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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Financial Intimacy: How To Mix Love And Money

(Happip/Flickr)

(Happip/Flickr)

A recent survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants reveals that money is the most common reason married couples fight.

In fact, finances result in more disputes than children, chores, friends — or anything.

Another study out of Utah shows that arguments about money are the most likely predictors of future divorce.

Tips For Financial Intimacy:
1. Always be honest with your partner about how you spend your money and what is in your accounts, regardless of whether you have a joint account or separate bank accounts, or both.

2. Dating is like an interview for marriage, where you should ask each other about your viewpoints on money and sharing costs.

3. If you decide to buy a home together, you both should be debt-free and have a good amount of savings.

4. Premarital counseling with a strong financial component is a very good idea.

So how can couples deal with finances in a way that will enhance, and not destroy, their relationships?

We turn to nationally syndicated columnist Michelle Singletary who writes the “Color of Money” column for The Washington Post. She’s also author of “Your Money and Your Man: How You and Prince Charming Can Spend Well and Live Rich.”

“Couples want to know should they have his, hers, or ours, or all of the above. They’re not sure how to manage it, and that’s where a lot of the arguments come in, especially if there is uneven income earning between the two,” Singletary told Here & Now’s Robin Young.

Most money arguments are not about money at all, Singletary said.

“It’s a lot of unconscious things we have and we hold about money,” she said. “Often times when people get together, they don’t talk about it. They don’t talk about how they’re gonna handle it. What are your viewpoints of it? What do you think about giving, what do you think about giving to family members? They spend more time planning the wedding and the reception than they do about how they are going to handle their money together.”

Guest:


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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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