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Tips to make sure money won't wreck your marriage

Money breaks up more marriages than any other single factor. Consider these tips when embarking on a marriage, whether it's the first, second or third time:

Be aware that you're going to have emotions around money.
Set up a separate joint checking account for household bills and expenses.
If you are marrying someone with children, keep accounts separate. Otherwise, you may build up resentment that your household money is going toward supporting the other family.
Maintain a separate "don't ask" account that is yours alone to spend.
Agree on how you plan to use your disposable income.
Look objectively at your money styles. One of you will likely be considered the spendthrift, the other the careful spender. Make these personal roles work for you.
Talk, talk and talk until money matters are easily and openly discussed, preventing the build up of resentment and eventual eruption.

Jay MacDonald is a contributing editor based in Mississippi.

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-- Updated: May 9, 2006
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