Money issues can cause arguments, stress and even divorce if they’re not addressed. In order to maintain a healthy relationship you should consider having mutual financial disclosure. Here is a list of some bad habits that can potentially hurt your relationship and tips for how to avoid them.
1. Avoiding Financial Conversations
The most important part of a relationship is honesty and trust. If you are getting serious with your partner, then you should consider sitting down and having a conversation about money before taking the next step. Speaking about your finances with your partner can be personal, however, if you plan to move in together and build a future, then you want to make sure you are on the same financial page. Ask yourself, Will you share a joint account? Joint credit cards? Who will be in charge of paying the bills? All of these questions should be addressed before taking the next step with your partner to avoid issues down the road.
2. Keeping Money Secrets
It is okay to keep some things personal from your partner, however, you might want to reconsider hiding financial secrets. If you or your partner has a large amount of debt, then it’s important that you let the other party know. (Not sure where your finances stand? You can view two of your free credit scores, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.) Depending on how serious your relationship is, you should be aware or have an idea of how much your partner is making and how much they are spending on expenses. If you are hiding some big financial secret from your partner, then don’t you think they may be wondering what else you are hiding? Avoid this and consider establishing some ground rules with your partner before getting serious; make sure you can trust them.
3. Not Using a Compatible Budget (for Two)
The first step to staying organized financially is establishing a budget. Now, you may be following a budget already, but have you redesigned your budget to include two people? Budgeting for one is not the same as budgeting for two. You may have more money and more expenses. You might even be sharing a credit card. Consider speaking with your partner about their budgeting techniques and combining a new budget for the both of you. If you notice that you are getting tight on money at the end of every month, then consider trimming some of the expenses on your budget. It might be difficult at first, but focus on staying positive and making compromises. If you are experiencing trouble with budgeting, then consider downloading an app to help.
4. Not Having Savings
Sit down with your partner and discuss your short- and long-term goals. Do you plan to take a vacation together in the future? Are you planning on paying off all of your student loans in the next five years? Consider coming up with a list of financial goals you both plan to achieve, pick one and start saving! Work as a team to reach your goal. It can be very rewarding once you reach your number and go on that tropical vacation you both always wanted.
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This article originally appeared on Credit.com.