Discuss Your Paychecks—Both of Them
Try to do so in the context of getting somewhere as a family. Focus on the endgame. Talk about what you want your money to do for you. What are your shared goals as a couple? As parents? Do you want to pay off the house? Travel to Greece? Put the kids through college with as few loans as possible? Retire promptly at 65? Well, okay then!

If you disagree about the goals, compromise. Even agreeing to disagree about certain things is part of the process. These are the important things, not the size of your individual paychecks. The size of your paychecks is relevant only to whether there's enough there—combined—in order to make those things possible. And if there's not, then you both modify the goals, or modify your jobs, to make them possible. But you do it working together. You keep the lines of communication open.

Do it, say this, and sound smart: "That raise you got will really help us pay off the car this year. Then we can focus on stockpiling for college."

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Reprinted from Make Money, Not Excuses by Jean Chatzky with permission from Crown Business, a division of Random House, Inc. Copyright © 2006 by Jean Chatzky.
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.


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