The Seven Most Important Money Decisions You’ll Ever Make

7 moneyThe Seven Most Important Money Decisions You’ll Ever Make
by Mary Claire Allvine and Christine Larson, Rodale Books, 2004, 304 pages

Reviewed by Gene and Ginger Wall, Medford Lakes, NJ Certified Leader Couple and Specialists in Marriage Enrichment

Mary Claire Allvine and Christine Larson’s book, The Seven Most Important Money Decisions You’ll Ever Make takes an extraordinary approach to discussing money issues within your marriage. They recommend organizing your finances using a business model. Using a business model for financial discussions can help remove the emotional issues and anxiety that often plague couples.

So to get started, appoint yourselves as a board of directors. Then based on your skills and desires, determine who will be the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and who will be the Chief Investment Officer (CIO). Next, use their five step process to guide your financial decisions. They explain their five step process in great detail and provide plenty of examples from several couples in a variety of different situations.

The first step is setting and prioritizing your dreams and goals. Next, isolate your decisions and deal with one issue or goal at a time. The third step is to brainstorm solutions and research the cost (positive and negative) of each option and pick out the best solutions you are willing to try. Then determine how your cash flow will change across the next five to ten years for the options you have chosen. The last step is to evaluate the impact these options have on both your net worth and goals.

Using this process they discuss the seven most important money decisions you will ever make concerning: handling debt, purchasing a home, financial impact of a job change, financial impact of having children, planning for retirement, creating a safety net and managing a financial crisis. The authors recommend that when you make financial decisions always ask what you want to achieve with your family and your lives. This ensures your financial decisions are aligned with your goals and dreams.

We found the book’s flow to be a little choppy due to inserted comments which made it difficult to read. However, the book was helpful to us in providing an approach to discussing our financial decisions. We recommend this book to couples who want a new approach to discussing finances.

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