Dear Mrs. Riches:
My husband and I are at a bit of a standstill and we're hoping you can help. The two of us are hoping to save enough money for a down payment on a bigger house. That much we agree on. It's how we do the saving that is causing friction. His approach? He is a nickel-and-dime guy who questions every single penny. As for me, I think it's more worthwhile to focus on the larger outlays of money where we have the most potential to save. I find his way to be picky and excessive; he finds mine irritatingly laid-back. Is there a middle ground?
--Mrs. Type-B

Dear Mrs. Type-B:
You and your husband agree on a goal, which is a great first step. Meeting that goal is important, but remember not to sacrifice your relationship to it. How you and your husband relate (creating a kind of "template" for future decisions) is more important than which method you choose to cut costs. You have the best shot of making your dream come true if you work together, rather than insisting that there's a winner and a loser.

At the risk of sounding simplistic, why not combine your approaches to saving? Yes, you'll each have to deal with little flares of annoyance, but you'll likely meet your goals for a down payment that much more quickly. And if you enjoy a little competition, you could even set up a light-hearted contest to see whose money-saving strategies pad the down payment account the most. The winner? He or she gets to pick the wall color for the new living room.

Keeping things at a friendly level, acknowledging that there's value to both viewpoints, and being willing to incorporate each other's ideas into a plan of action are all great indicators that your marriage is on solid footing. Use all of that positive energy to make an impact on your finances and your future. There will be plenty of time to rib one another over money-saving styles when you're sipping champagne in the new house.

Want more ideas for handling money with your honey? Try:

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Fool contributor Elizabeth Brokamp is a licensed professional counselor who regularly talks money with her honey, Robert Brokamp, editor of The Motley Fool's Rule Your Retirement newsletter.