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Friday, April 08, 2011

Blog Tour: Money & Marriage

Thanks to LitFuse Publicity for providing a free review copy of this book. No other compensation was received for this review. The opinions contained herein are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

Money management - what a hot topic, particularly with the state of our economy and the immense load of debt our nation (and many of its citizens) carry.

Although we have no choice but to manage finances throughout our lives, most people have no training in how to be a good steward of the resources with which they have been entrusted. Parents typically don't train their children how to manage money (my parents gave me some general guidelines over time), and most schools don't include this basic skill in their course offerings, either.

It's bad enough when you are single and have to suffer the consequences of poor money choices. When you get married and your financial decisions impact not just yourself but your spouse and children as well, inept stewardship has the potential to rip apart your family. Many marital arguments begin with a discussion of finances, and disagreements over money often weigh heavily in the decision to pursue a divorce.

If you think back to your engaged and newlywed days, you'll likely remember plenty of love and romance with little intrusion by hum-drum practicalities (like discussions about handling finances). But when the glow of new love wears off, the chore of day-to-day living begins to cause friction as your true self and that of your spouse is revealed. It is during this time that many newlyweds are often unpleasantly surprised by financial disclosures and the arguments begin.

In our family, Robert and I both been the primary financial manager at different times. I currently handle all of the family finances. I'm happy to say that we have been extremely blessed to have always had similar financial philosophies (frugal) and have rarely had any arguments regarding our finances. Unfortunately, many couples do not have such good experiences, often because of poor financial skills.

Personal finance expert Matt Bell ( has recognized that engaged and newly married couples are desperately in need of guidance regarding financial stewardship, and for that purpose he wrote Money & Marriage: A Complete Guide for Engaged or Newly Married Couples.

Although Mr. Bell's book targets engaged and newly married couples, it is full of solid financial advice which, if put into practice, will put any family on the path to a solid financial future. The worksheets he included in the book are useful without being overwhelming, and I like that his website includes a Resources section with links to download the various forms and guides found in the book.

The following are just a small portion of what Mr. Bell covers in his book:

  • Inside Influences: How Your Temperament Affects Your Finances
  • A Ten-Step Action Plan for Financial Success (one chapter per step)
  • Recommended Monthly Spending Guidelines (also available at his website)
  • Recommended Housing Guidelines (also available at his website)
I enjoyed the chapter that helps the reader identify his personality type and then describes how that personality influences your handling of money. At the end of each personality dissection, Mr. Bell includes a bonus tip stating what type of gift is most likely to be appreciated by someone with that personality. I found those tips to be revealing, true to my experience, and quite helpful.

I highly recommend this book not only for engaged and newly married couples but for anyone who needs a clear plan for managing their finances.

About the book: In this thorough and practical guide, financial expert Matt Bell helps engaged and newly married couples navigate the merger of habits, flaws, and attitudes about money so two can truly become one.

His writing is full of helpful advice, Scripture, and practical steps to gaining financial freedom together as a couple. Learn to use money in a way that minimizes disputes and maximizes marital happiness.

About Matt: Matt began his career as a radio journalist, with his work featured on National Public Radio, the NBC Radio Network, and several other networks. His reporting earned national awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and United Press International.

Today, Matt is a full-time personal finance writer and speaker. He is the author of two books: "Money, Purpose, Joy" (September 2008) and "Money Strategies for Tough Times" (April 2009), both by NavPress. Matt has been quoted in USA TODAY, U.S. News and World Report, the Chicago Tribune, and Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, has written for, and has been a guest on WGN-TV and several nationally syndicated radio talk shows.

Matt holds a Master's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from DePaul University, where he wrote a thesis about the emergence of America's consumer culture and its influence on people's beliefs and behaviors.

Matt lives with his wife and their three young children in the Chicago area. Visit his website and blog at

Read other blogger reviews at the blog tour post.

Buy the book: available at

Great giveaway: Win a free financial session and $100 Visa cash card in the Matt Bell’s Nest Egg Giveaway!

To celebrate the release of Money & Marriage, Matt Bell is giving away a Nest Egg Prize Package worth over $250. To enter just click on one of the icons below!

Enter via E-mail Enter via Facebook Enter via Twitter

One winner will receive:

  • A Free 1 Hour Financial Session
  • A $100 Visa Cash Card
  • A signed copy of Matt’s Money, Purpose, Joy and Money Strategies for Tough Times

Enter today, the contest ends on April 11th. Tell your friends and be sure to pick up a copy of Money & Marriage – important principles whether your newly engaged or just celebrated your 30th anniversary.

Matt will announce the winner on his blog April 13th.