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Smart Couples Finish Rich
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From first-time newlyweds to people on their second or third marriage, couples face an overwhelming task when it comes to money management. Nationally renowned financial advisor and bestselling author David Bach knows that it doesn-t have to be this way. In Smart Couples Finish Rich, he provides couples with easy-to-use tools that cover everything from credit card management, to investment advice, to long-term care. You and your partner will learn how to work together as a team to identify your core values and dreams, creating a financial plan that will allow you to achieve security, provide for your family-s future financial needs, and increase your income. Together, you-ll learn why couples that plan their finances together, stay together!

Like many savvy business people of the 21st century, David Bach offered his first pearls of financial wisdom to women, in his bestselling book Smart Women Finish Rich. Recognizing that these women are often accompanied by significant others and that money arguments are the number one cause of divorce in America, Bach has now broadened his scope. Presumably intended to help change this depressing statistic, Smart Couples Finish Rich is a well-written financial planning tool, packed with useful charts and information, inspiring examples, and practical advice.

For people who've been disappointed by the shallowness of some of the "quick tips" self-help books out there, the subtitle of this book is a little misleading. Bach's nine steps are not instant change techniques or chirpy little quips to recite to yourself whenever you go to balance your checkbook. Instead, the first few steps include a series of exercises that will help you determine what you know (and don't know, or understand) about saving and investing, what role money should play in your life (which includes understanding your values), and how to work together toward a common financial goal. From there, Bach teaches his readers how to account for "disappearing" money, how to build retirement, security, and dream baskets of wealth (providing detailed options for all three), and how to avoid the most common financial mistakes most couples make. Though the focus of the book is predominantly on working with your existing income, Bach includes a final chapter entitled "Increase Your Income by 10 Percent in Nine Weeks."

Bach's writing style is engaging and his advice is user-friendly. A successful financial planner, he obviously believes passionately in all the "fringe" benefits of being financially responsible but employs a no-nonsense approach that makes financial smarts available to everyone. So whether you're 25 and just starting out on the earning, saving, and spending road or you plan to retire next year; whether you've recently got hitched for the first time or you've just entered your fourth marriage; and whether financial planning comes first or last on your list of fun things to do, the advice in Smart Couples Finish Rich is worth heeding. It's not about becoming a money-obsessed bore, it's about getting smart... and rich. --S. Ketchum

Customer Reviews:

  • Excellent guide to handling personal finances, together!
    Smart Couples Finish Rich
    David Bach
    Broadway Books

    This book was recommended to me by and after reading it I could see why. Bach's writing style is friendly and yet focused. He provides anecdotes and explains financial how-to's in a very coherent manner. What impressed me the most about this book was that he managed to break down everything a couple shoudl be doing to insure their financial security and success.

    I particularly found the three chapters on the retirement, security, and dream basket very useful. I didn't realize how much I didn't have handled as far as security went. I've since started remedying that as a result of his reading book. Even knowing what I wasn't doing correctly, I was still heartened to learn what I am doing correctly.

    This book also comes with some handy exercises and worksheets, designed to get you to really take your financial life seriously. Because of reading this book, I reorganized my personal files and shared files. I started investigating better alternatives for my investments and retirements and got focused on making sure that if anything does happen to me neither my wife nor I are kept in the lurch. I highly recommend reading this book, because it offers an excellent checklist to follow. Even if you don't agree with everything Bach suggests, chances are you'll agree with most.
    ...more info
  • In my lending library
    I am a financial advisor and I keep a copy of this in my office to lend to clients. It has excellent advice, is easy and fun to read, and helps get couples on the same page in setting goals, saving, budgeting, etc. ...more info
  • In my lending library
    I am a financial advisor and I keep a copy of this in my office to lend to clients. It has excellent advice, is easy and fun to read, and helps get couples on the same page in setting goals, saving, budgeting, etc. ...more info
  • Combine Your Efforts and Cash In
    Maxed-out credit cards. Depleted savings. Underfunded retirement accounts. Millions of couples struggle with common financial issues, but instead of looking for solutions, they perpetuate harmful behaviors by bickering, blaming and, in many cases, divorcing. David Bach, author of the best-selling Smart Women Finish Rich, says you'll never solve your money problems if you view your partner as the enemy. It's not all your fault, though. Typically, people do not discuss money openly, so individuals may know very little about their spouse's financial priorities, philosophy and history. Establishing and maintaining an open line of communication is pivotal to sensible financial planning as a couple. You don't have to agree on everything. You don't even have to change. You just have to work together. Bach shows couples how to get on the same page. Using clear (in fact, somewhat simplified) formulas and charts, he tells them how to handle saving, spending, investing and retiring. getAbstract thinks that Bach's conservative approach makes sense. So does his emphasis on making your relationship - not money - your number one priority. Whether or not you finish rich, at least you'll be happy....more info
  • Great book for couples with financial questions
    I bought this book on the recommendation of several married women who post on a financial forum, and it was well worth the money.

