Book Review: Money & Marriage

My latest review is of the book Money & Marriage: A Complete Guide for Engaged and Newly Married Couples. The book is designed to get young couples off to a good start financially. The book starts by discussing the way that upbringing and personality work together to influence our choices about money, and explains how various personality types are likely to interact.  It then goes on to describe a 10-step action plan for financial success.

Matt About Money Nest Egg Giveaway

Topics discussed include improving your credit score, paying off student loans,  choosing the right type of mortgage for your situation, and deciding on appropriate life insurance.

When John and I got married at 19, we certainly didn’t know all this stuff, and we definitely made a few mistakes as we learned.   A certain red Chevy Luv 4×4 comes to my mind.  We signed the loan just months after we were married, and just months before we found out we were expecting our first child!

This book talks straight, for example pointing out that cable TV is not a ‘utility’.  It is entertainment, and thus not an essential of life.  I had to cheer a little there- it is that entitlement mindset that gets too many people in debt.  And when you’d rather be in debt than give up your HGTV– well, there’s an issue, for sure.  This book looks to me to be a worthwhile read for any couple wanting to avoid common newlywed pitfalls.

To celebrate the release of the book, the author is giving away a Nest Egg Prize Package worth over $250. Click on the picture above to enter the contest.   It ends on April 11th.

(Litfuse Publicity provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for the review.   I was not compensated in any other way for this review.)

{ 12 Comments }

  1. It’s a little hard to do finances properly as a married couple when one spouse insists that it’s up to them what is done with the money since they are they one that earns it and tough luck if you don’t like it. (Never mind that I stay home with the kids so that we don’t have to pay for childcare, and we don’t have another car because he refuses to get a loan for one even though the ONE we do have is falling apart and not worth spending more money on. Not asking for something fancy, just something used that runs and suits our needs).

    I agree though that cable tv is not a utility, and we’ve never had it. We don’t have a dryer either which does bother me with the amount of laundry I do, but I’ve tried not to complain. But now that elastic is broken in everything and I know he’s not going to replace it, I’m mad. If you want me to hang the clothes instead of using a dryer, you have to replace the things that go bad from drying in the sun, not just expect me to deal with it. I’ve begged for a dishwasher, for him to fix stuff around the house, but he just won’t. After all, it doesn’t affect HIM so why does any of that stuff matter?

    • Sure that everyone reading this is thinking the same thing. Your relationship with your husband as it regards money is in need of a mediator. You are complaining and big time. Find a marriage counselor you will both agree on and GO.

    • Sounds like money is a hard thing in your marriage. I don’t know all your challenges and issues, but God does, and He cares for you and desires for you to be blessed through your marriage.

      I want to encourage you to honor your husband, and if things are bad enough that this feels impossible, it might also be wise to get some counseling together. And pray, pray, pray. You’re certainly not alone in your struggles with money, and with your relationship. Many, many people are right there in the trenches with you. (In fact, that is why I chose to write to you here on my blog rather than privately as was my first inclination.)

      Praying today that you *will* see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (Psalm 27)

      Mary

  2. I had to laugh at the mention of cable TV as a utility instead of a luxury. I used to think of cable TV as a luxury when I lived in the midwest and in VA. After all, you could still get ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS and at least one other local station. And that’s enough TV. We didn’t get cable. I still thought of cable TV as a luxury in our 1st two residences in hilly/mountainous Pittsburgh, too, even though we couldn’t even get all of the basic stations to come in. (The last house we lived in got NBC, CBS and PBS, for ex.. That’s it. On ABC? Out of luck!) And then we moved to our current house. Without cable we got 0 stations. Nothing but gray static, ever, which felt very different. And it was then that we got cable, an expense which I now file under “utilities” in checking! Oh, well.

    • Good point, Marian. I’m this moment thinking of folks for whom cable is essential because of sports-loving hubbies– I am not remotely suggesting a wife should put the kibosh on that if the hubby sees that as essential. Ya gotta love/respect the people in your life, and sometimes that means buying something that you yourself don’t much feel the need for. However, sometimes that means doing *without* something you really want because there is a greater need elsewhere! It’s complicated, isn’t it?

      • Boy, that’s the truth. I suggested that we would save quite a bit without cable and I thought the poor guy would pass out right under my nose! We both enjoy watching baseball on TV (reminds me of a Saturday afternoon at Grandma’s) so the cable stays.

        To save in another area, I’m tracking our utilities and water usage and having a Family Fun Day when we reach our goal numbers. Still working that out with Mr. Long Hot Shower though. ;o)

    • Marian, our house has the same reception of television as yours – 0. While I consider cable nice it certainly isn’t a necessity if it means we can’t buy a meal for the week or something that is. But until we reach that point, cable is NICE to have because it keeps our entertainment cost down to the monthly payment of the cable connection.
      But always amazing to me that families who are struggling financially have all the latest gadgets and pay big time monthly payments but honestly don’t even consider cutting one of them so that their kids can eat and dress better!

    • Just to add to the discussion…. We only get PBS and nothing else. We don’t see getting the other channels as a need. We do see some media as a need on the basis of being informed (news, weather, politics and so on). We choose to get internet that costs a little more than average because of our location(same issue with tv) to fill that need as well as the educational, shopping and communication needs. We could use the library internet but feel we would waste a lot of time and money(on gas)getting there and this is the best use of the money God has given us. And it make is easier to resist the temptation of wasting time in front of the TV when you have PBS.

      And Mary, thank you for saying it. We have seen it this “I *need*…” problem with so many in our circles and it’s both sad and scary. Honestly we have some of the same problems of what we need and just keep asking ourselves, “Do I need this? Really need it?”.

  3. Hey Mary, can you talk about student loans?

    1. I’d love to hear your take/impression on students borrowing for education, as it’s something I’m already dreading negotiating with my little kids when they get big!

    2. About paying them off. I have student loans my husband and I have been tempted to pay off multiple times, but every time our financial advisor has warned us against it because it’s such a low-interest debt. And it’s true, even in our checking account with our credit union, we’re earning 5% on our money and the interest on the old student loan is 3.75%. I’m open to, and interested in, hearing your position on whether or not there is such a thing as “good debt” like this.

  4. This book might be interesting to read and good for gift now that my sister is planning an August wedding. I think married couples need to honor each other and not worry about issues such as money, who is doing what,etc. My grandparents were married for 56-years and they never had any money but they managed because they loved each other and money for sure was not an issue.

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