7 Tips to Keep Money From Messing Up Your Marriage

Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage -- but not necessarily money and marriage. Conflicts over finances rank among the most stressful for people in long-term relationships, whether they've been together two months or two decades. Here are some strategies to help you avoid some common pitfalls. http://n.pr/24NX2jD
  1. First and foremost: Communicate, communicate, communicate.
    "Get all the issues out on the table, work through a budget," says financial adviser Kitty Bressington of Rochester, N.Y.
  2. Come to some agreement on "yours, mine, ours."
    Sometimes that means setting spending limits, Bressington says.
  3. Bressington advises not to keep your money separate -- but also don't throw it willy-nilly into one account and hope for the best.
  4. Set up a joint account to cover the basic bills.
  5. Set up a plan with automatic contributions to a retirement account, college savings account and other long-term savings goals.
  6. Then, each partner in the couple should get a set amount of spending or "fun" money every month that's discretionary.
    "If you decide [the fun money is], say, $250 a month, and that fits within your budget, and one person wants to blow his $250 and the other person wants to save her $250, then that's OK because you've set those ground rules," Bressington says
  7. Try using cash for your "fun" money.
    "We're tactile," Bressington says. "Sometimes I need to put people back in touch with a dollar bill."