Money advice for a lasting marriage

Tackle debt

Researchers at the National Marriage Project found that credit card debt "fuels a sense of financial unease among couples," increasing the likelihood they'll spend less time together, argue more frequently and become unhappy in marriage.

"For married couples, just starting their lives together can be a huge source of stress," personal finance author Matt Bell says. "Debt only makes a marriage more difficult."

Start dealing with debt together as soon as possible. It’s a mistake, according to Bell, to treat any debt as "his" and "hers."

"If one person has debt before marriage, on the day they get married, they both have debt," Bell says.

Financial vow: Tackle debt as a team. Focus first on high interest debt, like credit card balances. Once those debts are repaid, address other types of debt, like student loans.

Remember, paying down debt frees up money that can go toward joint goals like buying a house or saving for retirement.