A Couple with Common Cents has won two book awards!
Finalist, Best Overall Design Fiction
2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Second Place Short Story
2017 Missouri Writers Guild President’s Contest
“Seeing eye to eye in the finance department is crucial for any marriage. I have seen too much stress caused by avoiding the money talk. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In A Couple with Common Cents, Ryan Eidson takes any married couple from financial frustration to financial freedom. Do your money and your marriage a favor, read this book and apply the principles.” —Derek C. Olsen, Better Conversations on Money and Marriage, derekandcarrie.com
“I urge you to do something special for those you love most—read this book!” —Dan Miller, author of New York Times bestselling book 48 Days to the Work You Love
Here’s a short preview of A Couple with Common Cents:
Tabitha heard many birds chirping as she drove home from work. It was the first day of spring. Even though the weather was really nice outside, Tabitha had some concerns nagging at her heart.
She drove to the daycare to pick up her two young children. She placed Kyle and Katie in the backseat of the family minivan. Kyle reached over to Katie and stole the toy she was playing with. She started to cry.
“It’s mine and I’m playing with it!” Kyle said.
“Get along back there, you two,” Tabitha said as she drove home. “Kyle, please give that back to her.”
Kyle, four, loved to pester his younger sister. She just turned two the other day. He gave Katie her toy back, and she stopped crying.
Tabitha took time for reflection as she drove them home. During their first year of marriage, like most couples do, Jack and Tabitha were living high on love. They were young and did not give much thought to their long-term future. Now, nearly six years after their initial bliss, they were stuck in the grind of life.
As a handyman, Jack was truly the jack-of-all-trades. He liked to help neighbors and friends with their cars, houses, and anything that could be tinkered with. Because of his generous heart and willingness to help his friends, he often just charged them for parts and rarely billed anyone for his time. When he did, he only asked for ten dollars per hour. During business hours, Jack worked at the hardware store, so he figured that he didn’t need to ask for much from the other projects he did on many evenings and weekends.
Because Jack worked so many hours, and Tabitha was better at math, he let her do all the recordkeeping. She prepared the invoices for his side projects—it was hardly a business, more like a hobby that generated enough income it was considered self-employment for taxes.
She balanced both of their checkbooks. For some reason, Jack was insistent that they have separate personal accounts. She was fine with that when they wed; however, her feelings about separate bank accounts had changed since. Yet she kept it to herself and had not brought up the subject with him.
Tabitha worked at a small store during the day, measuring and cutting bolts of fabric for customers. Soon after Katie was born, Tabitha and Jack decided that two kids were enough for them. To provide for the increased expenses of a fourth member of the family, along with a new minivan and larger house, they agreed that Tab would also work a day job. This meant that someone else would watch Kyle and Katie during the day.
With no family members close by, and all their neighbors also gone from home during the day, they had few options for daycare. The two ladies who watched their children were nice, but Tabitha wished that somehow Jack would earn enough so she could stay at home with the kids. Their money was so tight that neither of them could afford to miss work.
As she opened the mailbox, Tabitha looked to see what bills had arrived that day. Tossing the pile of mail into the empty passenger’s seat, she told the kids “We’re home!” and pulled into the driveway. “Let’s play outside for a while.”
Despite her weariness of standing on her feet all day, Tabitha still enjoyed chasing her kids in the yard. They all laughed when the kids chased her around too. For a few brief moments, she did not worry about their tight financial situation.
That Sunday evening, Tabitha’s cell phone rang.
“Hey Tab, what’s going on?”
“Just spending some time with the family at home before another long work week,” Tabitha replied.
It was Linda on the other end. Linda and Tabitha had been good friends ever since Tabitha came to town. Linda was one of her few friends here, as Tabitha was no longer living where she grew up. Even though Tabitha had lived here for six years now, she still felt like an outsider in the small Midwestern city of Maplewood.
“There’s a women’s conference coming up very soon,” Linda said. “Would you like to go with me? We can have a lot of fun together!”
Tabitha walked into the quiet bedroom so she could hear Linda better. “Where is it? And how long is this conference?”
“It’s three days in Omaha, April 27-29. There will be hundreds of other ladies there. You’ll only spend two nights away from your family. Come on, it will be fun!”
“Oh, I can’t go. I don’t want to be gone from my kids that long.” Tab had spent only one night away from her children since Kyle was born.
“Yes you can! Tell Jack to watch them.”
“Jack works most Saturdays, you know, and often late on Fridays and sometimes even Sunday afternoons. How can I pull that off?”
“Oh, just go ask him,” Linda replied. “You deserve some time off.”
“I’ve never attended anything like this. What will it cost?”
Linda paused for a moment. “We’ll split room costs between four of us. The hotel includes breakfast. We can pack Friday supper and Saturday lunch so we only have to eat out Saturday night and Sunday noon. And we won’t eat at any fancy places. Registration right now is only twenty-nine dollars, so you could go for around seventy bucks.”
“Seventy dollars!” Tab lowered her voice. “I don’t have that kind of money sitting around to be gone all weekend.”
“Well, okay. Can you promise me you will at least think about it? This early-bird registration rate lasts only until Friday, so we all need to get our tickets fast.”
Tab really did not want to disappoint her friend, yet she knew that this would not work out. “Well, I’ll see you later. Bye.”
“Who was that?” asked Jack as she walked back into the living room.
“What did she want?”
“Not much. She just told me of an upcoming event she’s going to, and she wanted me to go with her. I told her no.”
“Oh,” Jack said as he continued to eat popcorn and watch TV with their kids.
“I mainly read self help books, not fiction. I got both here, and a bonus that has me setting new goals and rethinking my finances to make positive changes. I loved the message in this book.” —Robin, early reader of the book
“I totally identified with the mom in this book. There were some good actionable tips in here.” —Kate, early reader of the book