    It was a quick read for me, as Bach keeps his explanations simple and tells frequent stories from real couples he's worked with. None of the chapters were difficult to get through, and I found it really strengthened my basic knowledge of scary things like IRAs, term life insurance, and filing systems.

    I wouldn't recommend this book if you're single, as it's directed toward couples. Both people must also be committed to reading the book as well; his 9-step plan won't work very well if it's one-sided. I'm not entirely convinced that this plan will make me us millionaires by retirement (and we have a long way to go!), but it will definitely increase the wealth we have over the years. I was disappointed by his 9th step (which is essentially "go make more money!"), but reading this book will make you more aware of where you want your money to be going and where it actually is.

    This is a perfect book for young couples, I may start giving it to friends as a wedding gift....more info
  • Recommended ONLY if this is your first finance book
    I've been reading about finance mostly in the last one year, and I've read a few books so far. When I saw this book, and flapped through the pages I was very excited about the book and thought i should buy it.One side of me was telling me not to do though, but after seeing the book recommended in BusinessWeek I finally bought it.
    The book was dissappointment for someone who has been reading finance. The author tells you that being rich is so EASY: Basically do not spend money at all, and every single cent you earn you should invest (No one needs to be expert to know that). He gives a Latte Factor example, and of coarse puts several of these handy dandy charts where if you earned 15% annually your money would be this much in 30 years, and so on.
    What really annoyed me was the advice he gave,here is basically his rules
    1.Maximize your 401k, if you can't, you should put at least 15% (your spouse should also put that same amount).
    2.Also make sure you save 10% each month into some kind of savings your mutual fund accout (PAY yourself first).
    3.Ohh by the way you should also put 10% extra each month for your mortgage.
    To be able to do these you need do more than just NOT drinking Lattes. An average latte costs 3.5 dollars, multiply that with 240 (appr. week days). You save 840$. If you did the math you can't accomplish all this by just saving money from a latte. I agree with him that Latte's are expensive, and you should mostly drink at home. Why do I keep mentioning Latte's because he almost has a chapter devoted to Lattes himself.
    Another dissappointing thing was the authors lack of basic Economic principle (He should go a study ECON101 again). He is saying in the next 6 weeks you can easilyy make an additional income of 10%. Saying it and being realistic are two different things. For self employeed he says just simply jack up your prices. First of all if you had a lot of demand for your product/service, and it was hard to supply it to all your customers, you would have already increased your prices (You don't need this book to tell you that). And if you don't have that much demand increasing your prices will result in a loss most likely, because you would lose Customers (Unless you are a monopoly in your area of coarse). So its NOT you who determines what how much you earn, its the market and the customers, so be carefull in increasing your prices so quickly. Its about all SUPPLY and Demand. Do your math.
    There were several things like this in the book where the author neglects important things. But as i said in my title if this is your first book on Finance, you should buy it, because he points on several usefull things also.
    In conclusion, i would not recommend this book for people who have been reading finance, you are much better off by picking an ECO101 book...

