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SALT LAKE CITY -- It's well known that money can lead to disagreements between married couples. But what kind of financial habits are more likely to lead to an argument?
"You spent too much." "Why didn't you ask me before you spent that much?" "Those bills are your responsibility." These are some of the things people may say to their spouse if they're arguing about money.
Many people don't know if they're marrying a saver or a spender.
AAA Fair Credit Foundation President Preston Cochrane says he's counseled couples whose money problems began even before the marriage did.
"If those individuals don't know and haven't discussed their upbringing before hand and what their money values are, then those can definitely be contributing factors to irrational conversation when it comes to money," he said.
Very frequently, a couple doesn't talk about their financial baggage before they get married. Cochrane says many people don't know if they're marrying a saver or a spender. This becomes a major problem if the couple needs a large sum of money for an emergency and they don't have it because the spender spent it all.
"When that life event occurs and you're looking for that money to pay for it, you're going to be blindsided completely," he commented.
Cochrane says it's important for a couple to sit down and agree on what is a major expense, whether it's $50 or $500. That way, there are fewer surprises. But even if one person in the relationship does have more control of the family's finances, Cochrane says it's important they both have some money set aside for discretionary spending.
"Use it as you will. When it's gone, it's gone. If each other knows, ‘We both have the same amount of money,' nobody is trying to hide anything from one another," Cochrane said.
Set (realistic) goals
Avoid a parent-child dynamic
Consider your partner's happiness
Create 'preset spending limits'
Lay on the compliments
Admit when you're stalled
Source: CBS News
A lot of couples seem to prefer having separate accounts and split up the bills between the two of them. But Cochrane says, for whatever reason, it doesn't seem like a good idea.
"[It] seems like it doesn't work," he said. "I'm sure there are cases where people would say, ‘I wouldn't have it any other way.' But in the many hundreds and thousands of people we've counseled, it seems to be coming up more and more when people separate their finances into two."