Money is one of the largest sources of arguments for couples. With the economy in a recession, it is more important to ever to come to terms with your financial situation. Shredding one's credit card bills and stuffing them in a box under the bed won't make them go away. Refusing to balance one's checkbook won't cause money to mysteriously appear in your bank account. The only way to overcome the financial hardship is to work together. Working together to minimize your bills won't only help one partner but will help out both partners financially. Plus, it will bring both parties closer in ways one never imagined.

Things You Will Need

Debt reduction plan

Financial goals

Commitment to improving finances

Step 1

Be Team Oriented when Designing a Debt Reduction Plan. Whether one spouse has lost their job or another racked up a huge credit card bill buying all the latest fashions, the fact is both spouses are in this together and need to design a debt reduction plan . No matter who is responsible for the financial hardship together, both individuals must work as a team to overcome the obstacles. Don't point fingers and make accusations. Instead, figure out ways both individuals can work towards solving the problem. Design a debt reduction plan together. Couples can't expect to overcome financial hardship if only one person is putting forth all of the effort.

Step 2

Work on a Family Budget to Reduce Debt. Consider some areas where both individuals can cut back on spending. Perhaps one could sacrifice their country club membership and the other their gym membership. Both individuals have to make sacrifices in order for the other to not feel like they are getting the short end of the stick. How can both parties help to contribute extra income? For instance, the wife could possibly get a part time job or the husband could take up landscaping in his spare time. Either way, both individuals have to work together on a garage sale to clear out the clutter and make some extra cash. Use the household budget provided by Kiplinger, and find other areas to trim the fat.

Step 3

Set Financial Goals to Achieve as a Couple, and Be Committed to Following Through. Couples might want to start by paying off one credit card at a time. Write this financial goal down, and post it on the refrigerator. Then use any extra money to put towards that goal. Once that obligation has been paid off, cut it up together and then apply the funds to the next bill until all the bills have been paid off. Not only will one feel financially more stable, but they will feel stronger as a couple as well.

Step 4

Be Honest with Each Other about Debt and Improving Marital Finances. If one spouse had an unexpected shoe binge, be honest with the other and explain where the hundred bucks that is missing actually went. Nobody is perfect. However, it's important to be honest with each other or else both individuals will be secretly spending and digging themselves even deeper in the hole. So if there is a MasterCard lurking in their wallet that one spouse is unaware of, now is the time to lay it all out on the table. For more advice about learning what's in the other spouse's wallet, read the article at CNNMoney.

Step 5

Be Financially Wise to Improve Family Finances. Couples should remember that some of the best things in life are free. Learn to spend time together without spending money. Revisit the time when you used to spend Friday nights together on the couch watching sitcoms. Financial hardship can go a long way towards drawing the couple closer as a couple because they will be forced to spend time together doing one thing that can dramatically strengthen their bond — talking. For a list of 25 free and cheap date ideas, visit Stretcher.

By being committed to your marriage, developing a family budget, setting financial goals, being honest and working with one another to make your financial dreams a reality, couples can get through tough financial times and improve their marriages while improving their family finances.

Tips & Warnings