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          Financial tips for unmarried couples

          Danielle Bly

          Issue date: 3/19/10 Section: News
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          Because finances are the number one cause of breakups, be sure you and your partner sit down to discuss spending habits, long-term goals, and opinions on financial stability. These conversations aren't easy, but they can save you and your partner a lot of pain - both in your relationship and your wallet.
          Because finances are the number one cause of breakups, be sure you and your partner sit down to discuss spending habits, long-term goals, and opinions on financial stability. These conversations aren't easy, but they can save you and your partner a lot of pain - both in your relationship and your wallet.
          [Click to enlarge]
          So you've been dating your boyfriend or girlfriend for a little while, and things are starting to get serious. You talk about everything from your favorite movies to your past relationships. Maybe you already moved in together, maybe you've even thought about getting married. This is the situation that many college students who are in serious relationships find themselves. However, one area that is often overlooked is personal finances. Talking about money can often be more uncomfortable for couples than talking about sex, but it's an extremely important part of making your relationship work if you want it to last (and finances are the number one cause of relationship breakups). Below you'll find a few tips on what you should do and what you should avoid when it comes to handling finances with your sweetheart.

          1. Keep your finances separate.

          Even if you are living together or engaged, it is extremely important to keep your finances separate before marriage. I understand that you love each other and are committed to one another, but you just never know when something might happen. Breaking up is hard enough, but having to sort out joint bank accounts before marriage can make this messy and extremely unpleasant for everyone involved. Save yourself a headache and keep all of your bank accounts separate until you say "I do."

          2. Do not share your assets.

          This relates to the first tip. Do not make important joint purchases before marriage or share your assets in any other way. Examples of assets could include a house, car, or boat. In the event that you decide that you must make one of these joint purchases, speak with a lawyer first about drawing up a contract explaining what will happen if you break up. This may not be an easy conversation to have, but it's necessary if you want to protect yourself and your money.
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