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Subject:  Re: Your Money or Your Life Date:  7/25/2000  8:19 PM
Author:  intercst Number:  13734 of 876087

tutone asks,

I'm about half way through this book. Interesting read. They have a perspective that obviously appeals to the mindset on this board. I have a question though, for those of you who have read the book. The exercises strike me as a major time sink. I'm wondering how many of you did them, and what your impressions were. Did you / do you track every penny you spend? Have you calculated how much money you've made over the course of your life, or your total net worth to the penny? If so how much time does it take?

I read "Your Money or Your Life" (YMOYL) in 1996, two years after I retired. As it happened, I actually had done most of the things Dominguez outlines in the book, but not to the level of detail he recommends. For instance, I just tracked major expense items that I payed by check (i.e., rent, utility bills, credit card card bills (paid in full each month)) and I had a "misc. cash" category that probably accounted for 15% to 20% of my spending (i.e. grocery shopping, restaurant meals, etc. that I didn't pay by credit card.) As long as my percentage of gross pay saved kept rising, I didn't see any need to track each category down to the last penny. (I was saving about 50% of my gross salary the last 2 or 3 years I was working.)

I didn't make an attempt to calculate "how much money you've made over your life" until 1998 when I decided to fill out the Social Security Personal Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement which had my earnings from age 16 to age 38 (when I retired.) After adding in the extra earnings I had in the later years beyond the FICA limits (for 2000 the FICA limit is $74,000), I discovered that my retirement portfolio had grown more in 1998 than the sum total of all my lifetime earnings.

A pretty bad advertisement for the theory that "work" is rewarded. <grin>


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