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Setting financial goals in your marriage

January 19, 2015

A great idea…

In his Financial Smart Start for Newlyweds series, James Marshall says,

“One reason couples become financial failures is they haven’t thought through their goals. They are working at cross-purposes.” 

 In other words…

Without a plan for expenses and income, money can seem to spill through your fingers.  Achieving your goals for earning, saving and investing requires wise planning.  Goals are the foundation of any financial plan.  When both partners agree on financial goals, it’s easier to make spending decisions.

How can you apply this…

Each partner should make a list of financial goals.  Then, choose a time when you will not be interrupted to discuss your goals. While you and your partner may have different goals, your objective is to come up with a combined list of financial goals that you will both work toward. This will require compromise. For example, one of you may be dreaming of an expensive vacation while the other is focused on paying off student loan debt.  The compromise could be that you work together to reduce debt before saving for a special vacation.  Think creatively and be open to each other’s ideas.

After determining your financial goals, make a list of expenses and income.  Create a spending plan that’s designed to help you and your partner meet monthly expenses as well as make progress toward achieving your goals.

To Find Out More…

For a free spending plan worksheet, download the factsheet “Realistic Expectations About Expenses and Income” from the Financial Smart Start for Newlyweds series at

Find personal finance information specifically for couples on the Cooperative Extension Service website at:

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