Money, a Love Story: Untangle Your Financial Woes and Create the Life You Really Want (Anglais) Broché – 30 septembre 2013
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Full of energy, brazenly fun, highly creative and wise beyond her years, Kate Northrup has more than a thing or two to teach you about value - valuing yourself, your life, and your money. Listen carefully and learn! --Cheryl Richardson bestselling author of The Art of Extreme Self-Care --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .
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Upon starting this book, my impressions were confirmed. The steps for achieving financial freedom appear to be:
1. Get yourself born to very successful doctor parents.
2. Have your mother write a best-selling book.
3. Go to college on your parents' dime.
4. Use your mother's reputation and connections to start a "network marketing business" (otherwise known as "hit up your family, friends and acquaintances for money business").
5. Live rent-free in an apartment owned by your mother while running up lots of debt.
6. Use that same network (the one built on your mother's connections, while telling people you've ended your professional relationship with your mother) to build a wellness coaching and motivational speaking business telling people how you got out of debt.
Reminds me of a story of a man reading a magazine where he happens upon an ad which promises the secret to riches if you just send in $100 and a self-addressed stamped envelope. So the man sends in his money and his SASE and in a couple weeks the envelope comes back. Inside is a single sheet of paper with the words "Do exactly what I'm doing".
So I was pretty set to hate this book and rip it to shreds. But then a funny thing starts to happen. The book gets a little harder to hate because it starts to become clear that the book isn't so much about money. Money is just a stand in for "value" as Ms. Northrup puts it - how we value ourselves and the value we put into the world. The book becomes basically a self-help book that presents an understanding of self that can help you to move forward and get unstuck. It utilizes many of the same principles that are applied to many other issues - overeating/weight loss, addiction, co-dependency, etc. It's the "power of positive thinking" meets "Money Magazine" with a bit of new-agey "The Secret" type of stuff thrown in for good measure. I don't exactly agree with all of the psychology behind this approach, but at least it's something easier to understand and work with than just "be rich like I am".
Ms. Northrup's overarching point seems to be that women (her target audience) often fall into debt and/or don't earn as much as they could be earning and/or other financial pratfalls because we don't pay attention to our money - we zone out when money is discussed, we think that someone else will take care of it for us, we've been taught that money is bad, we hope that everything will somehow work out if we just ignore it all, etc., etc. But in fact, money is just one symbolic representation of ourselves, and by neglecting our money, we are in fact neglecting ourselves. Without attending lovingly and sympathetically to money (or any other area of our lives), we cannot expect to grow - we will remain stuck.
In this light, Ms. Northrup encourages her readers to enter into a "love affair" with their money. She discusses the types of emotional and social issues and cognitive blocks that keep us stuck - financially and otherwise. She lays out a series of exercises to confront those issues and lovingly bring our attention to bear on our financial situation in small, manageable, and even fun steps. First we are instructed to write our "money story" telling the history of our relationship with money. Then we are to re-write that story starring ourselves as the heroine rather than the victim. We are to see the good that we have gotten out of the journey so far. Little by little we confront our actual financial situation, and then we learn to re-align our financial practices with our desired feelings and values. As I indicated, and as I will address more below, I don't entirely agree with everything Ms. Northrup espouses. I don't believe, for instance "the universe" will "be attracted to" our attention and love of money. But doing these exercises is valuable in and of itself because it helps us to face the reality of our situation, work through resistance, and come at it from a point of view of forgiveness and self-acceptance. Just as you can't lose weight by beating yourself up over past eating choices, you can't get out of debt by beating yourself up for being in it in the first place.
I suppose my biggest criticisms of Ms. Northrup center on the fact that she is very young and has very limited experience in the world. I am happy for her upbringing and her sense of freedom - I wish everyone could have a life like that. But the reality is that not everyone does, and that those who start from a position of economic disadvantage are at a constant disadvantage in trying to move out of that position. Ms. Northrup was able to use her mother's connections to build her business, for instance. But those who are poor or even lower middle class lack those connections - most of the people they know are also poor or lower middle class.
