From Publishers Weekly
Starting with the surprising but sensible idea that households should operate like corporations, certified financial planner Allvine and journalist Larson provide simple and fast rules for couples to effectively merge and manage their assets and liabilities. Although money is often "a taboo topic in a culture where sex, family trauma and health problems are anatomized over lunch," the authors say, people need to take active roles in planning their fiscal futures. Only then can they "avoid arguments and anxiety and achieve not just their financial goals but their life goals together." Using plenty of anecdotes and language that is accessible to readers who don't have a background in economics, Allvine and Larson outline a handful of business concepts that can also be incorporated into everyday domestic partnerships. For example, just as companies convene boards of directors to set forth organizational objectives, couples can act as directors of their own boards to "identify and prioritize their short- and long-term goals." Just as companies employ cash and investment managers to oversee their books, couples should act as accountants, generating and updating regular reports on their personal cash flow and net worth. Allvine and Larson's discussion gets complicated, however, when they present financial worksheets-such as "The Family CFO Home Buying Worksheet," and "The Family CFO Kids' Cost Worksheet"-which they say readers should use to help them crunch numbers. Though necessary, these templates will do little for people with innate aversions to money matters and might, therefore, limit this practical book's overall appeal.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
If it's not sex, it's money, the root cause of so many familybreakups and divorces. This well-reasoned personal-finance guideoffers help in harmonizing love and money. Allvine and Larson outlinethe more methodological process, a five-step decision matrix thatcouples use together. It's all couched in the metaphor of the CFO(chief financial officer), with one spouse acting as the cash managerand the other as investment manager. They advise structuring thefamily's money as a business would, reviewing goals, isolatingdecisions, and brainstorming, then forecasting cash flow and networth--and applying this to everything from buying a home to affordingthe cost of a child (up to $338,000 over 17 years). Even better, thetips and hints come from the authors' hearts: both Mary Claire ("Memofrom Mary") and Christine ("Reality Check from Christine") add theirpersonal stories in sidebars and in the narrative. ((ReviewedJanuary 1 & 15, 2004))Barbara JacobsCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved