What do you want your money to do for you? As your individual and joint financial goals become clear, you will need to find creative ways to get as many of these goals realized as possible. Some of your financial goals can be reached immediately, but others will take long-range planning.

The following exercise will help you separate your financial goals into long-range and immediate ones, and will lead you through making a budget that will allow both of you to work together. A budget that both of you have developed will be easier for you to maintain because both of you "own" it. Successfully creating and staying within a budget gives couples a joint sense of direction and control.

6 Steps for Making a Budget
Step 1: Determine Your Financial Goals
Step 2: Calculate Your Costs
Step 3: Write Down Your Purchases
Step 4: Analyze Your Spending
Step 5: Revisit Your Budget
Step 6: Keep It Up!
Reprinted from Emotional Infidelity by M. Gary Neuman. Copyright © 2002.
Published by Three Rivers Press, a division of Random House, Inc.