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#1 of 29 Old 03-29-2004, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm working the "Your Money or Your Life" program. If anyone else wants to work it together and help ourselves through any rough spots, join in! Let's make a success of it!

(The book is Your Money or Your Life by Joe Doninguez and Vicki Robin)

Edited to add- one requirement to keep everyone motivated is you need to commit to doing all the steps.

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#2 of 29 Old 03-29-2004, 02:48 PM
 
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Could you outline some of the major points in the book, monnie?

DH and I are entering a big transition in our finances soon, and I think it would help me to keep things on track to participate in a thread like this.

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#3 of 29 Old 03-29-2004, 03:41 PM
 
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I just requested this book at the library. I have been over at the boards on simpleliving. I am in. When are you going to start?

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#4 of 29 Old 03-29-2004, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Piglet, the book is nine steps to financial independence. Here's an overview:

http://www.simpleliving.net/olsg/res...sp?sku=bymoyle

We might all be working at different speeds- so how about if we start now- we'll be at it awhile! I'm doing the wall chart now- but am still tracking every penny.

I saw the boards on simple living and thought it might be nice to go through this with all moms. It is different when you have young kids.

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#5 of 29 Old 03-29-2004, 09:40 PM
 
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We just cut up most of our credit cards and are using cash now. I listed our income and then expenses, we barely make it every month. We just spend so much on stuff we really don't need.
Our biggest expenses are rent and groceries. We can't change the rent, so I am working hard to get the grocery bill down. Our next highest expense is our cable/internet bill.

oops gotta go, crying baby

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#6 of 29 Old 03-29-2004, 09:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We overspent last month, too. I'm working on cutting grocery costs also, since I can see we didn't need to shop at the expensive health food store.

We implemented the 6 months savings cushion when I first did the book, so that has kept us going when we needed things like a new roof or washing machine.

I regret that I didn't go further with the program back then. Better late than never, though!

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#7 of 29 Old 03-30-2004, 06:06 PM
 
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I have not read the book in a couple of years. But I wanted to comment on cutting grocery expenses. Look for high quality food, minimally processed. Cook everything from scratch. Find buying clubs for natural/organic foods. I save a ton this way despite having to keep us on a "special diet".
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#8 of 29 Old 03-30-2004, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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CSAs are a good way, too. We get our organic produce at a discount in winter through a winter share program (they purchase this wholesale) and have a farm share for the growing season.

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#9 of 29 Old 04-02-2004, 04:34 PM
 
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DH and I just started reading this book together two days ago. We are ready to do some major changes to get to a better place financially.

So far, we have read all the intro stuff and are well into chapter one. I have to admit, I am getting a "let's get on with it allready!" attitude with the book.

The only time we can do this together is after DC are asleep, like about 9 or 10 at night. By then I am exhausted (I'm pregnant). I just sat there last night thinking "Yes, I *know* about the environment! Yes, I *know* the 9 to 5 thing needs to change! Can you please stop telling me what I allready know and start telling me how to change it?!"

I can't wait until we get to the part where we are DOING something to improve things. But maybe it is just me being tired and cranky whenever we read it. I have heard great things about it, so we are hangng in there!
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#10 of 29 Old 04-02-2004, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Faith- once you get to the steps, there is plenty to do LOL. It is very practical after the theory, which was pretty much how we lived, too...frugal, environmental.

Step one is calculating how much you earned in your life, then your current net worth to see what you have to show for it. We actually did pretty good on that. Most steps have practical work with a ledger and calculator or else you can use Quicken or Excel or something.

I used the kids' toy cash register to add up the numbers...

Good luck! Hang in there.

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#11 of 29 Old 04-02-2004, 06:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by monnie
Step one is calculating how much you earned in your life, then your current net worth to see what you have to show for it.
Hoooo boy. Well, I'll flunk that one badly for sure, lol. Well, wait, I did finance some of my university education, so I guess that counts.

We're doing okay now in terms of that. We've made a couple of successful investments and are trying to plan wisely what to do with the profits. I want to get that feeling that I have "something to show for it".

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#12 of 29 Old 04-02-2004, 06:38 PM
 
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my book came into the library today and I am going to pick it up tommorow. I read about the first step, but I'm skipping that one. I don't really think it matters what I made in the past. I'm looking more at future income right now. Is there any benefit to doing the 1st step?

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#13 of 29 Old 04-02-2004, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The "Making peace with the past" part of step one is only a small part - you also do a net worth calculation. There's a bunch of other things involved.

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#14 of 29 Old 04-11-2004, 08:42 PM
 
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Count me in. I've got the book somewhere. Lord knows I need to cut back. We have so much debt and I keep adding to it. I'm willing to look at it and see what I can do. I'll dig the book out tomorrow and join you all.
I will, right now, commit to cutting back on my spending on entertainment!
Hurray!
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#15 of 29 Old 04-11-2004, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Welcome, Chrissy. Join us! Let's support each other.

On April 20th, I'll be doing my categories and computing life energy for the purchases. Have been tracking expenses all month. I charted the previous two months on my wall chart after balancing those months statements.

The book is inspiring because people have gotten rid of their debt, payed off mortgages and some have become financially independent.

I'm also reading "Get A life" (got it at the library) which is a sequel by a couple who did acheive fiancial independence doing the 9 steps and then interviewed others who did the program- it's real life stories.

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#16 of 29 Old 04-12-2004, 02:17 PM
 
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Just thought I would check in and say we are still plugging along. We took a little break (we all got sick ) but are back to reading at night.

We just did all of step one and were suprised to see we are better off than we thought. Things have been tough lately, and it was good to see that we are at least worth more than we owe!
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#17 of 29 Old 04-12-2004, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's great, Faith!

