You work hard for your money, so it can be tough switching from a "mine" to "ours" mind-set. But it's really important. "Marriage means being partners in all aspects of life, including finances," says psychotherapist Tina Tessina, Ph.D., author of Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage. Problem is, many spouses have differing views about spending and saving (in fact, research shows that fiscal opposites attract). That's why Tessina advises taking the time to share your attitude toward money with your mate—and vice versa. Maybe the cash-flow woes his family faced growing up are the reason he insists on buying generic everything—down to the puffed-rice cereal. "This piece of the puzzle can help you better understand each other's decisions," she says.
Another way to sidestep conflict is to create a "discretionary" budget for each spouse to spend as desired, whether that's on Apple stock or the newest Tory Burch bag. "You don't have to always agree with your spouse's purchases, but it is important to see eye-to-eye on pricey items," says Bell. "Set guidelines about when you need to consult each other—say, anything that costs more than five hundred dollars."