This week, The Simple Dollar takes a look at David Bach’s Smart Couples Finish Rich, a personal finance book that proposes to address the difficulties of a couple getting on the same personal finance page and aiming their financial ship in the right direction. Does it work? Let’s take a look.
I picked up this book mostly because I was looking for ways to involve my wife in discussions of our financial future – and it worked. I moved gradually through the nine steps of the program and subtly coaxed my wife into some frank talks on those topics, even going so far as to make up a few lists together based on the presented exercises. I think we’ve reached a new level of openness on financial issues.
Thus, I believe you should buy this book if you are in a long-term committed relationship and don’t have open, frank discussions with your significant other about money. The entire book focuses on ways to open up this discussion and make it go easier, particularly in the early steps of the plan. The raw financial advice is pretty basic; the power of this book is found in the strengthened relationship that it can facilitate.
On the other hand, if you’re not in a committed relationship, don’t buy this book. There are many better personal finance books that focus on the individual, both from a psychological and a mechanical perspective. This book really shines when it focuses on the interpersonal dynamics of a committed relationship, but doesn’t really comment much on an individual’s finances.
Reading this in a bubble might have convinced me that it wasn’t all that good of a book, but it did open the door to some discussions with my wife that we’ve never had before, so I must conclude that the advice in the book works.
Smart Couples Finish Rich is the ninth of fifty-two books in The Simple Dollar’s series 52 Personal Finance Books in 52 Weeks.