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#18 of 29 Old 04-12-2004, 07:51 PM
 
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I just got a copy at the library. I can't wait to get started!
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#19 of 29 Old 04-16-2004, 08:21 PM
 
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I just finished step one--as well as I could. When I was in high school, my dad made me keep track of my income and expenses in a little notebook, and by some miracle, I still have it and was able to find it. So that helped, but figuring dh's income in his early years, was total guesswork. Anyhow, our total combined lifetime income was a bit less than I thought, but I may have underestimated. Meanwhile, our total assets (minus debt) total about 1/5 of our lifetime earnings, but I may have underestimated the value of many of our possessions. I attacked it kind of like, "How much would I pay for this at a yard sale?" I don't know if this result is good, bad or average.

I also realized that dh & my combined lifetime earnings are probably less than what Dick Cheney makes in six months.


Quote:
I have to admit, I am getting a "let's get on with it allready!" attitude with the book.
ITA The writing is terrible! Why oh why do the authors have to use a parable to explain every concept? Do they think their readers are idiots? I'll quote one example in which they're comparing money to a city and our different perceptions of money colored by where we happen to be observing the city.

Quote:
Empty your mind. Like classic monks, we've exhausted our learned "truths" about money and are called to reach into an inner reservoir of Truth. Here is where we will discover the doorway to another realm of money. Our helicopter drops us at the airport and we take off in a jet to get an even higher perspective on money. With a roar we taxi down the runway and lift gracefully off the ground.
Eee-gads. I can't take much more of this prose. The book is 337 pages and could easily be condensed to about 150.
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#20 of 29 Old 04-16-2004, 08:52 PM
 
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:LOL

Hopefully by the end of the book, we will be so grateful to the guy for all the extra money and freedom we have, we will feel guilty for being bored now.
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#21 of 29 Old 04-16-2004, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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:LOL I skimmed a lot of the parables. I figure, it's a great concept-and some people might find the info. completely new and maybe it would help them?

I'm all for the down and dirty do the steps work, though

I did the yard sale price on everything, too- trying not overestimate. Went to Edmunds.com to get the car values.

On to step 2! Next Tues. I can figure out if we saved money this month- I did from March 21 onward.

I'm full of tightwad ideas this week after calculating how soon we can pay off the mortgage if we can spend less.

Dh is stringing a clotheline in the basement for drying clothes on rainy or tree-polleny days.

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#22 of 29 Old 04-18-2004, 06:41 PM
 
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I've started step 2. And I sent dh to an SPCA rummage sale to get a lawn mower, something we truly need, and I gave him strict instructions to buy a lawnmower and ONLY a lawnmower, and he did! He found one for $15, but he was sulky for a few hours b/c of the ban on uneccesary purchases.

Meanwhile, I skimmed ahead to step 3. I was amused to see that in the budget category, "recreation," two of the sub-categories are "drugs" and "booze.":LOL
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#23 of 29 Old 04-18-2004, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Great about the lawnmower!

We're purchasing a tent soon to make our vacations cheaper (camping), and definitely don't want a used one after my experience in the REI rental tent (soaked from leaks and the zipper didn't close).

Anyway, a big purchase coming up... I gues our recreation is tamer than "drugs" and "booze" more like rugs and snooze...

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#24 of 29 Old 04-19-2004, 10:20 AM
 
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I have a really hard time tracking my spending. I'm not sure I can commit to that one. But, I'll go thru the book w/y'all and try to cut out spending too. Is that o.k.:

I've decided to set goals for myself around $ each week.
This week I will:
find something cheap to do for date night (if our babysitter isn't sick again )
order cheap items on the menu when I go out to eat with my friends
limit grocery spending as much as possible (this is a hard one for me. I love food)

Anyone else want to set spending goals for the week??
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#25 of 29 Old 04-19-2004, 02:39 PM
 
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I wanted to share one thing I've observed about my spending: the more I use my library card, the less I spend. This has nothing to do with saving money on *books.* What I see happening, is that I feel a craving to bring stuff into the house, and a bag full of library books seems to satisfy me as much as a cute new shirt. Just think: you can take out home decorating books and look at everyone else's knickknacks and antiques without buying any for yourself. Or you can look at craft books and dream about future projects, etc.

I'm reading chapter six, although I'm still on step 2.

This killed me:

Quote:
"Frugal, man." That's the cool, groovy way to say "far out" in the nineties. Surfers will talk about frugal waves. Teenage girls will talk about frugal dudes. Designers will talk about frugal fashions. Mark our words!
:

"Hey dude! That's a frugal car!" I suppose, in the nineties, people started with the "f" sound, but got derailed and went with "phat" instead of "frugal."
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#26 of 29 Old 04-19-2004, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I feel the same way about the library! Always have lots of books and they seem to satisfy me the same way without any long-term clutter.

Dh always has a book going as well.

The kids love it, too- we don't buy toys much because there's always some new books to check out. Right now I'm checking our books on voluntary simplicity :LOL

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#27 of 29 Old 04-20-2004, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Tonight is the big night to do step 3. I have all the categories labelled and totalled ready to calculate life energy as soon as I figure out how to hook the computer into the printer.

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#28 of 29 Old 04-20-2004, 07:28 PM
 
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All of the copies of this book at the library are checked out so I'm on the waiting list. Once I get a copy I'll join up.
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#29 of 29 Old 04-21-2004, 12:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Glad to have you joining, indie.

Well, I calculated all my totals and how much of dh's life energy went for each category. Unfortunately, I can't get dh very excited about this.

Back to step 2 for another month!

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