Book Review: Spousonomics

So what happens when you apply economic principles to your marriage? Well beyond getting a fun book to read, like Spousonomics (by:Paula Szchman and Jenny Anderson), you also get some surprising answers to some of the most common areas of conflict in a marriage. So regardless if you just want to have more sex, argue less over the dishes or finally get your spouse to fix something that they promised six months ago you need to read this book.

I will confess here, that my wife found this book and laughed so much while reading it I had to pick it up after she had finished. While the book didn’t provide any earth shattering insights into my own marriage I never the less learned a few new tricks and approaches on how to deal with issues in a more proactive approach.

I personally like the advice on sex…you need to consult your standard negative sloping demand curve. Pardon? In a nut shell, sex always has a cost with it. You don’t pay in cash for it with your spouse, but depending on the amount of energy discussing it, debating it or planning for it. For example, are the kids in bed? Did you have to buy a gift to finally have some? Or do you only get some on a vacation without the kids? So the higher the energy cost associated with sex the less likely you are do it. So to have more sex, you need to make having it easier and reduce the cost. Rather simple when you think about it, so next time you want some more sex with your spouse make it easy to do.

Perhaps the one theme that comes up over and over in the book is you have to communicate with your spouse. Yes, talking to your spouse about your life and keeping them informed can prevent hurt feelings and misunderstandings. I suspect this is why I’m still with my wife after 10 years. We always talk about everything: the funny, the frustrating, and even the ‘I don’t really care about this, but you do, so I will listen.’

So why is a blog about personal finance and happiness talking about marriage? Well in a nut shell if you are married (or even common law) let’s face the facts: your odds of getting a divorce is high and it is expensive as hell to do. Also a lot of your happiness will likely flow from a good relationship with your spouse. In a nut shell: staying married is good for your wallet and your heart if you can make it work and it is a good risk management tactic. I’m not saying all relationships should stay together, but you should give it an honest try.

Overall I do recommend reading Spousonomics as I found it funny and an enjoyable read while managing to teach me a few new tricks.