Tag Archives: book review

Money and Marriage by Matt Bell

matt bell money and marriage review

This week’s book review is for Money & Marriage by Matt Bell. After receiving a review I went ahead and read the book over a weekend. I want to share some of my thoughts on the book which I hope will help you decide if it’s right for you.

In case you didn’t know, Matt blogs over at Matt About Money. If you’re read the book already, please share your thoughts in the comments. I love to hear from other readers and their perspectives on books I review.

Basic Book Infomatt bell money and marriage review

Money & Marriage Overview

What’s Inside

If you’re curious about what Money & Marriage covers, here is the table of contents:

  • What Is It About Money?
  • Getting Personal
  • Outside Influences: How Family, Personal Experiences, and Culture Affect Your Finances
  • Inside Influences: How Your Temperaments Affect Your Finances
  • 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
  • Spend Smart on All Other Expenses
  • One in Love, One in Money
  • Details, Details
  • Get Organized
  • What It’s all About

Even just looking at the content list, I noticed that Bell was trying to be as thorough as possible with some common pitfalls of newlyweds trying to figure out a financial system that reflects their values and their personalities.  If you’re looking for more information, Matt includes some downloads of the charts and tables that are in the book at his site Matt About Money.

Here’s another take on Matt’s latest book:

Gary Thomas, author of “Sacred Marriage,” said: “Money & Marriage is as thorough and practical a book as you’ll find about preparing for the financial challenges and blessings of living life together as husband and wife.  This would be a wonderful addition to any premarital class, and just as helpful for any newly marrieds class.  Written from a thoroughly biblical perspective, Money & Marriage addresses just about any marital money issue you could think of, and many you probably haven’t (but should have!).”

If the two of you can sit down and discuss the book and work it out with the spreadsheets, it can be helpful.

Thoughts on Money & Marriage

If you’re a fan of Dave Ramsey‘s incorporation of personal finances with some references to Scriptures, Bell’s book may appeal to you. He offers a lot of practical suggestions and covers a lot of ground in a relatively small book.

I’d love to hear feedback from others that have read the book. What did you think about it? What chapter was most helpful for you? What was the least helpful?

First Comes Love, Then Comes Money Review

love and money review bethany scott palmer

This week’s book review is up the alley for many Couple Money readers. Bethany and Scott Palmer, also known as “The Money Couple,”  have a new book out about financial communication. I think it’s a handy book to review as one of the biggest reasons marriages break down is due to financial problems.

Some people mistakenly believe that if they brush over the topic, then they’ll avoid money arguments. That’s simply not true. It’s the lack of meaningful communication between spouses about finances that causes arguments.

With that in mind, I hope some of you find this book review helpful.

Basic Book Info

First Comes Love, Then Comes Money Overview love and money review bethany scott palmer

What’s Inside

If you’re curious about what First Comes Love…. covers, here is the table of contents:

  • The Truth About Financial Infidelity
  • Discovering Your Money Personality
  • When Money Personalities Collide
  • How Bad Is It? Finding Your Financial Infidelity Quotient
  • Confronting the Causes of Financial Infidelity
  • Eight Simple Rules for Fighting Fair
  • The Money Dump: Getting It All on the Table
  • The Key to Restoring Your Financial Relationship

As you can see the focus is less about the numbers and more about the habits and communication. The Palmers noted that they could help families fix their finances over time, but if the underlying communication problem wasn’t fixed, the money problems came back.


Besides eight chapters worth of information, the Palmers include more if you want to delve just a bit deeper and get some more tips on dealing with money as a team.

  • Money Personalities at a Glance
  • Money Huddle Quick Tips
  • The Money Couple Answers Your Questions

The first section of the book encourages you to look at each other’s money personality and discover why conflicts happen. It ends with some case studies on different money personalities and the most common problems they have interacting with one another.

The second section discusses actually has a small test you and your spouse can take to discover your Financial Relationship Index.  You can then tackle which of the five financial categories of financial infidelity concern you the most:

  • Overspending & Debt
  • Financial Separation
  • Lack of Planning
  • Control
  • Secrets

Finally the last section offers some specific tips on talking about money with one another. My favorite chapter was about fighting fair and the rules of engagement:

  1. Commit to Making It Work
  2. Start with New Expectations
  3. Diffuse the Situation
  4. Stay Focused on the Problem at Hand
  5. Think About Your Money Personalities
  6. Search for Solutions
  7. Expect to Blow It
  8. Extend Grace

The book seems to flow well from section to section and I do like how it goes from concepts to tips. Looking at the big picture before tackling the details seems more beneficial for most couples.

Thoughts on the Money Couple’s New Book

My overall impression of this book is positive. I think couples who are having problems seeing eye to eye would benefit from reading and discussing the book. It’s meant to be a springboard for some honest communication.

I’d love to hear feedback from others that have read the book. What did you think about it? What chapter was most helpful for you? What was the least helpful?

Psych Yourself Rich

psych yourself rich farnoosh torabi

This week I’m reviewing Psych Yourself Rich. I was excited to receive a review copy to share my thoughts on the new book. If you’re not familiar with her, Torabi is the author of You’re So Money: Live Rich Even When You’re Not. She’s a;so contributed to The Today Show, Good Morning America, and Money magazine.

Not sure if her new book is for you? Hopefully my review will help you make the decision.

