A major underlying tension in many marriages is dealing with debt.  It is estimated that a very high percentage of divorces are based on some sort of financial issues between the couple, debt being a high on this list.  If you see that you have fallen behind on your finances,it’s time to face the situation head-on… together.

Here are 5 tips on how to work on your debt together.

Work yourselves out a budget for your day-to-day expenses

Make sure you include all fixed expenses, such as mortgage/rent payments, insurance, car payments, utilities, tuition, memberships, etc.. Your next section should be for more fluid expenses, such as food, entertainment and vacations.  Finally, take any occasional expenses, such as holiday costs, and divide them into twelve, so that you don’t get burdened with “unexpected” expenses, come November-December. See where your income versus expenses balance falls.

Figure out how you can realistically bring these expenses down

Each of you should be keeping a to-do list.  Remember, being realistic here is key, otherwise it just won’t work.   In so far as the fixed expenses are concerned, what about refinancing your mortgage?  Could you keep some appliances unplugged or use others sparingly to bring down your utility costs?  Could your communications costs be lowered by checking for cheaper packages that would work better for you?  Consider each line on your expense list and try to come up with ways to cut it down.  

Determine where you can reduce your expenditures

Some items can’t be realistically mega-reduced long term. For example, don’t expect to be able to cut your grocery bill by eighty percent for more than a very short period of time.  Use this money you have saved to pay off your debts.  Prioritize where the money is owed and plot your success on a mutually-accessible graph.

Formally plan time for meetings

On a weekly, twice a month or monthly basis work assessing how your plan is going, re-work the glitches and plot your success on your graph.

Work together as a team

Keep coming up with ways to save and slowly get out of debt. You’ll feel great and reaching this success together will exhilarate and help to create a healthy relationship.

Make sure you celebrate when your debts are paid off, and plan what to do with the money that you had been using every month to pay it off.

If you are having difficulty managing managing your finances as a couple contact us here for guidance and support.