As a dating strategist, the first thing I always tell my clients before entering into a new relationship is to make sure that you share the same values with your partner. One value that often gets overlooked is your attitude towards money. In this economy, we're seeing the divorce rate level off for the first time in decades, but many speculate that it's not because we're in healthier marriages — we're staying together because we cannot afford to split up. Money is often the number one reason that couples argue, so here are some tips to keep your relationship strong (even if your bank account is not).
1. Do not keep any "secret" funds. A lot of times I hear couples say, "I have a personal account that I keep just in case." Secret accounts just lead to secrets in the relationship. If you have accounts in your own name and insist on keeping them, make sure your partner knows where the money is, how to access it, and how much is there. If you worry that they might take it from you, you might not be in the right relationship. Wealth Management consultant Christopher Dukes who surveyed couples on their feelings about shared finances found that the overwhelming majority cited financial infidelity (hiding money) as more injurious to the relationship than sexual infidelity.
2. Be brutally honest about your spending habits. Some people are more frugal than others. If you have a secret passion for shoe shopping that you are trying to hide from your husband or that he finds out about only when investigating the credit card bill, you are damaging your relationship. Many couples set a threshold amount over which they call one another for approval before purchasing. Not only does it keep you honest, but it makes you have to ask yourself if you really need that item. Keep reading...
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