You Only Live Once

Forget all the rest and now try the best: You Only Live Once: The Roadmap to Financial Wellness and a Purposeful Life by Jason Vitug.

I reviewed the Alexa Von Tobel book Financially Fearless in a blog entry here. Her book seemed okay at the time. Now Vitug’s book is the one truly remarkably visionary personal finance book.

Vitug is not a CFP–certified financial planner–yet his common-sense guide puts other CFP books to shame. Move over Suze Orman. Jason Vitug is here.

His book YOLO should be read and heeded first before even considering reading the other CFP books. For one he tells us to create a spending plan linked to our values and our vision for how we want to live our lives.

When we create this spending plan [a budget] we can spend our extra discretionary income on what reflects our values. This amount doesn’t have to be 10 percent or 30 percent. It can be whatever we want it to be provided: we’ve first paid ourselves first [funded our savings and retirement], paid our expenses, and paid any debt we have.

After we knock off these essentials, Vitug tells us we can buy whatever we want as long as it’s linked to our values and our vision for our life.

The first step is to write down what we value and write down our vision for how we want to live our life. This is something no other financial planner focuses on as the root of how to manage our money.

Now I see why traditional personal finance books and accounting systems fail people. I’ve read them all over the years–no wonder it was hard–no impossible–to stick to those “budgets.”

Think of a budget as a spending plan that allows you to have the kind of life you want. But first–as Vitug prophetically tells us–we must know what we value and what our vision is for our lives.

I checked this book out of the library. You can buy the book if you have the money.

Jason Vitug impresses me to no end. Plus the book is shorter and more easily readable than the others.

By all means, consult with a financial planner and use the other books if that is warranted for your situation.

I for one had a light bulb go off in my head when I read YOLO.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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