Kip Tips


The Truth About Marriage and Money

Cameron Huddleston

If you think all you need is love, you're wrong. Couples need to be financially compatible, too.



I'm not so sure Loggins & Messina got it right in "Danny's Song" when they sang:

Even though we ain't got money
I'm so in love with you honey
An' everything will bring
A chain of love, oh, oh yeah

The fact is, the top source of anxiety among couples is finances, according to a recent survey commissioned by American Express. So if you're getting married soon and think that your financial situation doesn't matter because you're in love (because love conquers all, right?), think again.

Here are some more statistics from the American Express couples and money survey that you should be aware of before you tie the knot:

-- 61% of couples say discussions about household finances lead to arguments
-- 50% of couples say the financial habits of their partner drive them crazy
-- 75% of couples have financial secrets they've kept from their partner

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I'm not telling you to reconsider marriage because your days will be filled with fights over money or hiding purchases from your spouse. Just the opposite: You and your spouse-to-be can avoid a lot of friction by realizing that money plays a prominent role in marriage.

Start by asking these four critical money questions before you get married to make sure you and your partner are financially compatible. Also discuss whether you should use separate or joint accounts and how you'll merge your finances once you're married.

If you're already married but didn't talk about money matters before tying the knot (or since), schedule a money date to discuss big-picture financial issues. If you and your spouse argue about money, follow these five techniques for identifying financial conflicts and easing tensions.

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