YMOYL, I am happy and content, and enjyoing this period of my life immensely.
    Thank you Vicki and Joe, profoundly thank you
    Barb Mikula

  2. Hi Vicky! I’m making a lot of changes, too! I’ve been tracking my money since the seminar. Interestingly, my 1997 Chevy died last week; i was actually very happy, as I was able to buy the car I’ve wanted for a long time – a 2006 Toyota Camry! I practically live in my car for my job, so I am enjoying it immensely (even though I have a car payment for the first time in 7 years!) To balance things, I’m getting another roommate when mine moves next week; (this will bring my rent, for an 1000 sq ft apt, to $350 per month!) i’m getting rid of home phone, fax line, all of cable but $13/mo- worth – i rarely watch tv anyway! i’m finally taking the defensive driver course to lower my auto insurance, and, in general, looking at other ways to cut expenses without becoming what i consider “ridiculous”! Case in point – to save money, my ex’s mother used to turn the electronic ignition on her hot water heater off every day!!!!!!! Geez !!!!!!!!!!! I’d rather stick needles in my eyes!! I’m very happy working this program, but find that i need to be even more vigilant, and work it a little more! But I’m doing well! Hope you are enjoying your home! Best, Judy

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