One of the great things about experiencing FinCon is all the great people that you get to meet and the stories about how they are trying to leave their imprint on the world through their experiences. At breakfast one of the mornings, I ran into Mark Lancia and struck up a great conversation about what we're trying to accomplish and how we're looking for more. He mentioned that he was an author and let me look over his book, Money for Meaning: Philosophy for a Life of Extraordinary Freedom. I got a complimentary copy from him in exchange for an honest review of it. I'm happy to report that this book review came much sooner than I had expected.
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I have just finished reading Money For Meaning and it was a book that I went through faster than almost any other financial book I've read. I couldn't put it down! It was such a different book than all the how to books out there. It was more of a behavioral change book than a financial book in my opinion. Instead of regurgitating all the how to stuff out there, it went above and beyond all that and dove deeper into the way we think about money and how we live in a consumption society.
Summary From Amazon
What do we want out of life? What drives us and gives us meaning? A big house, luxury cars and a bunch of possessions to show how “successful” we are? In reality, this is what debt typically looks like, not success! When we’ve leveraged ourselves to the hilt, we can’t travel, leave our jobs or change direction in life due to the mountain of debt we signed up for. Decades of wage slavery ensue – but it doesn’t have to be this way!
Instead, we can pay cash for a house and travel the world – even by the age of 30! And we don’t have to live like a monk, get lucky in the stock market or be high earners. When we question the status quo – such as understanding what it actually takes to be happy and how to live life on our terms – we can make these results the norm, not the exception. We can’t help but accumulate money at a blistering pace – and more importantly, radically expand our freedom and personal growth.
Money for Meaning is filled with true stories of real people, and insights that will transform how we spend our money and time – and result in an extraordinary freedom that few have experienced!
Interesting Highlights from Money for Meaning
I found myself being led chapter to chapter nodding in agreement asking for the next point that was coming. Mark Lancia and Mihaela Jekic did a great job of explaining their thought processes through many different stories and relateable examples. I found myself highlighting many points that he was making:
Typically, the more we possess and the more debt we carry, the more our lives are constrained by these obligations. When we sell future years of our lives through debt, we become bound by the decisions our younger selves have made.
Related Post: Why I Decided To Pay Off Debt
I loved this. They consistently tried to transform the reader into thinking through the possessions versus true meaning discussion. They are calling us to a life of more than just possessions, cautioning the reader about going the wrong path.
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Many perfectly functioning items end up in the trash heap because marketers have convinced us that we need a newer model.
They went into depth about the effects that advertising, marketing, and consumerism consumption have on our lives and the lack of freedom that it provides when we walk down this path.
Flowing from chapter to chapter, I found myself thinking through my family's life and plan.
- Should we pay off our mortgage faster?
- How can I declutter our home and free ourselves of even more possessions?
- How much time is all this stuff costing us in our lives?
One of his biggest points that he argues for us to ponder is about being for or against home ownership. I believe he makes some great points about buying the right sized house and what our house should actually mean in our lives. Many people believe that their house is an extension of their status and part of what makes them appear successful. Mark argues that when we fall into the trap of buying too much house, we hinder our ability to experience true freedom because we shackle ourselves with the payments and the upkeep. I'm in the camp that you ought to get a house, just make sure that you aren't buying too much house. Otherwise the dream of home ownership becomes a curse and a payment that holds you hostage from doing what you truly were made to do.
Is Money for Meaning for you?
If you have thought about making some changes in your life, I'd highly recommend checking out Money for Meaning website. From the relationships that we're pursuing to the legacy that we are looking to leave when we die, Mark and Mihaela give a great example to work towards, with some great life changes and vulnerability that they went through.
Check out other book reviews that I’ve written if you’re looking for something else to read.
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