Too Separate For Too Long

Henry is trying to get his wife on board with straightening out their finances. They have separate accounts and have been married for eight years. How does he begin to work with her?

QUESTION: Henry in Atlanta is trying to get his wife on board with straightening out their finances. They have separate accounts, and they've been married for eight years. How does he begin to work with her?

ANSWER: It's not the fact that you combine finances that makes you win or not win. It's the fact that it causes you both to do smart things. There won't be any late bills if you're working on them together and you have a game plan before the month begins. You have a written budget that we're in agreement on and we both have a vote on. I think you have got to combine your finances, and you've got to have a written budget that you both agree on. And her vote counts on that. She gets a vote just like you get a vote. Then you guys look at The Total Money Makeover.

If the two of you went through Financial Peace University and attended every class together, I think it's going to take your marriage from an okay marriage to a fabulous marriage. This money thing is a constant burr under your saddle. As long as we don't talk about it and it stays hidden, we're okay. But once we touch that subject, the claws come out. That tells you that you have a weak link in the chain of your marriage, and it's the money piece.