February 28, 2016

Book Review: Money and Marriage

Money and Marriage: A Complete Guide for Engaged and Newly Married Couples, by Matt Bell is a practical guidebook for figuring out finances.  Couples (and individuals) “can learn to use money in a way that minimizes financial disputes, contributes greatly to your marital happiness, and gives you a sense of deep joy and satisfaction,” according to page 14.

With a strong biblical emphasis, this book is divided into three main parts: Decoding Each Other’s Financial DNA, A Ten-Step Action Plan for Financial Success, and Fostering Financial Oneness.

Part one, Each Other’s Financial DNA, primarily focuses on outside and inside influences.  According to page 15, “By talking about the various influences that have impacted your use of money, you will gain empathy for each other, identify potential sources of financial conflict, and better understand each other’s financial strengths and weaknesses.”

Part two, A Ten-Step Action Plan for Financial Success, includes ten steps that focus on the following: Plan to Succeed, Work Wisely, Give Some Away, Put Some Away, Ruthlessly Avoid Debt, Manage Your Credit Score, Patiently Pursue Interest, Build Walls of Protection, Spend Smart on Housing, and Spend Smart on All Other Expenses.

Part three, Fostering Financial Oneness, focuses on more financial details, including the following topics: One in Love, One in Money, Details, Details, Get Organized, and What It’s All About.  Chapters in parts two and three end with a Take Action section that consists of two parts: What to Do and What to Discuss, which are useful guidelines and questions that summarize each chapter.

Throughout eighteen chapters, there are questions to consider, worksheets and mini-quizzes, helpful financial tips, and it’s based on biblical guidelines.  This financial handbook also includes spreadsheets for Recommended Monthly Spending Guidelines and Recommended Housing Guidelines.

According to page 15, Bell states, “If you put the principles in this book into action, you will experience money as a great blessing in your marriage rather than the all-too-common sense of stress and conflict.  I say that with complete confidence because these are not my principles; they are the timeless truths about money found in the Bible.”

Money and Marriage is a quality resource and a wonderful way to review, even if you are on track with your finances.  It’s primarily geared towards engaged and newly married couples (as the title indicates), but this book is worthwhile for singles and seasoned married couples…simply anyone who wants to enhance and/or realign their finances in a practical and biblical manner.

Note: I received this book from Litfuse Publicity, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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