A Financial Rut
How to recognize it: You're a saver; he's a spender―or vice versa. So you never seem to meet your financial aspirations.
How to bust out of it: Set financial goals together by putting your cards on the table, literally. Separately, jot down your top three to five financial goals on index cards. Then go through the pile together and take turns explaining why each item matters to you. Don't interrupt each other, no matter how much you disagree. After you've gone through every point, says financial planner Mary Claire Allvine, "identify your top three to five goals as a couple. Rank them in order of priority, then put the others aside." The next step is to devise a plan so that after you pay your bills each month, you designate money to meet your goals in order of their priority. Together, decide what trade-offs you're willing to make―fewer dinners out, for example―for that to happen. "Once you make your goals explicit and start saving or paying off debt, the dollars start to fall in line where they should," says Allvine.