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Loving African American couple paying bills online at home

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For years, money has been cited as the leading cause of divorce and relationship stress. A 2015 survey conducted by Sun Trust Bank found that 35 percent of all participants experiencing relationship stress reported that money was the primary source of conflict.

“Money really touches everything. It impacts people’s lives,” said Emmet Burns, brand marketing director for SunTrust, according to CNBC.

While there is a huge emphasis on the financial missteps that can lead to marital strife, it’s also necessary to highlight the money habits that help to contribute to a happy marriage. Here are five of them.


Emergencies occur suddenly and with very little warning, which is why an emergency savings fund is essential to marital health. Crises and tragedies are already stress-inducing and can place a significant strain on a marriage, but scrambling to find the funds necessary to deal with the consequences of a crisis exacerbates that pressure tenfold.

Further, saving is not just about preparing for an emergency. It’s also about building a nest egg and working towards accomplishing a shared goal such as homeownership, being debt-free, or starting a business.

Tackle debt as a team

According to the University of Florida, one study found that couples who took on more debt had a higher likelihood of breaking up. Additionally, they fought more, spent less time together, and reported lower marital satisfaction. Obviously, there is nothing romantic or fun about debt, but tackling debt as a team and watching your balances shrink is a rewarding feeling and can draw couples closer.

Share at least one bank account

The issue of whether or not couples should fully merge their accounts or not is a hotly debated one. The answer is largely reliant upon the couple’s personal preferences; however, one model that appears to offer the most success is to share at least one joint account as a couple and then one separate account. Joint accounts make it easier to manage joint expenses, while separate accounts help to maintain a sense of freedom and independence.

“The best advice is to respect each and agree that each has x amount to spend without question and over a certain amount should be a joint decision,” Morris Armstrong, Founder & Owner at Morris Armstrong EA LLC, advised.

Invest together

In most marriages, people want to thrive — not just survive. Investing can serve as a vehicle to the life you’ve always dreamed of having.

“Investing should be a joint venture with both spouses feeling like they have an equal say,” Michael Landsberg, member of the American Institute of CPAs’ Personal Financial Planning Executive Committee, told U.S. World & News Report. “There are synergies to be had when combining forces so take advantage of those potential benefits.”

Enjoy the fruit of your labor

Life is meant to be lived so don’t get so busy building a life that you forget to actually enjoy it. Happy couples are financially responsible, but they also know how to spend money on the things they enjoy.

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