Consolidating finances marriage

Now that you've laid your money cards on the table, a few top issues will emerge: He thinks you're spending too much on the kids, say, or you aren't saving enough for retirement.Over the next day or two, each of you should make a wish list of things you'd like to work toward. Sit down and draw a diagram of two circles that overlap like the Master Card symbol.Getting financially in sync can help you work together toward mutual goals, which will make you both happier.Most couples "talk" about money in a drive-by style—as they're deciding to buy something, when the bills come in, or when there's not enough cash on hand for something one of you feels you need.Not that you should marry only for financial reasons.But if you and your partner are contemplating marriage, here are nine possible benefits.Pick a speaker and a listener to start (you'll swap roles).√ Set a timer for 2 minutes, and let the speaker air his or her concerns until it goes off. "I get worried when we dip into our savings" is better than "You always take our money and spend it on dumb things!" Stick to facts and how you feel, not judgments of the other person's actions.√ Next, the other person reflects back what he or she heard.

In the outer part of the left- and right-hand circles, write down the goals that don't overlap.

Never mind if none of them is your top priority (or his).

The point is to celebrate that you're on the same team, finally.

That's OK: The point is to start talking, whatever that looks like to you.

Understanding your partner's point of view—enough so that you can work together—is what matters.

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