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on 15 October 2017
There is so much fantastic liberating advice here. I am thinking of the way to deal with anxiety, the difference between financial budgeting and planning and the difference between happiness and flourishing. These are all pressing issues to me as I am going through a huge transformation in how I see and manage money. I used to leave all my bills unopened - now I track my spending and plan ahead. This is painful many times but necessary and I am grateful to this book for the philosophical motivation to keep plugging away at that.

My one criticism is that, while it is good to be vulnerable and give personal examples of his own difficult relationship with money (among many others - this is by no means a self indulgent book), his basic premise that you will never be rich so just accept it is problematic. He clearly sees himself as struggling financially when many would envy his situation. Income is fluid. - even for the employed as there are always opportunities in today's world that ironically many of the concepts here allow us to take advantage of.

In conclusion read this! It's worth it
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on 1 October 2012
This is a simple read, it uses simple uncomplicated examples to explain the concepts. As a starter it's a great way to introduce the different emotional connections to money and how people view money.
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on 10 September 2017
Excellent item and great service!
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on 28 December 2013
After watching atheism 2:0 on TED, the principle of how if you are not religious you can find it hard to find somewhere to discuss the "big things" resonated.

I realised I do want to discuss these things. Or at least think about them.
I have to say, if you are religious don't be put off, this is just my introduction to this series, but this book is not for either just the religious or just atheists, but it discusses something that affects us all.

Like another reviewer, it was a big reframe for me to think of a need as something that could be looked on by some, including yourself, as a frivolity. But the argument for "flourishing" that is worked through in the text, really works for me. This book makes you have to get back to the basics and work out what really matters, and give that an important personal value.

I like the non judgmental tone of this book, and the honesty of the author. It's not about clearing debts, or solving money troubles.. It's about your personal (sometimes subconscious) interpretation of what money means to you.

I give it 5 stars, because it has made a big difference to my view on money but also what matters to me. I also completely loved the comparison with Virgil and the farming year, and how to use his way of looking at things, to keep your books. That for me was a light bulb moment

I then went onto read "how to change the world" .....and can safely say will be reading more.
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on 5 January 2013
My title says it all really. This book completely changed the way I think about money issues. I wish someone had talked to me like this twenty years ago.

It isn't that I have money 'problems'. I'm well-paid and have a lot of stuff. And that's the key thing about this book. The author distinguishes between money troubles and money worries. The first, troubles, is if you have debts and can't pay them. That's something you have to sort out. But that is NOT what this book deals with. This book deals with nagging issues about how you as an individual (or me) views money. Right down deep, at relationship level. It is about values, priorities, relationships, envy, and the effect of childhood patterns on our thinking about money. It helps explore the hidden psychological roots of why we think the way we do.

And most helpfully, it shows how to re-position the way you see money in your life, by helping the reader expose what money represents for them; security? control? a way of feeling alluring?...

From reading this book, I have learned a great deal. My most important discovery was in seeing money as 'the potential means of acquiring something good' (rather than being 'good' in itself), and also of re-defining my 'needs' from survival needs to fulfilment needs. (eg whereas I used to say 'I don't need that trip to Paris because I won't die if I don't go', I now feel 'I need that trip to Paris because I have reflected and I understand that it is part of what is important for me to flourish as a person'.)

But this is a sensible book. Even when trained to think differently, we are also encouraged not to buy stuff we can't afford - even if we 'need' it.
This book may not appeal to everyone. John Armstrong is a philosopher, and his passion for literature and art comes through in his writing. It may feel a bit 'high brow' to some people. But I loved it.

Brilliant. Thank you John Armstrong.
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on 6 August 2012
This little book has been an inspiring and rewarding read.It is the first book out of 'The School of life' series that I've read and it did stood up to my expectations. It is written with a clarity of thought and simplicity of expression, helping the reader to understand and eleaborate one's thoughts on the difference between price and value. Highly recommended to anyone who wants to adopt a rather lateral and healthier attitude towards money!! I also apreciated the 'homework' section at the end of the book, giving a list of references for further reading.
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on 10 March 2014
It's a well written book, it reminds Allan de Botton style. There are some lovely ideas. Money should help you flourish rather than make you happy, says the author. However the terms are interchangeable in this context.
There isn't enough about the security money could provide in the old age and that the worries about money are often worries about becoming old and not being able to maintain yourself. It's fine to be poor young man, but sad to be poor old man.
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on 9 October 2012
I found this book to be both insightful and interesting, the concept of money as a tool really resonated with me. Some of the sections can be a little hard to follow but overall would recommend this book to anyone wanting to get a different perspective on money
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on 1 June 2017
I found this book lacking in practical advice it was more about the different ways we think about money . I was a little annoyed that having no money was not delt with after all where's the fun in that?
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on 14 March 2014
This ("The school of life") looks like an interesting little series. This particular volume has a lot of good sense to offer about money - seeing it neither as an evil or a good in itself, but something we need to integrate with our wider life. Worth a week of anyone's wages (but it will cost you a lot less than that)
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