BOULDER, Colo. -- Researchers at Cornell University Medical Center have confirmed something you already know: Nearly 40 percent of newlyweds fight about -- you guessed it -- money. It's the single most explosive issue in all marriages, and even the affluent aren't immune. Financial planners and marriage counselors say that what usually triggers a fight is lack of communication. Couples rarely sit down before they are married and talk about money.
But a full and frank discussion about finances early on will alleviate a lot of tension and help avoid conflicts.
Frances Smith, director of public affairs for the American Financial Services Association in Washington, D.C., recommends taking a hard look not only at your money but at your plans for the future and their financial implications. Relocating to another city, making a career change, buying a home or getting an advanced degree will all have an impact on your financial well-being, and they need to be talked over carefully.
"Reaching those goals may require some changes in how you spend money," Ms. Smith said. "It may sound easy to adjust a lifestyle so that you're spending less, but most people develop spending habits that require discipline to change."