    ...more info
  • Smart Couples Really can Finish Rich
    I have read this book several times, and have to say that if you work at it, and take a little lesson from each chapter, you REALLY CAN finish rich. My husband and I are living "by the book", don't make huge salaries, but really know where our focus for life comes from. You don't have to make large incomes to live "rich".......more info
  • The BEST financial book for couples.
    SMART COUPLES FINISH RICH by David Bach is one of those rare books that actually have the ability to change your life, dramatically. As a minister who spends a great deal of time coaching couples, I know first hand that the main cause of marital problems revolves around finances. This book charts the course for any couple to achieve financial wealth without making dramatic changes.

    Of course this doesn't solve all marital problems, but it certainly makes the others easier to deal with. As someone once said, "Money may not buy happiness, but it sure is easier to smile when there's money in your pocket." When a couple learns just how painless it truly can be to have a solid financial plan even on a fairly limited income, the everyday stresses of life become much easier to deal with.

    Much of Bach's work here focuses on reducing spending rather than increasing earnings. He shows many examples that bring into focus just how much money we waste each day on frivolous spending and to alter our entire futures by making some very simple and very basic spending habits.

    This book is broken into steps rather than chapters. Steps one through eight are brilliant. Step nine sort of falls short for me. In fact I question Bach's advice of changing jobs to increase income. Though at times that may be well warranted, I caution readers not to get overly aggressive here. The consequences aren't always what people hope for.

    The first eight chapters more than make this a must read for every married couple, as well as anyone contemplating marriage. The earlier in your marriage you will read this book, the better off you will be in later years. The worksheets here are quite helpful as well. ...more info
  • great book
    this book is a great tool to get on the right track for managing your money. many people i think would blow off different points made in this book, but if you follow them they will work! not many people are putting enough money away for retirement and this book helps to show you why you should put more into a pre-tax retirement fund such as a 401(k) or as i have, a 403(b). ...more info
  • Great advice, very helpful.
    There's a lot of financial advice books on the market, but I really think this one is the best. The best for couples anyway.

    One of the key concepts of the book is for both you & your spouse to read the book, get you to start discussing your values, finances, and future, as a couple so you're on the same page. Not being on the same page as a couple is probably one of the biggest reason for couples splitting up. My husband is not into self-help books, but this was one book that he did read. It has many helpful exercises, as a couple, to get you to realize some of the why's of your finances & to get you to plan better for your future. For example, it makes you start planning goals. Funny, many businesses have goals, but how many couples have established goals for their futures? And I'm sure most people would agree that their relationship with their spouse is more important than their work.

    Before I read this, I read Suze Orman's Financial Guidebook, which was also a great book. But I feel I got greater value out of Smart Couples Finish Rich.

    After reading this, I've actually started tracking all of my finances & have a much better understanding of how I'm doing financially & what I need to do to meet my newly established goals.

