When setting financial goals, it's important that you and your spouse make them SMART: an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
This morning, PaidTwice had a wonderful posting on her blog discussing the value of setting specific saving goals. It reminded me of the process She and I are going through in our car-buying adventure.
When we began saving, we had a nebulous goal of saving for a car. Of course, without a SMART goal, She would regularly ask "when" we could purchase a car. Regrettably, I would give a nebulous answer that left her more frustrated.
It wasn't until this summer when She confronted me and forced me to make the goal SMART. Once we established a goal that was clearly defined, and a reasonable timeline, the discussions stopped. We were finally in agreement on "when," and had a concrete measure to track our progress against.
Make your goals SMART, and it will save a lot of tension in your marriage.