Get Financially Naked – HOW TO TALK MONEY with your honey – Review

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FiscalWifeThis is a special guest post by Angela aka FiscalWife. She’s a busy Mom of two, a devoted wife and FiscalGeek’s Financial cohort. Don’t let her fool you, she listens to more Dave Ramsey than most of you combined. We hope to hear more from her in the coming year.

It’s 1996 in beautiful Bellingham, Washington and I’ve just walked home from a day of classes at Western Washington University. I toss my backpack on the floor of the dilapidated house that my roommates and I loving call “The North Pole” (because it was ridiculously cold there most of the year). My hair is playfully short and I’m sporting cut off jeans, Teva sandals and a t-shirt from one of the youth camps I worked at the summer before.

My roommate tosses a book at me and says, “Hey, I just finished this, you should take a look at it.” She is a couple of weeks away from graduating and actually seems to have a plan for her life. I’m still a year away and just figure I’ll find a job somewhere and/or maybe run off to teach English in China (my boyfriend keeps bringing this up and I’m not exactly sure if I like the idea or not).

I pick up the book, Get Financially Naked: How to Talk Money with Your Honey. “Hmmm,” I think to myself”¦ “I don’t have much money right now. But, a financial plan could come in handy some day.” “Hey thanks, Roomie! I’ve got a roller hockey game to get ready for right now. Paul will be picking me up in a few minutes. I’ll definitely take a look at it later!”

“Paul?” She rolls her eyes at me. “Please, do not break your leg.”

Full Disclosure

I’m going to be honest and tell you the truth about me. I am not financially savvy and I am not a geek. However, I think I have a few good insights to share in this book review. After all, I am a woman, I have a “honey”, and I have a new-found interest in making sure Paul and I are doing well with our money. So here goes”¦ my review of Get Financially Naked ““ How to Talk Money with Your Honey, by Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar.

Oh to Be Young Again

It only took a few pages and I found myself wishing that I would have found this book about 15 years ago. Right around the time I was getting ready to finish college and a year or two before I began dating this tall, dark and handsome guy, some of you know as Fiscal Geek. Simply said, I entered the adult world with a strong work ethic and some marketable skills, but with no financial plan. Thankfully, Paul and I are fairly compatible and very committed to one another. We have been able to make it through some challenging financial situations, for sure. But, I think I could have been a better spouse to him if I would have known a little more about my beliefs about money, my financial history, and my financial goals.

This book is split into three parts ““

  • Own Your Finances, Own Your Life
  • Talking Money with Your Honey
  • Time to Get Tactical

Own Your Finances, Own Your Life

I really think the gem of this book is that the authors challenge the readers to be the type of women that take their financial lives seriously. Even though Manisha and Sharon are well-educated financial experts, they don’t assume their readers are panting at the opportunity to read another personal finance book. They put a woman’s personal financial situation in an urgent, but practical light. Know how you feel about money in general. Know where you are financially. And know where you would like your finances to take you in the future. They even incorporate some very revealing worksheets to help you figure out this information. I especially appreciated the Financial Compatibility Quiz and the Financial History questionnaire.

Talking Money with Your Honey

The second part of the book is also very helpful. Basically, Manisha and Sharon spell out the fact that most marital problems are caused by money disagreements. They argue that emotional compatibility is not enough. Couples will be much more successful if their financial beliefs and goals are compatible from the start. They give some suggestions on how and when to bring up financial talk (the “getting financially naked” part).

They also include some very informative information on how to use the income you and your partner have together. I really appreciated chapters 5 and 6 where the authors bring couples through, what they call, “The 5 Power Steps to Financial Success”. They have very practical information on how to determine how much house you can afford, how much car you can afford and how to reach your retirement goal. They go from there into how to take family planning into consideration along with your financial goals, and how to decide if you are able contribute financially to the care of extended family. These are all very good topics, and I have to say, the topic of extended family does not come up very often in the financial materials that I have read. I think we can all admit that extended family obligations do come up in real life ““ it would be good to talk about it with your partner, if you haven’t already.