    This book is a must for any couple to help plan for their futures....more info

  • AMAZING, GREAT, GO Bach, GO !!!
    its an amazing book. I really beleive this book changed my life from misery to richness.its great but the first few chapters are a little bit boring.GO BACH, GO for another one for MEN....more info
  • Smart Couples Finish Rich by David Bach
    This book describes strategies to increase wealth by a variety
    of means at work and home. The author discusses how to ask for
    a raise and create hidden value as an employee. In addition,
    the benefits of the 401K plans are discussed at great length.
    The work focuses your attention on expenditures which are
    necessary and cites ways to reduce frivolous expenses. Even working teens can open up a Roth IRA account and begin saving
    essentially tax free money. The 80/20 rule teaches that approximately 80% of revenues can come from 20% of the customer
    base. As a salesperson, it is possible to develop strategies to
    maximize income simply by concentrating on the small number
    of customers that yield the highest revenues for the firm
    without necessarily losing quality service for everyone. This
    book is a treasure chest of information for both an employee/
    businessperson or small business owner. It will assist you in
    the formulation and implementation of a personal financial plan
    over both a short and long term time frame. Best of all, this
    work provides strategies for maximizing savings aimed at the
    entire family both parents and children....more info
  • Excellent Advice
    Regardless of where you are in life as a married couple, regardless of your financial situation, regardless of how much your income is or what your outlays are per month,if you even attempt as best you can to follow the advice in this book you cannot help but to dramatically improve your financial position in life. It is that simple. The money is always there. Employment is the only requirement to use the material in this book. Read, enjoy, and prosper....more info
  • Can't believe this is a financial book!
    This book is amazingly entertaining considering it is a financial book. The stories scattered throughout each chapter are interesting and relevent. The 9 steps are simple and easy to achieve. I'd recommend this to anyone, in fact, I bought an extra copy for my parents....more info
    This book is awesome! If it was a diet book, I would be 20 pounds thinner by now. There is so much good information, even if you don't apply everything. I was given this book as a Christmas gift, and I have already bought it for 2 of my brother's. I don't usually read financial books because they will put me to sleep. But, this one does not read like a financial book. It reads like a good true life story. I highly recommend this book to anyone that wants to improve their life....more info
  • Risky
    Generally speaking I find this book to be a tad misleading. Many financial "gurus" have taunted people with the vision of financial freedom and eternal happiness for years. They are not honest about the fact that by the time you have the "riches" you have so painstakingly saved for, you are physically, emotionally and mentally spent. Both the husband and wife look physically repulsive, you are sick to death of each other after years of psychological game playing and have no emotional strength left to "enjoy" basically anything. I think it's important to realize that every relationship is a gamble and no human is perfect. Beauty fades as the body grows old and our hearts become torn by the torrents and storms of marriage and life events. Family members from both sides pry and fight over any money you have and impose guilt trips on you for any success - considering only a small percentage of people actually acheive this type of wealth before getting a terminal illness or dying tragically. It is much wiser to build a life on the wealth and richness of good friends and great experiences and not roll your dice for a perfect "someday." My advice would be to save your money, which is basic common sense, and not buy this book. Use the money now, in your life, for something that will make you truly happy....more info
  • Making it practical
    First off let me say two things, 1. I have a degree in business 2. I own my own company and have a pretty strong operation with more than 40 employees. That said,
    I loved the book. It compiles all the information you need. Everything that you have been putting off, and that you knew you had to do, and think about, but you managed to always say "I'll do it later" or "my husband takes care of that", well all that is in this book, simple and straightforward.
    Thinking about retirement is important, for me, very much so since I have three children. And even though I have a very strong business background, these are thing that you don't learn at school, or at work. The basic premise is that very little adds up to a lot. The author presents the math in a very straight-forward manner, and he really gets you thinking, NO, acting upon it. I also appreciated all the helpful web links that took me directly to updated information. It opened up a whole door, on talking about finances with my kids, opening up a retirement account for them (why NOT?- why shouldn't they start saving now?) All in all, even if you have your finances in order, read it, it will give you great ideas and allow you to know if you are on the right track, or if there is something better to do.......more info
  • Got direction for life
    I graduated from college two years ago with a major in accounting. In Nov. 2001 I passed the CPA exam. However, I didn't know what I should do with my life. The two obvious directions of auditing and taxes didn't sound to thrilling to me...It has been such a wonderful book and very easy to read. While giving me tons of information to digest and further research, it has also helped me find a direction for my life. I now realize that I can spend my life helping people get their finances in order...Thank you, David, for writing a book that is so clear, direct, and easy-to-read. It has been a huge help!...more info
  • Like dew in the morning
    There are myriads of finance books promising that they contain the key to discovering financial shortcut techniques. In reality many of the tools that can help couples reach their financial goals are those that are within easy reach of most couples. When you look at any book on investing you will see that the main principles are diligence, persistence, and patience. These are also the traits exhibited by most millionaires as demonstrated in the Millionaire Mind and in the Millionaire Brain. This further proof does support the notions presented in Smart Couples Finish Rich....more info
  • You've Got to Try
    I had heard this book on tape and thought it had good advice for me. I bought the book to have something handy at all times. I believe that if one does even one of the suggestions in this book; e.g., Pay Yourself First, it can make a great difference in one's financial life. Try it....more info
  • Very helpful; much of it timeless advice
    There were three things I especially liked about this book.

