Do not think that for one minute it plays favorites. It has intruded on couples that have been married for twenty plus years and made a mess of things.

At the opposite end of the scale, newlyweds just starting out with dreams of love that they believe will sustain them through anything and everything have gotten a rude wake up call. And couples in between newlywed and long term have felt the sting.

It has broken up many marriages and engagements for that matter. You never know when it's going to strike but it's always out there even when you think that you have got a handle on it.

The it is money and through the years it has tested many a relationship. Some have passed with flying colors; others were not so fortunate. Even those that came through have the scars to prove it.

The truth is talking about money is an integral part of any relationship. You and your significant other are pooling your resources to work for a better life. There is also no escaping the reality that money makes the world go round. The dream house, the nice car, food on the table, traveling to a romantic getaway and keeping the lights are not freebies. It also does not help either that the cost of living keeps rising and the economy is in shambles.

Couples know this going into the relationship but still they get blindsided. Money can do that if you and your spouse are not careful.

1. Talk Now
People see the same exact thing and give completely different answers as well as perspectives. Money is one of those things. Do they believe in saving for a rainy day or are they of the mindset that life is short so spend it while you can? Realizing there were two different philosophies at play has come as an unpleasant surprise to a lot of couples.

Talking now may save you another surprise and that is your significant other has debt. They may have managed to keep a roof over their head but their life is short philosophy has come at a price they cannot afford. Even spouses that have been married a few years were stunned to find out that when it comes to finances their significant other was leading a double life.

2. Same Book Different Chapter
Both of you have been doing a good job with the family finances in particular saving money. But one spouse thinks that the movie size flat screen TV monitor they saw online (serious high definition) would sure look good on that empty wall in the living room. Meanwhile the other spouse also went on line and saw the perfect vacation package; a nice cruise with all the trimmings at a great price.
A difference of opinion on how to utilize money is going to happen. Some have used it as a stepping stone to find the middle ground. It does not necessarily mean they are happy with the decision. However both accept the fact that some sort of compromise was needed. Or they may even decide to take turns. This time around one spouse gets their way but both work hard to make sure that in the near future the other spouse also gets their way.

Needless to say a few couples use that difference of opinion as a starting point to tearing the marriage apart.

3. Your Mad Money
The two of you respect and understand each other's likes and dislikes. It doesn't mean you want to go along with it completely. So you decide it is in the best interest of the relationship to have your own separate accounts. This is okay as long as it does not take away from what should be the main focus; the overall financial health of the family. If you decide to put a certain amount into your separate account that is fine. But understand that life intrudes and some months a percentage of that money is going to have to be redirected into the family budget.

Mad money is a terrific way to pamper yourself and we all need that from time to time. But keep it secondary.

It is hard to avoid the talk of money in any relationship. Even if a couple is financially well off the discussion can still come up. And like other hot button issues such as politics and religion, if you are not careful the discussion can get very heated and very emotional with both sides digging in their heels and refusing to budge.


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