Review: Money & Marriage by Matt Bell

Written by Scott

Topics: Archives, Reviews

Full title:
Money and Marriage: A Complete Guide for Engaged and Newly Married Couples

No…I’m definitely not in the parameters of the book, but the publicist asked for a few of us that have been married for a while to review.

I read this book during a long, overnight server migration a couple weeks ago, because during that initial 17 hours, there were periods of time of waiting for processes, data transfers, reboots, etc. And at first I thought perhaps that stress, combined with the amount of Red Bull consumed during that time, that led me to the thoughts I had on the book. But after skimming back through it again, it seems my thoughts have not changed.

The book is…decent. It gives a good overview of all the different financially-related topics those engaged or newly married should discuss, from how our backgrounds influence our financial thinking, to budgeting, to debt discussions, to housing and spending. In that regard, it is comprehensive as the title implies.

But, unfortunately, that’s as far as the comprehensiveness goes: it’s wide, but shallow. On each part, it left me hoping for more depth, not only in the individual discussion, but also in tying it back to the main points. But it wasn’t there, and I was left wanting…

Again, it is a decent book, and comprehensive in the topics that should be discussed. But it seemed more like a broad overview of the same topics found in almost every other book on the subject.  Could it be helpful for engaged or newlywed couples? Absolutely, especially considering how few even discuss financial issues. So if you are in that category, pick up a copy and actually discuss with your significant other.

Author info:

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

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