Basic Book Infopsych yourself rich farnoosh torabi

  • Full Title: Psych Yourself Rich: Get the Mindset & Discipline You Need to Build Your Financial Life
  • Author(s): Farnoosh Torabi
  • Publisher: FT Press
  • Price: $22.99

Psych Yourself Rich Overview

Torabi  has organized her book on 3 principles clearly. Each has it’s own focus while maintaining her confident and encouraging style to help readers along as they improve their finances.

Draft Your Financial Blueprint

There are a lot of people who want to be rich, but can’t really define what it means to them. Torabi spend a few chapters looking at the traits that people associate with those that are wealthy and then asks readers to decide what they want. Do they want to be big earners and spenders or do they want to be earners and givers?

It examines how to identify opportunities to improve your finances and introduces accountability into the equation. She finishes the section with some common emotions that people associate with money and how to work with them.

Psych It Up

After your own values and goals are define, the next section looks at removing the clutter and designing a system that works for you. Online and offline tools were mentioned and reviewed to help readers decide what could work for them personally. She also looks at being your own advocate and being assertive on getting better deals.

Raise the Bar

The final part of the book is dedicated to seeking more entrepreneurial options. By nature, people are risk adverse. It makes sense many times as you want to protect your investments or your career. However, it can be beneficial to break out and look at more profitable options.

From these big ideas, she drills down and tackles them one by one.

What’s Inside Psych Yourself Rich?

There is a lot of information inside the book. Depending on where you are at financially, you can read it cover to cover or you can jump around to what interests you. Here are the topics covered in the book.

  • Personalize Rich – Torabi open up with her first thoughts of being rich and what it meant to her. She also spoke with experts to see if there are any shifts in attitudes and ideas within wealthy Americans. I’m going to tell you what they are, you’ll have to read the book to find out!
  • Establish Goals – Did you know 1/3 of lotto winners file for bankruptcy within 5 years? Money doesn’t substitute goals. Not having goals can lead to you losing money. Nice chapter on how to set some realistic ones up.
  • Craft Your Money Philosophy – What are your own beliefs about money? How do you think it should be used? Great questions considered in the chapter.
  • Embrace Your Relationship with Money -Healthy or not, everyone has some relationship to money. Many times we’ve picked it up from our family. The question is, do you want to improve it?
  • Organize. Don’t Agonize – How many times have you said you’ll save more, but failed to do so months(even years) later? I bet you lack of organization played a part in that.
  • Be Your Biggest Advocate – Nobody care about your finances like you do. Taking charge and be assertive can help you handle your finances.
  • Make Your Money Count – Learn about handling risk and evaluate your spending in this chapter so you can optimize your finances.
  • Think Five Years Ahead – Are you prepared for upcoming milestones? Are you prepared for the unexpected? If you lost your job, could you survive until you find the next one? This is a great chapter to look over as you set up your financial plans.
  • Break from the Norm – If you’re looking at all your investment options, you should check out this chapter to get an idea of what’s out there.
  • Embrace the Entrepreneurial Spirit – Besides starting a business, having the e-spirit can allow you to expand your role within your company. It’s about being proactive and taking the initiative.

Thoughts on Psych Yourself Rich

I think this book is a good fit for people who have a general idea of what they have to do, but need help developing a plan of action. It is a book that you can read and reflect on as you decide what your financial goals are in life.

I’d love to hear feedback from others that have read the book. What did you think about it? What chapter was most helpful for you? What was the least helpful?

If you have any questions, you can find @Farnoosh on Twitter.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich Review

ramit sethi i will teach you to be rich review

This week’s book review is one that I’ve recommended to family and friends who want to get start with the finances, but don’t have much time.  Ramit has been writing for years at I Will Teach You to Be Rich. Before I start getting into the book, I highly recommend that you check  out Ramit’s site if you haven’t already.

Basic Book Info ramit sethi i will teach you to be rich review

I Will Teach You to Be Rich Overview

I Will Teach You to Be Rich is kind of a jump start book that allows readers to tackle their finances in 6 weeks. You’ll get a great overview of common financial problems and the steps on how to fix them.

He goes topic by topic with finances and I’m sure you’ll find something that you can use in the book.

What’s Inside

  • Optimize Your Credit Cards
  • Beat the Banks
  • Get Ready to Invest
  • Conscious Spending
  • Save While Sleeping
  • The Myth of Financial Expertise
  • Investing Isn’t Only for Rich People
  • Easy Maintenance
  • A Rich Life

Each chapter introduces ways to improve your finances and then  focus on tactical tips on how to execute them. For example, with optimizing credit cards Ramit has scripts you can use to lower your interest rates on your credit cards.

If you’re wondering if rate chasing banks is the way to go, Ramit does a wonderful job explaining how you can better utilize your time and your money.

I think his biggest chapter is how to create a spending plan. Too many people back way from personal finance because they are afraid of budgets, worried about having to track every penny, and hearing about what they can and can’t do.

Ramit has a great system that allows you to automate your finances while including money to spend on the thing you enjoy. It’s not a cure all, but he has a great way of framing it to get you on board.

My Thoughts on Ramit’s Book

I’m a big fan of Ramit’s writing and this book has some of his best advice and financial systems. If you’re looking to make a big impact on your finances, this is a great book to consider. Ramit shows you step by step what you need to do to get your financial house in order.

I’d love to hear feedback from others that have read the book. What did you think about it? What chapter was most helpful for you? What was the least helpful?