cover image LOVE & MONEY: A Life Guide to Financial Success

LOVE & MONEY: A Life Guide to Financial Success

Jeff D. Opdyke, Author . Wiley $24.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-471-47

With so many people having trouble managing their money, it's not surprising that different attitudes about finances can cause serious arguments between otherwise happy spouses. The solution, according to Opdyke, a reporter and columnist for the Wall Street Journal , is for individuals to first understand their own relationship to and views about money. Drawing on his own marriage as well on the experiences of his readers, Opdyke takes a simple approach to the basic personal finance decisions. He says people shouldn't think about budgets—which, like diets, rarely work—but instead should devise a spending plan (which encourages one to look to the future rather than focus on previous spending habits): "Once you create your spending plan, strive to live with the boundaries you've set. Remember, there's fluidity to your plan. If you realize you're not going to spend $200 this month eating out, you can shift that money to some other expense you'd rather make, or just shovel it into savings for a later date." The writing is clever and the inclusion of comments from readers makes this an enjoyable primer on the psychological and emotional issues related to money. But the chapters on saving for college, retirement and helping aging parents, for example, provide few strategies for readers. (Jan.)