Money can't buy happiness, but it can get you a copy of "For Richer, Not Poorer: The Newlyweds' Financial Survival Guide" (Perigee $14.95). The book promises to answer the kind of money-management questions that linger long after the big day has passed. Should the two of you merge bank accounts? Get your wills drawn up? And how do you share bill paying? (The book's answers, for the record: Your choice, yes and split the responsibility.)
Author Deborah Wilburn, a contributing editor at Elegant Bride, divides her how-to guide into 12 chapters, including "Money 'Tudes: His and Hers" and "Buying a Home, Sweet Home." Her tips are aimed at those who didn't marry a financial whiz or Donald Trump-type tycoon (darn that love!) and therefore need to learn the basics on things like IRAs. There's also a focus on tough-to-talk-about concerns such as borrowing from your parents and dealing with a partner's debt.
Like writing post-nuptial thank-you notes, the book can seem a little overwhelming if you try to tackle it all in one sitting. Better to take it bit by bit -- and if you do nothing else, spend an afternoon filling out the budget worksheet on page 85. Seeing what's coming in (after taxes), what's going out (mortgage, gym memberships) and what's left (eek) is an eye-opening experience -- one you'll likely remember as well as your anniversary date.
Janelle Erlichman Diamond