January 29, 2012

Review - All The Money In The World (Laura Vanderkam)

A contrarian guide to using your money to create the life you want.
In her last book, 168 Hours, Laura Vanderkam showed that when we really consider how we spend our time, it turns out we have more than we realize. Now she proves that the same is true for money. No matter how much we earn, there are smarter ways to apply every dollar toward the things that matter most.
For example, the average couple spends $5,000 on engagement and wedding rings, with little thought to resisting peer pressure. But what if they decide to spend $300 on rings and apply the rest to future date nights, weekend getaways, babysitters, and thinking-of-you bouquets? What would give more satisfaction in the long run?
Drawing on the true stories of individuals and families who've reached financial fulfillment, Vanderkam argues that perhaps money can buy happiness, if we spend it wisely.

What would you do if you had all the money in the world - not literally, but all you wanted - what would you change about your life? Laura Vanderkam is contemplating getting, spending, and sharing money in her book All The Money In The World - the main premise being that you can buy happiness!
Sharing her own experiences and those of people who one day decided they'd rather spend their money on this instead of that, the book will not advise you on how to safe money, but instead encourage you to reconsider just how to spend it to make your life happier. Admittedly I liked the underlying idea from the start. If I had the choice I'd rather travel the world for the money a diamond ring would cost, and I'm sure my adventures would make me happier than that ring could.
Smoothly and quite entertainingly written the book luckily does not read as if it came straight from the self-help section of a bookstore. On the downside, there's also a lot of statistics and fluff which I ended up finding a bit distracting. Vanderkamp is often rambling on and already half way through I got the feeling that an essay would have been sufficient to communicate the essence of the whole book. Still, don't let this discourage you, because the intriguing idea presented here is definitely worth exploring!
In short: How would you spend money to take a step towards a happier life?

3/5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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