We read and reviewed Thriving in Love and Money: 5 Game-Changing Insights about Your Relationship, Your Money, and Yourself. The book is written by Shaunti Feldhahn and Jeff Feldhahn.

This book is about how you manage money related issues as a couple.

Why we chose to review

One of us comes from a household with a lot of money issues with the parents having completely separate finances. The attitude was “my money is my money, and your money is your money”. This translated to the existence of debts among husband and wife, and a separate pension plan. The other one comes from a household where the parent’s split up early on.

With no functional couple role models and growing up being told the importance of financial independence, we do not have a good idea how to healthily navigate money matters together as a couple. This book sounded like a good start in building our knowledge on this topic.

Key takeaways

The book says: “Three things affect the significance of our existence: time, money and relationships. Marriage brings all three of these to a point of intersection.”. Before working on techniques on how couples can navigate money matters, it is critical to understand both partners’ fundamental perspectives on money. How we perceive money is often driven by fears and insecurities. This has some subconscious correlation with family background, how the person is raised, and the ingrained social expectations put on the different genders.

Partners have different spending habits. Some like to stock up on goods and some like to only buy them when absolutely needed. Some prefer to use the money for material goods, some prefer to spend it on experiences. While others might want to spend money immediately and enjoy the moment and some prefer to save it for future security. These types of differences can lead to conflicts if not discussed and understood.

Actionable advice

  1. Talk about money together and understand the bottom line: what is money for each partner, and how we value it in our lives. You might have different perspectives, but understanding each other’s views on money will help navigate the topic and find a middle way that works for both of you.
  2. Discuss and build a system where you’re transparent about earnings and spending. This could be having just one joint account or having separate accounts for practical purposes where both partners have visibility and access when necessary.
  3. Agree on a monthly amount that each partner can spend on anything, no questions asked.

How we liked it

Fun: 7/10 | Thought-provoking: 9/10 | Actionable: 8/10

Thriving in Love and Money is written based on Christian views on marriage – a full union between two individuals. This sets the foundation for the key advice in the book. Even if you’re not religious and/or agree with Christian views on marriage the book will still start some great discussions and provide good food for thought. However, non-religious readers might question some of the advice given by the book.