Marriage is a wonderful adventure. Sometimes it can be endlessly challenging, but at the same time, endlessly rewarding. Finding a life partner to share your dreams and goals with is a beautiful thing.
But now that the congratulations are over, and the honeymoon has come to an end, what now? You’ve taken a giant leap into adulthood, and the journey is only really beginning. It would be a very smart thing to do to get on the same page with your finances, especially since it seems to be a source of arguments between married couples.
In fact, couples fight about money twice as much as they fight about sex, according to a Money Magazine survey. The American divorce rate is nearly twice what it was in 1960, though it has declined somewhat since hitting an all-time high in 1980.
This decline suggests a higher rate of marital stability, due to both a higher age of first marriage as well as the reservation of marriage for the economically stable. 
That’s not to say that your marriage is doomed. Not by a long shot. The stabilizing influence of financially savvy and coordinated efforts and decisions in a marriage can help the situation.
Here are some tips to strengthen the bond from a financial standpoint:
- Honesty: This would be a good piece of advice to couples on any subject but especially with money. Never hide or lie about a single dollar of spending. This includes getting that special item on sale and “rounding down” to make it sound less expensive than it actually was. Or coming home from the local bar and saying you only had two drinks when you really bought dinner and a round for all of your work buddies.
- Common purpose: Talk about your financial goals often and in detail. It’s vital to sit down, and coordinate your future plans with regards to finances. Think about it. If you’re not working together toward a common goal, then chances are you’re at odds with one another to some degree.
- Retirement: You’re hopefully going to grow old together. Start planning for it now. Retirement savings plans are easily accessible and are worth every penny you stash away when you’re sitting on that cruise ship smiling at one another, sipping on Mai Tais.
- Savings: Start a savings account together. And an Emergency Fund. Invest together. Do it now. You’ll be glad you did.
- Live within your means: You don’t need to live in a giant mansion, nor do you need the latest shiny, fancy car. It’s nice to have nice things, but if those things are beyond your means, do'nt fall for the consumer trap of going deep into debt to keep up with the Joneses - rather save your money. Spend less than you earn, and avoid the stress of trying to juggle expensive bills that you can’t afford.
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