    The first was the way the author presented the fact that small things do add up. In the beginning of the book, he states that most people overestimate (financially) what they can accomplish in a year and underestimate what they can accomplish over many years. He includes graphs that illustrate this dramatically.

    The second was the chapter on values. This chapter had a number of exercises for each partner to complete independently. Then, together, they can begin to draft a plan for their finances that embraces the values they each hold most closely. If the financial plan is customized to fit the values of the particular couple, taken together, it makes all the sense in the world that it will be easier and more satisfying to LIVE with that plan and carry it out over time (without either of the partners sabotaging the plan).

    The third is somewhat tied into the first point I mentioned. It is a chapter called "The Couples Latte Factor." This chapter discusses "small," daily expenses and how, if a couple decides to eliminate or reduce even one or two of these daily expenses and invest that money instead, it can result in a lot of money, over time. This and most of the other chapters include real-life examples of couples whose experiences illustrate the principles being discussed.

    I recognized the value of all of this advice right away as I was reading it, but initially felt a bit overwhelmed, thinking: "This is great, but how am I going to do it ALL?" Because I imagine that other people may have the same feelings, I will share the answer we ended up coming up with. A little at a time. I still haven't gotten up to investing 10% of my income in my company's 401(k), but as a couple, we ARE very near to reaching our goal of setting aside a year's worth of expenses in an emergency account and we HAVE adjusted the amount of life insurance we carry and had estate documents drafted by an attorney. Once we do have the complete year's worth of expenses set aside, I'll change my 401(k) investment to 10%.

    Is this the order Mr. Bach or another financial planner would advise us to do things in? I don't know. I DO know that doing things the way we have, gradually following more and more of his advice has GOT to be better than being paralyzed and doing nothing...which is what we would have been in danger of doing if we hadn't taken it a little at a time.

    A book I would recommend in conjunction with this is The Laws of Money, the Lessons of Life by Suze Orman....more info

  • Helpful for all couples planning a future
    Much of this information can be found elsewhere. I like his idea of dividing savings into the retirement, security, and dream 'baskets'. Many people do not understand that there are different types of savings and that they are all needed to live a happy and healthy life. He even gives advice on the types of investments for each 'basket'. Most of his advice is invaluable and the book is well worth it....more info
  • Lovin' it!
    This book is one of the greatest books I have gotten my hands on. I am a newlywed and in my young adult-hood, I have decided that it is time to get my finances on track. I have taken my husband by the hand and we have now made it a ritual that every Wednesday we make time to sit down and plan our finances and our future together. We are only on the second chapter because we complete all of the exercises in the book. The author David Bach has a writing style that is simple, fun, imaginative and to the point. Every time I pick up the book I feel like I have my own personal financial advisor advising my husband and me. Getting your finances in order is a step by step process that requires the mind, patience, discipline and the willing to achieve. Check out what I have written in a year from now and I'll tell you how I am managing my millions!!!...more info
  • Great book for new or long term couples
    The biggest issue between couples is finances. Most of that comes from the differences between how the two of you were raised when it comes to handling of finances. This book helps couples learn how to discuss finances as a important part of a relationship rather than the last thing on the list. If a couple is on the same page when it comes to the handling of the finances then the chances of the couple having a long and happy relationship is dramatically increased.

    I highly recommend that both people in the relationship read this book and work together through the excercises. This will enhance your ability to understand each others money values so that the issue of finances can be addressed together....more info

