Living the Life YOU Value – Love Your Life, Not Theirs Book Review

October 3, 2016

Living the Life YOU Value | Love Your Life, Not Theirs Book Review

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What does it mean to live the life you value? What does that look like? Is it possible? These questions are addressed in Love Your Life, Not Theirs, by Rachel Cruze.

While this is a personal finance book and it covers the steps to take towards achieving a successful financial future, it also highlights the social and cultural roadblocks that we may encounter along the way.

Love Your Life, Not Theirs brings to light something we all do yet rarely talk about and fail to admit (even to ourselves) to doing  — compare ourselves to others. We learn in this book how that comparison can affect our finances and rob us of living a fulfilled and joyful life. We discover how to move past the habit of comparing ourselves with others so that we can live the life we value.

If you’ve ever looked at your friends’ social media posts and suddenly felt insecure about what’s going on in your life, the message in this book will instantly resonate.


Love Your Life, Not Theirs highlights how great an impact our habits and choices have on our finances. It offers seven habits that we can all adopt — regardless of where we are in our financial journey — and highlights the steps necessary to implement each one.

While action steps are provided to manage your money and get rid of debt, at the core of this book is the message that your goals and your approach to your finances should be based on what you personally value (which may be different than what your best friend, co-worker, or mother value).

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This book shows you how to focus on your values so you can live the life you want and value.

About the Author

You might know Rachel Cruze as Dave Ramsey’s daughter. If you know her only as Dave Ramsey’s daughter, this books sheds light on who she is beyond that.

Cruze is an author and speaker who communicates to students, young adults, and young families how to manage their money, save for the future, and avoid debt. She is also the co-author of Smart Money, Smart Kids.

What You Will Learn From Love Your Life, Not Theirs

Your Choices and Habits Are the Keys to Your Financial Success

This book reminds us how our habits and our choices are an excellent indication of whether or not we’ll be successful with money. If we can learn to make positive choices that lead to healthy financial habits, the result will be affording the things — and life — we value.

Comparing Yourself to the Joneses will Steal Your Joy

We’re all familiar with the fact that keeping up with the Joneses can lead us into trouble. And getting caught in comparing yourself with them will only steal the joy that you could experience in your own life.

Love Your Life, Not Theirs highlights the fact that we no longer only run into the Joneses when we’re getting the morning paper. We are bombarded with images of what the Joneses are up to in our Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram feeds. We’re reminded that in a sense we’re comparing ourselves with make believe — to which we just can’t compete.

Contentment and Gratitude Are Essential To Your Financial Plan

Contentment is a necessary component of any financial plan. Cruze shares a gratitude exercise — list two things daily to be grateful for. In doing this, the focus is kept on your sense of contentment and gratitude rather than your wants.

I love this, and while it was not officially offered as a challenge in the book, I think this could be a powerful exercise for every reader to engage in.

Memorable Quotes

  • “Change happens when you own up to the choices you make.”
  • “When we start comparing ourselves to other people, we’re playing a game we’ll never win.”
  • “With every spending and saving decision, we’re moving ourselves closer to financial success or financial distress.”

What I Liked About Love Your Life, Not Theirs

It’s Instantly Relatable

The book starts off with a scene that I believe most of us can relate to — scrolling through your favorite social media feed, only to see the photos of your friend’s latest vacation.

Suddenly the vacation you just took and enjoyed seems inadequate. If not a vacation, it’s the new car, new job, or kitchen remodel. Sound familiar?

It Offers A Fresh Take On Familiar Advice

If you’re familiar with Dave Ramsey and the principles taught in Total Money Makeover, as well as Financial Peace University (FPU), some of the how-to in Love Your Life, Not Theirs will sound familiar, but not so much that this book isn’t worth reading.

Cruze provides a unique perspective on proven principles including a simple alternative to the envelope system and a new “budgeting personality” category that most people will identify with.

What I Didn’t Like

Absence of Action Steps In Each Chapter

This depends on your personal preference, but I think this book could have been enhanced with specific actions steps or discussion/challenge questions at the conclusion of each chapter.

More Detail Needed in Some Areas

As I mentioned, if you’re familiar with the principles taught in The Total Money Makeover and FPU, then some of the information in this book will be recognizable.

However, for the reader who is not familiar, I think more detail is needed in order to grasp a full understanding of the principles and course of action suggested. This would be a great book to read before reading The Total Money Makeover.


I really enjoyed this book, and I have to admit I wasn’t sure that I would. Perhaps it’s because in Cruze’s previous book, Smart Money, Smart Kids (an excellent resource for teaching your children about money), she is co-author, and we’re not given full access to her voice.

That is not the case in this book. Love Your Life, Not Theirs is relatable. Rachel Cruze is relatable. The message in this book is current and relevant to today’s social media culture and the unspoken pressures that come along with it.

This book is for anyone looking to improve their financial situation. Millennials and Gen X’ers especially will benefit from reading Love Your Life, Not Theirs. It also serves as an excellent resource for young married or soon-to-be married couples.

Love Your Life, Not Theirs lives up to the promise laid out in the foreword, “If you’re tired of playing the comparison game and you’re ready to focus on building the life you love, Rachel will show you how.” In my opinion, this book meets that expectation.

Are you living the life you value? What does that look like for you?


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