Step 4: Analyze Your Spending
After one month, have a meeting and begin to categorize your expenditures. How much are you spending a month on food, clothing, entertainment, utilities, dry cleaning and household help? I guarantee you'll have some unpleasant surprises. Fifty bucks just for lattés? Resign yourself to feeling sheepish or embarrassed, or perhaps a little out of control. Forgive yourself and your spouse, and congratulate yourselves on taking a brave step. Now you will have a clearer sense of how much you spend and on what. The two of you can decide on some areas in which you could spend less. If saving money is important to you, decide on an amount that seems reasonable.

Read books like The Millionaire Next Door and Your Money or Your Life together; discuss the chapters to help you begin to formulate a lifelong plan of how you want to use your money. Begin to be psychologically aware of your personal relationship with money, and commit to creating a responsible financial lifestyle.

The next step: Revisit your budget
Reprinted from Emotional Infidelity by M. Gary Neuman. Copyright © 2002.
Published by Three Rivers Press, a division of Random House, Inc.