I found some great advice to help you do just that in Money magazine. They offer these tips:
- First, trade places with your spouse. A lot of fights about spending stem from ignorance. If you’ve never shopped for your kids clothes or gone grocery shopping with two kids in tow, you don’t know how quickly costs can add up. Nor do you understand the pressure to buy something your kid is begging you for. On the flip side, if you’re never a part of retirement planning, you can’t see how far you are from your savings goal. So switch financial roles for a month. You’ll understand each other better and you won’t judge each other so harshly. And stop keeping secrets from each other. 43% of people say they keep secrets from their spouse about spending to avoid fights!
- Next, keep a “mad money” account. This is your own money that you can use to buy whatever you want. But this mad money account comes after all your regular bills, and the 10% of your income that you put in savings every week.
- Also, stop trying to keep up with the Jones’ – because you have no idea what they actually owe. Yes, Mrs. Jones may be driving a new Beemer, but the likelihood is that Mrs. Jones is struggling with the same money issues you are. If you’re stretching yourself financially to keep up appearances, you’re a fool. And you know what they say – a fool and his money are soon parted.
- And lastly, sit down with your spouse and have a serious discussion about your financial goals. They should be based on your own needs and values – don’t measure yourself against anybody else. Then figure out small steps you can take to reach those goals. Maybe you cancel your gym membership and start running so you can put the money towards a vacation.