Time to Get Tactical

Finally, the third portion of the book gets into some technical detail. This is where my eyes generally start to glaze over. I really want to just pass all of this on to Paul. The authors bring up the need for an emergency fund, how to have a diverse retirement savings, and some very basic information on investing. Just when I was tempted to skip over this entire section, I remembered something that was written in the introduction of the book. The authors ask this question: “Do you know that 80 percent of men die married and 80 percent of women die single?” Yikes. Maybe there is a reason for me to take an interest in my future savings and investments. Not only would it be good for me to be an intellectual support to Paul as he happily prepares spreadsheets and pie charts all day long, it would be good for me to know what’s going on with our investments, just in case I need to take over.

So, I hereby pledge to take more interest in these very boring financial things that my husband so adores. I don’t have to get all mavericky with the charts and graphs”¦ but, I can invest some of my time into learning about this important information.

Who should read this Book?

All women. Especially women who are getting ready to make a life-long commitment to a spouse or partner. It would be great to read this before you are married. If you are already married, there are some good communication tools in here for you, as well.

My thanks go out to Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar for a really good book! You are obviously financial ninjas and great role models to women everywhere! I really appreciated the stories from your personal life.

FiscalGeek Note

Valentines Gift IdeaI would just like to chime in and state for the record that I think this is a great book but not your best choice for Valentines Day. I’m just saying. Also thought a pie chart would go nicely here. And finally thanks to Angela for a fantastic debut. Got any questions for the FiscalWife?

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather 2010/02/11 at 7:35 am

Very nice Angela! :-) I sure wish that Josh and I had gotten some really sound financial advice when we were just getting married, here we are 15 years later, finally getting it together.

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Angela 2010/02/11 at 8:00 am

Well, I’m thankful that we both are making progress now!

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Denise 2010/02/11 at 7:36 am

Great review. Every woman should read something like this.

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Angela 2010/02/11 at 8:02 am

I especially appreciated that the info in this book starts from a woman’s perspective. I felt like I could have been chatting with the authors over coffee. :)

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Danielle 2010/02/11 at 7:45 am

Great review. I will pass this along to some friends. And my husband.

And you can draw a thin red line. I would rather have this book than flowers. Seriously. (But I am the one living on a strict budget in the house and feel bad that hubby would consider spending extra money on something that will die in a few days, so I have already asked him not to buy flowers. Let’s see if he listens this year. Past years show that he will not.)
.-= Danielle´s last blog ..FICO Checkup with Credit Karma =-.

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Angela 2010/02/11 at 8:09 am

Well, if you’ve decided that the Valentine’s budget is capped off at $12 (the price of this book), I think you have choosen wisely. I asked Paul for an iTunes card this year. Thanks for taking the time to read my post. :)

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FFB 2010/02/11 at 8:47 am

It amazes me how many women defer their finances to their spouse and are actually proud they have no hand in planning. If this book can help get couples talking about their finances then it definitely sounds like a good read!
.-= FFB´s last blog ..Monster TurboTax Online Tax Software 2009 Review =-.

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Angela 2010/02/11 at 9:14 am

Well, I can say first hand (though I’m not proud of it), it’s very easy to defer the finances to my spouse. It’s hard keeping on top of every little thing that’s going on in your home and some delegation is a good thing. Honestly, there are many aspects of our family life that Paul defers to me as well. I think if you stacked up the amount of financial books on Paul’s shelf as compared to the child-rearing and family spiritual development books on mine… you’d see that we offer different and complimenting strengths to our family. :) It’s tricky, but we are working on being a couple who checks in with each other on all the important issues – maybe delegating some of the research, but then deciding on a path together and following through with it. Thanks so much for taking a look at my review.

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Nickie 2010/02/11 at 8:57 am

Angela! You are an excellent writer who takes a reader on a little trip, and I love the way you act as a tour guide, so clear and helpful. This a a great review! (Not just because you like the book, either!) I love your thoughtfulness and insights. Keep writing! And where’s YOUR book, are you writing one? I can imagine you have SO much to say, and I’d love to read it, whatever it is. God bless you and your hubby and your finances!

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Angela 2010/02/11 at 9:19 am

Hey, thanks! I appreciate the encouragement. I do write quite a bit, but it’s in my own personal journal. Maybe someday I’ll pull some things out of there and put a book together.

