Smart Couples Finish Rich, 9 Steps to Creating a Rich Future for You and Your Partner by David Bach
In SMART COUPLES FINISH RICH, author David Bach first explains the purpose of the updated edition. He explains that many things have changed—including tax law, investment options, and technology; he wanted to update that information.
Of course, the book has lots of financial saving/planning tips, but I thought the best part of this book was something else entirely—the question of WHY you are saving money. Bach argues that you need to figure out the things you value the most, then use your money toward that end. He explains:
“When you understand your values, you tend to live the life you really want almost automatically.”
For couples who say they can’t really save, the author has a funny idea called, “The Couples’ Latte Factor.” Bach insists that the savings problem is rarely the income; rather, it’s the spending. If you add up the cost of the morning latte, you will likely find that you could be saving money after all.
The author suggests an important exercise called “The Smart Couples’ Seven-Day Financial Challenge.” It’s a pretty basic concept, and not really anything new, but it’s still a good idea:
“Get a small pad and track your expenses for the next seven days.”
If you don’t know where you money is going, how can you save anything?
The author has an entire chapter devoted to common financial mistakes. For example, start tracking your expenses, and don’t try to time the stock market, He also cites the common blunder of not taking advantage of your company 401(k):
“If you do just one thing today after finishing this chapter, please let it be that you contact your benefits department to make sure you are truly maximizing your contributions to your 401( k).”
So all in all, I found SMART COUPLES FINISH RICH to be a well-written, solid book. The author writes very well, and comes across as a wise counselor. It’s true, the financial suggestions are mostly pretty standard, but they’re still good advice.
I thought the most valuable suggestion in the entire book was to first figure out what in life you value as a couple, and then let those values drive your money decisions. Smart idea—I’ve never thought about it that way.