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1. Talk to your partner about money

Despite being married for three years and having two kids together, Christina and Jack admit they’ve never really sat down and had a direct, honest conversation about their finances.

They have completely different philosophies when it comes to money habits as well — Christina, who has worked 80 hours a week for three years, tends to be more of a spender, especially when it comes to splurging on big vacations during her limited time off.

Having open conversations (that’s right, multiple talks) about your finances, spending habits and goals can help kickstart a healthier relationship with not just money, but your partner as well.

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2. Pay down your credit card debt

On Sethi’s podcast, the couple says they’re deep in it with $87,500 in credit card debt — and are only able to afford the minimum payments. They both owe money on multiple cards, including store credit cards, like at the Home Depot and Best Buy.

Sethi recommends setting up an automatic payment plan, so that you never miss your monthly payments — which can be damaging for your credit score. And it’ll help you control your expenses too.

He also warns to avoid falling victim to gimmicks, like earning rewards points and introductory rates, if they’re only going to push you further into debt.

3. Build an emergency fund

When their landlord informed them she was planning to sell the building, Christina and Jack didn’t know where they’d live. At the time, they were living paycheck to paycheck and so the couple didn’t have the funds for a deposit and first month’s rent on a new place, which Christina says came to around $7,000.

While her father ended up bailing them out, Sethi urged the couple to build an emergency fund to protect against similar situations down the road.

More: “Suze Orman on the importance of emergency savings

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4. Save for your goals

Whether it comes down to taking a well-deserved vacation or going to a concert, make sure you’re not exceeding your earnings just to have fun.

Sethi recommends Jack and Christina start planning and setting rules for themselves, like not taking a vacation unless they can pay for it in full.

He even suggests creating a savings fund specifically for a trip to Singapore they were planning over the summer.

5. Don’t let lifestyle creep get the better of you

The couple had put thousands of dollars on their credit cards for a trip to Hawaii — and they anticipated their vacation to Singapore could cost them around $25,000.

Christina says as a doctor, she feels the pressure to spend more money, and this instinct only increases with the more she earns.

Here, Sethi advises keeping a close eye on every dollar you're spending so you’re never at risk of spending more than you make. One of the best ways to do that is to make — and even more importantly, follow — a budget. If you’re keeping a record of how much you’re spending month-to-month, your expenses are far less likely to spiral out of control.


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About the Author

Serah Louis

Serah Louis


Serah Louis is a reporter with Moneywise.com. She enjoys tackling topical personal finance issues for young people and women and covering the latest in financial news.

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