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.
The premise of this book is based on the idea (I’m uncertain enough to avoid calling it fact, though David Bach does) that the primary source of disagreement between a couple is finances. Why does money always worm its way into the core of a relationship and begin to fester there? There are a lot of reasons, and this book strives to break them down and enable a couple to address them in nine simple steps.
David’s writing style is smooth and conversational, and the book provides a lot of material for couples to sit down and talk about, even if it doesn’t offer a great deal of concrete financial advice. This book has a lot in common with books such as Your Money or Your Life or, even more so, Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover in that it focuses more on getting the mindset right than offering a great deal of specific mechanical personal finance advice.
Each of the nine steps discusses in detail some aspect of the financial relationship between partners and culminates in some sort of activity (or series of activities) for a couple to work on together in order to increase their financial (and sometimes spiritual) understanding of each other.
As for me, this was the first personal finance book I’ve read since starting this series that my wife has showed any interest in at all. She picked it up a few times, glanced through it, and even started a few discussions based on it, which is more than I can say for any of the other personal finance books I’ve ever read.
Another quirk: lots of personal finance books seem to like the “nine step plan.” In just the last two months, I’ve reviewed The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom and Your Money or Your Life and both utilize a nine step system, just like this book. Is there some psychological significance to nine steps that I’m not aware of?
Anyway, on each of the next three days, I’ll look at three of the steps proposed by Bach for getting two people on the same financial page. On Friday, I’ll give a “buy or don’t buy” recommendation for the book.
Smart Couples Finish Rich is the ninth of fifty-two books in The Simple Dollar’s series 52 Personal Finance Books in 52 Weeks.