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sahmCFO 2010/02/11 at 10:12 am

Teva sandals! Haha – Everybody had those or Reefs back then!
I’ve been trying to tactfully talk to my sister who is getting married in a few months, that she and future husband should really get their financial house in order now- before kids! It’s never too late to start learning about personal finances – but the sooner the better.
.-= sahmCFO´s last blog ..TV/Internet/Phone Bundle Negotiations =-.

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Angela 2010/02/11 at 11:49 am

It would be a huge benefit for them to be on the same financial page before they get married. Maybe this book for your sis and DR’s Total Money Makeover for your new bro-in-law. :)

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Lillie 2010/02/11 at 10:53 am

Interesting point: 80 percent of men die married and 80 percent of women die single. As a widow, I certainly appreciated knowing how to assume responsibility for my finances once my husband died. The majority of it was due to being involved in the financial process during the marriage. I know some women, on the other hand, who were absolutely lost once their spouse passed on. Your book is timely and much needed. I hope others take advantage of this great resource. Getting financially naked is a most important step to take and certainly beats financial infidelity.
.-= Lillie´s last blog ..Looking for good financial advice on a budget? =-.

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Angela 2010/02/11 at 11:53 am

Wow, I appreciate your insight, though I’m sorry for your loss. It’s difficult but necessary to be a well-rounded partner. Thanks for taking the time to read my review.

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Debt Kid 2010/02/11 at 11:22 am

Nice to meet you FiscalWife! I actually saw this book at the bookstore last week and nearly got it. I’m engaged and although my fiancee and I talk about money pretty well, I’m sure we could improve. I think she would enjoy this book, thank for the review and the post!
.-= Debt Kid´s last blog ..Experiment 2010: Gleaning =-.

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Angela 2010/02/11 at 11:55 am

Congratulations on your engagement! Sounds like you two are already a step ahead of Paul and I, when we were in your season of life. :) Best wishes to you and your fiance.

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Karen 2010/02/11 at 1:30 pm

Angela, you rock! Great job with your first guest post. I haven’t read that book, but also wish I would have 15 years ago as well before hubby and I got married. I think we always thought we knew what we were doing but realize now how easy it is to get off track. I would definitely read more of what you write, so keep it coming!

K.

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Angela 2010/02/11 at 5:10 pm

Thanks, Karen. Looking forward to you seeing what you’ve been working on. :)

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PT 2010/02/11 at 6:55 pm

Nice review, Karen. I’ll share it with Mrs PT. Hope to hear more from you here on the blog.
.-= PT´s last blog ..In Defense of the CPA =-.

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PT 2010/02/11 at 6:56 pm

I mean, Angela. ;)
.-= PT´s last blog ..In Defense of the CPA =-.

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Angela 2010/02/11 at 9:21 pm

Thanks!

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Michele 2010/02/11 at 8:39 pm

Angela,
Thanks for the great review (and push in the right direction of getting more involved in the financial side of things)! We’re fiscal geek fans in this household. Okay, before anyone jumps on my apparent lack of financial involvement…Angela’s statement about “eyes glazing over” when it comes to the details of finances, etc. are an understatement for me. I have tried but my brain shuts down as soon as I begin to hear all the riveting details…. I may actually become ADHD when financial details are being explained. I CAN commit to reading this book though, thanks again.

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Angela 2010/02/11 at 9:27 pm

You can do it! Actually, this book is very readable for people like you me. Come to think of it, I don’t remember seeing a single chart or graph….but there are several worksheets that give you places to write down your thoughts and feelings. See, right up my alley. Thanks for reading, Michele.

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Matt Jabs 2010/02/11 at 10:34 pm

Way to go Angela… glad to read your post, don’t stop writing. :)

Getting Betsy & I on the same page was KEY in winning with money in marriage!
.-= Matt Jabs´s last blog ..H&R Block At Home ““ Valentine’s Day Discount =-.

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Angela 2010/02/11 at 11:17 pm

I’m sure Paul will coax me into another post. I just need to find a topic that interests me. Or, I suppose if it was a topic that I felt I needed to learn more about, I could share my findings. Thanks for taking the time to read my review.

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Cheap Trainer Links 2010/06/23 at 10:30 pm

This might be a strange query, however I am a vegan, and I’m looking for cheap trainers (sneakers) which do not contain any animal “element”. I gather that many trainers contain perhaps parts that have been tested on lab rats, or are made from animal stuff. Are there any trainers which are completely man-made?

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