In her section about practical steps to reduce/eliminate debt, Ms. Northrup suggests earning money by selling designer clothes that we don't wear on consignment. That, of course, is an assumption that most of us have a closetful of designer clothes that could be put on consignment - I don't think that's true for the majority of women. Furthermore, she suggests shopping at the farmer's market rather than Whole Foods. What about those who are already shopping at discount grocery stores (or the food pantry)? Clearly, Ms. Northrup is talking to women who are already well positioned on the path to financial prosperity.
In fact, Ms. Northrup assumes that all women have sources from which they could bring in extra money. Given time constraints, lack of connections and other limiting circumstances (not all of which are just "limiting beliefs"), I don't think that's necessarily true for most women. Ms. Northrup talks about how, if there's something we really, really want to do, we always seem to find the money for it. First, I'm not convinced that's always true - I think there are plenty of things plenty of women really, really want to do and yet don't get to do. And second, even when we do find a way, Ms. Northrup overlooks what we had to sacrifice to get there. As a personal example, it is really important to me that my children attend a progressive school and the only one near us is private. We are reasonably well off, but to ensure that we have the money for that school, we have given up a lot of spending, not found new sources of income.
Furthermore, Ms. Northrup is a young woman and has not yet had many of life's messier experiences. For instance, she's never dealt with a major medical issue - whether serious illness or debilitating injury. She is still young, strong, beautiful and full of health. May that last for many decades - but it might not. She also still has the support of both parents and a sister - it doesn't sound like she has yet lost a close family member or friend. She is also not yet a mother and so I don't think she fully comprehends the financial, emotional and time demands of parenting. I would like to hear from her in future years as she faces some of these challenges.
It's always good to face our challenges and explore what is keeping us blocked, but just because we resolve our blockages does not mean that "the universe" will reward us with financial success or recognition. Many, many people have fearlessly and ardently pursued their life's passion and purpose and still ended up destitute and ignored. As Ms. Northrup herself seems to indicate in many of the "con" sections in her Appendix, timing and luck play a big role. You might have a fabulous idea for a business, product, book, movie, etc., but if you don't get your idea out there at just the right time and to just the right people, you are still likely to fail, no matter how much you love yourself and your money.
I also take issue with Ms. Northrup over the very idea of "loving" your money and the idea of "value". The Bible doesn't say that money itself is the root of all evil, it says that the love of money is the root of all evil. I realize that Ms. Northrup is using money as a stand-in for our value of ourselves and really it's ourselves that we should love, but when I think of loving money, I think of someone sitting on a pile of dollar bills, gold coins, stock certificates, etc., gleefully rubbing his hands in them. It's not that rich people are necessarily evil, but people who accumulate wealth for the purpose of hoarding it and keeping it from others are. Ms. Northrup herself alludes to this in her many definitions of wealth which focus on being free to live comfortably and do what we want with our lives. But we need to be careful about "loving" money. Money is a tool, just like a car, a computer or a power drill. It's not the tool itself we should love, it's what we can accomplish in our own lives and the lives of others.
I would also be very careful about equating "money" and "value". There are many people who have a lot of money and yet create very little of value in the word (in fact, they often seem to destroy value, such as fracking and strip-mining public lands and open areas). There are also a lot of things we can do that create quite a bit of value that bring in little or no money. Parenting probably tops that list. In fact, most professions working with children are very underpaid - daycare workers, social workers, many teachers, etc. - yet they shape the young minds and hearts which will eventually shape the world. Further, most female dominated professions pay less than most male dominated ones. Do nurses create less "value" than doctors? (Granted, more and more women are becoming doctors, but even within those ranks, the female dominated practices, such as pediatrics, tend to pay significantly less than male dominated specialties such as oncology.) Are women less "valuable" than men?
In her final chapter, Ms. Northrup encourages women to take it a step further and complete their financial freedom by developing income streams that don't depend on showing up and working every day - they pay no matter what. Some people may be skilled and lucky enough to achieve this through the publication of one or more books, the release one or more movies or albums, or through royalties from a patent. But her main experience in this area comes from "network marketing businesses". Her experience is with USANA. Others are Usborne Books, Amway, Pampered Chef. These businesses create residual income you recruit other people under you to sell the products and you receive a portion of the profits without doing the selling yourself. I have a very negative reaction to these sorts of schemes. First of all, they impose on friendships and familial relationships as there becomes pressure for friends and family members to buy from you in order to maintain harmonious relationships. But more importantly, they strike me as Ponzi schemes. Once many of your friends and family have been recruited to sell the products, who is there left to sell to? Who is left to recruit? Ms. Northrup talks a lot about ethics/morality and money, mainly trying to sell us on the idea that making money is not immoral. I would agree that it's not necessarily immoral, but it can be, and I think Ms. Northrup needs to examine that dynamic in connection with network marketing businesses.
