The first step is to make sure that you are in agreement over how you plan to achieve your financial goals. There are many books, videos, conferences, and talk shows about "the best" way to get out of debt and get rich. Obviously, Dave Ramsey's plan is what works best for us...so we both agreed to read "The Total Money Makeover" so that we are on the same page.
In the past I had been the one to handle the finances (which used to be just paying the bills, since we didn't have a budget ;-)) for the most part because I have always been the one at home and on the computer all day. However, now that we are trying to truly work out our finances we have to be on the same page as far as making our dreaded budget. The easiest process for us is for me to work out the budget according to our goals and then we have our monthly budget meeting to make sure that we are both in complete agreement.
One spouse should not just take over the budget and railroad the other one. This needs to be done so that you can both see the goals and the track you are on. For example, you should be agreement in regards to the blow money (sometimes this may mean that one person gets more blow money than the other person if it will keep them on track). The key to everything is to do what needs to be done to meet the goals while keeping each other motivated.
One other important aspect to this process is to keep track of your progress and set some rewards for reaching your goals. This is especially important when you have a reluctant spouse. Depending on the size of your debt the finish line could be a few years off...you need to set some rewards for yourself so that you don't get too burned out!
We all know the statistics and how financial problems can ruin a relationship. Don't let this be the case! Focus on your goals and achievements together. Lift each other up and hold each other accountable. Read the success stories out there and know that a life with no financial obligations is in your future!
Stayed tuned tomorrow for some tips for trying to get a hold of your finances when you have a reluctant spouse...