Money advice for a lasting marriage

Establish joint priorities

You never gave much thought to $30 pedicures or basketball season tickets, but those expenses take on new meaning in a marriage.

Matt Bell, author of Money and Marriage: A Complete Guide for Engaged and Newly Married Couples, says splurges you took for granted while you were single need to be renegotiated after marriage.

“You have to talk about your priorities for saving and spending, to be on the same page, and if there are differences, you need to talk through them,” Bell says.

Financial vow: Track expenses together. Once you have the numbers, create a budget that reflects your priorities as a couple. Bell advises couples to plan for living expenses and investments as well as splurges like romantic dinners and island vacations.

“Look at all financial decisions in terms of what is best for the marriage,” Bell advises. “Your attitude should be, ‘We’re going to set goals together.’ ”

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