I'm glad I read this book. It has forced me to look at some of my own areas of blindness and resistance and it has inspired me to take a new look at my finances and try to approach that area of my live with consciousness. It has even inspired me to look beyond my current job just to see what other possibilities are out there. And for that, I thank Ms. Northrup. But I also found many of my concerns and doubts about this book and the whole "financial freedom" movement to be validated. Money is one symbolic reflection of our self and our "value" in the world, yes, but it is certainly not the only one and money does not define us or our "value".
Unfortunately, Money, A Love Story fell flat to me. It isn't that Northrup gives terrible money advice all the way through. In fact, she gives some really good advice at parts...but it is mostly regurgitated from other books! And even the advice that is more about encouragement and self-help (and less specifically about money) still originates from self-help books she's read and seminars she has attended. She quotes so often from other books that her own book reads like a college essay: yes, there are a lot of ideas in there, but they aren't original to her, and she hasn't added anything unique to the discussion.
I suppose other readers might argue that Northrup shares her personal story, and THAT is what makes this book unique. But Northrup's personal story is one that I simply cannot relate to at all. She is unbelievably privileged--and, honestly, in and of itself, who cares?! People are born into poverty and people are born into wealth; that isn't something we can control. However, it became irritating to me to keep reading how she had "struggled" to pay off her $20,000 in debt and get right with her money, when all of her debt was accumulated through shopping trips at high-end department stores and the way she eventually paid off that debt was by selling and moving out of her condo (paid for by her wealthy mother) and moving into said mother's comfortably accommodating home. Northrup acknowledges at several points that she is lucky to have the parents she has and privileged to have had the experiences that having money allowed her, but I feel like she also tries too hard to push a "I am you, you are me, we are the same, and we are in this together" mentality. It just doesn't work, because it isn't true. And the more she focused on that, the more distant I felt as a reader.
In short, I did not enjoy this book like I thought I would. However, if you are just starting to learn about money, haven't read many other books on the subject, and grew up wealthy, you honestly may enjoy it. Still, I would highly recommend the three books I listed above before I would ever suggest reading Money, A Love Story.
The author, a child of privilege, shares her own story. It did not resonate with me. It is easy to dance across the tightrope when a net is in place. I didn't care for the smug tone and frankly, she is more connected than gifted or wise. Her suggestions for increasing income including mlms and selling unused designer duds on consignment are insensitive to the 99 percent who don't have any unused duds designer or otherwise and have been victimized by mlm schemes before. On the positive side, it is not a complex book and some of the charts and tools are helpful.
For those who are intrigued with creating their own money love store, I would suggest looking at Financial Alchemy: Twelve Months of Magic and Manifestation (Volume 1) Rae developed the "money honey" concept and seems to do it successfully. For those who are interested in metaphysical approaches, I suggest RealityShifters Guide to High Energy Money orThe Energy of Money: A Spiritual Guide to Financial and Personal Fulfillment orCreating Money: Attracting Abundance orMoney is Love: Reconnecting to the Sacred Origins of Money or Tapping Into Wealth: How Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) Can Help You Clear the Path to Making More Money. Many people have issues with money that can and should be cleared. However without a practical plan, it is for naught.
This is not a terrible book, it is just derivative. The author is not a financial planner and has no particular expertise. There are many fine books both on finances and metaphysical approaches. This one, while adequate, is far from outstanding. Pass.
and has decided at a very young age and based on one networking experience (mostly fueled by her association with
her influential Mom) that she is an expert on money issues. Her book is overly complicated, jejune and
pompous, which is normal for a 28 yr. old author. But what is galling and misleading is the avalanche of glowing
reviews by so many of her mother's friends and peers. Talk about "buying" influence. By now, most of us have grown
to be very skeptical when it comes to reviews. In this case, it would pay to read the negative ones.