Getting a Life was another book that wasn’t on my initial wish list for 2008, but after reading Your Money or Your Life and being fascinated by its ideas, I discovered this “follow up” book published a few years later. The authors of Getting a Life, Jacqueline Blix and David Heitmiller, were two success stories from the Your Money or Your Life instructional series. Former yuppies, living up the good life in the 1980s, they decided to downsize their lives to chase other pursuits free from the corporate rat race.
The first 100 pages or so of Getting a Life are dedicated to recounting the former extravagant lives of the authors, and the various motivators that precipitated their adoption of a more frugal lifestyle. The introduction of the book was written by Joe Dominguez, author of Your Money or Your Life, and it may have unfortunately been his last. Dominguez died in January of 1997, but as the authors eloquently state in their dedication, “his work and message live on in these pages and in the transformed lives of program followers throughout the world.” Indeed it does.
To give a detailed review of this book would be highly redundant to the one I provided for Your Money or Your Life (YMOYL), as many of the principles are the same. YMOYL was a relatively quick read for me, while Getting a Life took a bit more mental energy to work through. The book is riddled with examples of people who have successfully applied the YMOYL principles – almost to the point of overkill.
I enjoy books with personal examples sprinkled in because it makes the author’s advice more palatable - sort of the, “If they could do it, I could do it” line of thinking. However, I found most of the examples in this book difficult to relate to. Many of these referenced had high-flying jobs in corporate America and simply decided to walk away, selling off many of their possessions and living on the earnings they had managed to accumulate through the years. For us “regular Joe’s” out here in middle class jobs with a wife, two kids and a dog to feed walking away doesn’t seem very feasible. Now, in most cases the loss of full time employment was replaced with part time work, or consulting. I guess this makes the idea a little more believable, but certainly not any more attainable in my current situation.
If you enjoyed Your Money or Your Life and want to read some follow-on material related to the principles first introduced by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin then I think you will enjoy reading Getting a Life. If you finished up YMOYL and decided you had your fill of the “living simple” message, this might be a little overkill. Weighing in at 342 pages it makes for a long read, but one that is full of real-life examples of people who have had their lives successfully transformed by Your Money or Your Life.