  • How to be smart with your money!!!
    This book is great....if you waste a lot of money and don't know how to keep in order your finances this is your helps you keep everything in order, how to reach your dreams and goals, and how to be smart about money....saving, investing and much money you spend on silly things...after several years that could be a fortune.
    Buy it now and begin being smart....more info
  • No-nonsense solid advice
    I read "Smart Couples Finish Rich" after reading a few Dave Ramsey and Robert Kiyosaki books and I have to say that I much prefer Bach's no-nonsense and informational style of writing. Although all authors offer good advice and interesting case studies, David's plan is more solid and easier to follow. Other books are more story-telling than facts but this one is not, which is refreshing. The book is full of information and resources that make reaching your goal seem much more realistic. I loved it and am already implementing some of the steps. I feel more optimistic about my family's financial future and wish I had started saving sooner! This book is a "must read" for all couples, especially newlyweds just starting their financial life together. I also bought the single person's equivalent -- "The Automatic Millionaire" -- and gave it to my 30 year-old brother as a gift. I want him to start his retirement account sooner than later....more info
  • Buy it, read it, use it!
    Smart Couples Finish Rich by David Bach

    I can't recommend this book highly enough! Taylor and I have been reading up on finances lately, trying to get our act together to start our retirement fund and other importqant things. This is the latest book we've read on the topic--and it's a good one!

    Bach presents the problems faced by couples (though triads and other combinations should also take note) when dealing with finances. Not just who pays what bill, but what needs to be done to save enough money to retire comfortably, and how much is realistic when it comes to investments, life and health and disabilty insurance, wills and other things. Rather than guilting the reader, he presents a (mostly) positive outlook--even couples who are in their fifties can still start saving for retirement, though it may take more work. Bach also explains common retirement funds, like 401ks and the nonprofit and self employed alternatives, as well as IRAs and Roth IRAs, CDs and other such things.

    And it's well-written. This isn't a book full of jargon; rather, it's in plain English, easy to understand, and actually *fun* to read. You won't get bored, I guarantee it. Bach mixes information with helpful anecdotes, all with an open, friendly writing style.

    The time to start saving is NOW, and this book is a great help for anyone with a significant other(s)--even if your total combined income is under $50,000 a year, you can still use the principles in this book to work on securing your financial future as well as anyone....more info
  • Started out good
    Well . . . this book started out good. Talking about life values and what is the purpose of money in your life. However I started to realize that this book is geared towards people/couples that are planning on "working for someone else" for the rest of his or her life (having an entitlement mentality). And that's not the path that I want to take, I want the most out of life. I only got half way through this book (that's when I came across "The Top 10 Distinctions between Millionaires and the Middle Class").

    If you are a person/couple that plans to work for someone else for the rest of your life(lives) - then I would recommend this book to you.

    However like I said this book wasn't for me . . . once I started reading the other book above, I threw this book away (to be honest).
    ...more info
  • Pretty Good. Pretty, pretty good.
    Since reading this book, I have earned a 10% raise--no small feat as we're in the middle of a corporate merge and have increased my contribution to my 401K from 6% to 10%. I have also opened a money market account where I keep my emergency fund. The book motivated me to take the necessary steps to do so. I have also focused in on my dreams and try to make sure the money I spend is helping me achieve them. I've made small steps so far--and I know that if I stay focused it will happen. Bach emphasizes the importance of small steps--not just in achieving financial goals--but in achieving life goals as well. I plan to re-read this book in a year's time to re-motivate myself and of course congratulate myself on the progress I've made. :)

    ...more info
  • great shared reading, geared toward corporate america
    This book was helpful to remind us what our priorities should be as a newly married couple. It got us on track. The downside is that it is geared toward the corporate world. I am a nurse in public health and will never achieve the raises that Bach wants me too unless I switch to a job I don't want. Great charts. The goal charts are helpful and motivating....more info
  • Pretty Good
    After reading the reviews and other praise, perhaps my expectations were too high for this book. Yes, it is a book worth buying for most couples. It has excellent advice about paying yourself first (by saving), but also rewarding yourself (within reason). The key thing is to get your financial priorities in line with your own values -- which is the hard part. The author does a good job of helping you do this. The author is also level-headed about what can happen, but the title sounds trite in comparison. This was borderline four stars, but considering the competition, this is a five star book....more info
  • All couples and parents should buy this book
    Thank you David!
    This is a must read for couples who want to establish a solid financial future together. It is also full of ideas and principals that everyone should teach their children. A lot of future problems would be solved if all members of the family read this book as early in life as possible.
    Duane...more info