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Hi Tasha,

I think you are right in that taking away the debit card won't do much to fix the source of the problem, nor necessarily will going back to each managing your own finances seperately.

To me the key to getting buy-in from both of you on your financial plan is to have specific goals in mind. While some people can do saving for the sake of saving, I think most (certainly me!) find it a lot easier to be saving for something (or many things). What is important here is for both of you to come up with things together that you want to be saving towards, that way you are both bought in to the idea and can contribute equally.

Start out with the basics- having enough each month to pay rent, bills, etc. Then maybe set up a apecific goal to create an emergency fund for the two of you so you don't have to turn to credit cards in an emergency- most folks seem to thing 3-6 months salary is about right (you may already have this taken care of). On top of that, think of other things that both of you want(or each of you- individual goals are important too!). Obviously you have a wedding coming up- if you are paying for all or part of it yourself then you'll want to start putting some money away for it. If that's taken care of, plan for the honeymoon, the new house, or whatever else is on your wish list.

A few other thoughts... Don't try to knock everything off all at once- obviously you'll want to have enough on hand to live on. And by live I don't just mean subside- make sure to have fun too! Otherwise the savings will quickly become a drag and it will be hard to stay disciplined. Also, it is probably best to prioritize what you are saving for, but don't necessarily try to knock things off one at a time. The emergency fund is a great example- don't try to save three months salary all at once or you'll go crazy. Throw some wedding savings and maybe some other things in there too. Finally, don't just focus on the big things or they'll have a tendency to get you down (they take longer); throw some small to mid sized goals in there as well. Plan for a three day weekend somewhere fun/exciting/romantic, or for a new item for your home, or anything that you can achieve in a relatively short amount of time. Then when you achieve your goal you can enjoy the accomplishment as well as the vacation/item/whatever.

This got really long but I hope it is helpful. Again, the key is to set goals TOGETHER, that way you are both "invested" in the outcome and you can both enjoy the accomplishment! -JG3
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