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Money and Marriage: A Complete Guide for Engaged and Newly Married Couples Paperback – March 15, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Newlywed couples quickly discover that money is a big deal in their new lives together. Conversations about money can all too easily turn into arguments about spending habits, credit card debt, and when to make major purchases. Getting on the same financial page is essential because research has shown that the more frequently a couple fights about finances, the more likely they are to divorce. So how do you as an engaged or newly married couple work as a team when dealing with money?

Financial expert Matt Bell shows you the way. This book will help you make the most of each other’s financial strengths, teaching you how to work together to build a solid financial future. Through a ten-step action plan, you’ll learn how to prioritize goals, get out of debt, build savings, invest wisely, buy a house, and much more—all in a way that minimizes stress and maximizes unity. With this essential guide, you’ll avoid the pitfalls and place yourselves on the path to financial success.


About the Author

MATT BELL is a personal finance expert whose previous books include Money, Purpose, Joy and Money Strategies for Tough Times. He leads workshops throughout the country; has been featured in major media such as USA TODAY, U.S. News & World Report, and WGN-TV; and writes the MattAboutMoney.com blog.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: NavPress (March 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1615215611
  • ISBN-13: 978-1615215614
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #894,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got a copy of this book a week or two ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It covers a topic that far too few delve into - talking about money before, and during marriage. Money troubles are one of the leading causes of divorce, so I think people would be well served by heeding the advice covered in this book.

The book goes in depth talking about money and marriage, discussing all of the things that young couples and those who have been married for years should know, and talk about, when it comes to money. Some of the things you'll find:

- How we come to our views of money: How we've been influenced by family, by culture, by our experiences and how that can skew our thinking about money.
- How our individual personalities can affect how we view, spend and interact with money and our spouse.
- It talks about the importance of having goals, and a financial plan together as a couple.
- It goes over budgeting and creating a cash flow plan, and includes links to the author's website where you can download updated versions of budget spreadsheets.
- The book is meant to be read along with your spouse, and at the end of each chapter there are action points, and several questions to talk about together. I've found it's very helpful for getting the discussion going.
- Discussions of debt, how to avoid it, how to get rid of it, and how to manage your credit.
- Examines other key issues including housing, planning ahead for a rainy day, spending smart and getting organized.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In all the wedding planning festivities, what is often overlooked is financial compatibility. The author does a great job of getting the conversation started between couples joining their finances, with tools for planning and discussion. The book covers the basics of building a solid financial foundation very well, and lays it out in a way that a couple can use as a resource to check the tasks off their list. Going deeper, the author addresses our purpose for money, and the spiritual aspects of our relationship with money. I am a financial planner and purchased several copies to give away not only to newly married couples, but also older couples who are working on re-building that foundation.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was free for Kindle several years ago, costs less than $1 in paperback now.
This book is essentially Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University summarized and targeted more to those who are engaged or newlywed. Bell includes the same essential "baby steps" of building an emergency fund, doing a debt snowball (smallest to largest), instead calling it an "accelerator," the envelope system, and the same allocated spending plan. Many of the quotes and stats in the book are also cited by Ramsey, but Bell gives Ramsey no credit, claiming he learned most of it third-hand from mentors in the afterword. For that, I ding him a star. But practically speaking, I recommend this book over the Ramsey course itself as it's cheaper and takes less time to go through.

One difference is he includes a chapter on identifying your temperament, filling out a personality survey (choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic, melancholy) and giving some general advice on dealing with a spouse of a particular type. The end of the book he recommends Emerson Eggerich's Love and Respect to married couples, and I concur.

I mostly liked how he talked about being generous in giving to a local church. I do not agree with one of the reviews on Amazon that this is "prosperity gospel" teaching, Bell simply writes:
"there is an unmistakable promise seen throughout the pages of Scripture that blessings flow from generosity motivated by a grateful heart. Some people trace material blessings to their generosity. Others have experienced a closer relationship with God...The Bible teaches that the main reason God enables us to prosper is so that we will grow in generosity: 'You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion (2 Corinthians 9:11)'" (loc.
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Format: Paperback
I received Money and Marriage: A Complete Guide for Engaged and Newly Married Couples by Matt Bell from NavPress Publishers Blogger Review Program just the other day and simply gobbled it up! When I requested this particular book, I wasn't expecting to learn any new information from Bell. And while the vast majority of the book was information I already knew, the way in which Bell presented everything- from the financial principles to the biblical foundations behind them- was wonderfully fresh and renewing. There was also some information I about which I was very excited to learn; there were some financial issues about which I've always been just a little bit confused- even after much research- but Bell dispelled common misconceptions and offered clarity on a number of financial matters.

The book would be an excellent gift or any engaged couple or even newly-married couple. While I realize that the typical engaged couple already has a ton of adjustments to make and many things to ponder, finances should not be one which they skip! It may be an awkward and uncomfortable conversation to begin, but it is definitely a necessary one. Bell offers some great diagnostic tools so that you can learn about your spouse's 'money personality', how you can understand one another, and how you can work together to determine the financial state of your union.

I also admire Bell's determination to keep biblical foundations concerning finances at the heart of the book. By turning the focus back to God and less on ourselves, Bell helped the Spirit to bring about a fresh sense of conviction and renewal.
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