We Are Not Going to Be A Smart Couple Finishing Rich

My fiancee and I have officially put on hold our reading of Smart Couples Finish Rich. Its disappointing - I had such high hopes that this endeavor was going to put us on the right track as we started off our marriage and our journey to financial freedom.

I hoped this book would flush out our differences in money management, financial goals, priorities, etc, but I don't think we are ready for it -- we need to get a little further in co-mingling our funds and ourselves a bit and get through some of the other changes so we can make this a priority.

To my fiancee this book was so boring I had to take her to Starbucks, buy her a frappuccino, and read the book to her to get anywhere. Kind of ironic when you think of David Bach and the "latte factor".

However, there were some small benefits we got out of this exercise. I think we both have a better understanding of where we are coming from financially.

One thing that was made evident to me is that my fiancee strongly values financial security where as I am focused on financial independence. Another was that we think totally different about money. While we both spend less than we earn, we handle the money thats left very differently.

At times I have a one track mind focused on saving and investing. My fiancee however, saves a much smaller percentage and likes to purchase things that make her feel comfortable. Ultimately we both need to moderate a bit for this to be a successful financial union.

Once we get through the wedding and settle down in the China assignment, I think we will be able to make this a priority.

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Comments (14)


Its really good that you guys are flushing these differences out now. This could have been a real problem if it had come up down the line. Hopefully you guys will better understand eachother's perspectives so you can come to a joint attack plan.

While my fiancee and I are not as far apart on money issues as your and your S.O. seem, I made her read this book. I must say that it was one of the best things we could have done. The exercises in the book are the best part. Don't let reading this book get pushed to the back burner for too long. It really is a great read.

Its suprising that you say the book is boring. I totally enjoyed the automatic millionaire by the same author.

Hey 2 Million,

A great posting. There isn't a lot of good information on personal finance for couples. Bach's book is good because it stands out as one useful resource in a field which largely doesn't pay attention to couples.

This is silly because when you are married, you really merge your life with someone else. This impacts all sorts of things, career, values, diet, and last but certainly not least, money.

I think it's fantastic that you're openly discussing your financial situation. It's great that you acknowledge your differences, respect them, and look for ways to work together. I think a good place to start for you guys might be to draw up a top ten list of goals that you can agree on - a dollar amount for retirement by a certain date, saving for a dream vacation, paying for private school for your kids (this one's a big one for us, at any rate). Once your goals are set, it'll be easier to agree on a budget/spending & savings plan. Good luck!

I enjoy following your posts about your quest to merge your finances with fiancee since I'm engaged with mine and will be getting married in Feb of next year.

Having said that, we haven't really talked about this, and we will probably try to keep things separate unless we have big purchases we need to make (ie house) or if she quits her job. For us, it's easier in a way since we don't own properties and barely have any expenses so far.

Good luck to you in the coming months and years.

Wow Rick...you "made" her read it? You describe quite a healthy relationship. I suspect anyone with as much prudence as 2million will do just fine.

To clarify -- I never said the book was boring, I said my fiancee thought it was boring. However any personal finance book is likely going to bore her. Its not her thing.

All, thanks for the upbeats comments. I feel the 2 of us are headed in the right direction and its just one of those time, energy, effort things that we are just going to have to work at in our relationship.

I'm very curious what your fiancee's attitude toward money is. I feel like I understand yours from reading your blog, and don't think you're so risk loving that it would cringe her risk averse style? Do you have a specific example of how she differs in her view?

It's good to see that you two are figuring this thing out before getting married. Not understanding how each other views money can become a big problem. I'm sure you know it but you have to find a balance between both your wants. Obviously spending all your money isn't wise but at the same time obsessing about saving every penny is bad as well. The last thing I find comforting is to think I have to live without enjoying my money now just so I can have more when I'm old and grey. Going on vacation and staying at a great resort like a Four Seasons brings us a lot more pleasure now than it would when we're senior citizen I'm sure. And the fact of the matter is people who typically spend their lives obsessing about saving money get stuck in that mode for their whole life. So I can understand why your fiance likes to enjoy the fruits of her labor during the present day.

Good for you that you're talking about this before the big day. I work with WAY too many people who don't. I recommed this book to every couple and I usually give it as a shower gift (boring aren't I) but I think it's important. In fact, couples and money is the next class that I'm developing.

If you haven't already done so, it would be great if you'd take 5 minutes and fill out my couples and money survey. I'm using it in conjunction with other research for my new class. It's completely anon.

Thanks!
pf101

I commend you for making the effort to coordinate how you handle money with your future wife. I think that money can be a very difficult topic in any relationship. Keep us updated!

I'm going to recommend you and your fiancee attend a seminar that really influenced my wife and I to be on the same path financially. The company is called Peak Potentials (www.peakpotentials.com) and the seminar is called the Millionaire Mind Intensive. My wife and I were very much like you, she valuing security, me valuing independence and growth. This course was a very big factor for us to better understand each other. I have no affiliations to Peak Potentials, I just appreciate their courses. Best of luck. M

She'll get there, with time, and after you two get married, and have kids, and she looks around and notices her g-friends are in jobs they hate, or that their husbands make them stay in, she will have just that much more appreciation for your foresight and your attitude towards money.

You both live below your means, even if for different reasons, and I suspect that once she starts to see the "snowball" grow exponentially that she will get more and more excited about the financial independence component.

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A personal finance weblog of my journey to reach my goal of $2 million + the value of my primary residence.
Current Net Worth: $1,574,185

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