I’ve never been a big fan of a lot of personal finance books because I always felt that many of them just spew out a lot of terminology, which mean I would get intimidated.
Actually I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one that feels this way. Which is really refreshing to see that there are a few people out there who not only talk about the importance of getting your finances together, but in such a way that talks about the why.
Jason Vitug’s book “You Only Live Once” does just that, where it goes over a pretty good outline on how to create a vision for your life, and using sound financial planning on getting there. He calls this “financial wellness”, which I think is pretty fitting.
How to Book is Laid Out
The book is laid out into four parts:
- On the Road to Financial Wellness: Here you get to read about why financial education is important, and how it can really improve the quality of your life. Here Jason talks about the ACT (awareness, creating a plan, taking control) process he suggests to help you get financially savvy
- Awareness: This part talks about why it’s important to create a vision for your life and the idea of being mindful with your finances
- Creating a Plan: These chapters go through how to create a budget, and how it can help you achieve your life goal.
- Taking Control: This part gives you different systems to help you take even more control of your money, such as how to make more money and mindful spending methods.
Mindfulness and Financial Wellness Goes Hand in Hand
I’ve always advocated to many that we need to figure out what it is that we want out of life in order to be able to get the ball rolling on our finances. I’m so glad to read that Jason feels the same way, and he explains the importance of this to the reader in a way that it’s not intimidating at all. And to be honest, that’s the last thing we need, right? For people to feel even more intimidated when talking about personal finance, only to shy away from managing their finances.
Through the book, the idea of mindfulness is stressed. Why is that? Because whether or not we want to admit it, we tend to waste time and resources. This can be in the form of buying a lot of things we don’t need or want, or feeling like we can’t afford something, and not taking the time to really figure out a plan to get those things.
I kept an open mind when reading this book, even though I knew most of what Jason talks about in the book, such as creating a vision for your life (SUPER important) and creating a plan. I was surprised to find out though that I was still afraid of the word “budget”. Now you’d think that for someone who has been debt free for over 6 years and managed to save at least 50% of their income, that I had one. Nope.
Related tip: Check out different types of budgets and how they can fit into your lifestyle. Jason’s book gives summaries of the most popular ones and how it can work for you.
But now that my personal life is different, and I’m working towards a goal of early retirement, I want to see where I can be even more mindful with my spending and incorporate more financial wellness into my life. And if that means creating a budget and having even more conversations with my husband about where we best spend and save our money. I really like the way Jason outlined different types of budgets and how I need to rethink budget as simply a plan, and not something that restricts me.
And if there’s only one thing you learn from the book, is that being mindful of your actions leads to a more purposeful life. I hesitate to say happy because your mood can change, but when you feel like you have purpose (notice I didn’t say a purpose, which is different), your overall quality of life is improved. That’s what financial wellness is all about.Being mindful of your actions leads to a more purposeful life. @sarahlicain @jasonvitug http://wp.me/p7fMRq-3BClick To Tweet
And how can we be more mindful? The book goes over quite a bit of that, with some action steps along the way. The main thing is to really question how you’re saving and spending, and whether or not that fits into the vision of your life.
How I Suggest You Read This Book
If you’re just starting out on your financial journey, I don’t suggest you read this book all at once. I would recommend reading the first three chapters, stopping and taking the time to really investigate your values and what it is that you really want out of life. The reason is that this part is scary enough, and if you jump right into planning, you’re going to find that executing your plan is not going to happen (trust me, I’ve been there).
And I suppose if there’s one criticism I have about the book, is that even though there is an emphasis on working towards a vision, there isn’t a whole lot of specifics on defining those values. Yes, it provides guidelines and some questions, but I think something like more questions to really get specific, like what kind of experiences and situations get you really fired up? Or what would you do today if money were literally no object? And why would you choose to spend your money on that (that really defines your values!)?
After you figure out your vision and how you want to be more purposeful, reading the rest of the book is easy. I plan on going back over parts of the book with my husband, honing in on our vision and creating a lifestyle spending plan (sorry, still hate the word budget) that works for us, including simplifying our money even more.
If you’re looking for a book that not only can help you get your finances in order, but your life, definitely get this book. Even if you’re on the way there (like I am), you’ll still get some useful nuggets out of it.
You can purchase the book here (Amazon) or your local bookstore.