Carmen shares how couples can work together against the negative effects of money on a relationship:
- Communicate before you walk down the aisle. It may not be the most romantic part of your relationship, but it's important to air your debts openly and honestly.
- Keep your money identity. You are two different people, so it's okay to keep separate bank accounts and even credit cards. A little less than half of the respondents of the survey have a joint account with their spouse as well as a personal account, Carmen says.
- Commit to saving. Make automatic contributions to your savings account and work toward goals as a team, whether it's purchasing a house or going on a vacation.
- Be prepared for changes that come when you have a baby. Get a will, as well as life and disability insurance, so that your child is protected in case of a tragedy.
- No matter who takes care of paying the bills, keep the other partner informed. Online banking is a great way to facilitate this—when you both share a password, you can easily keep tabs on balances.