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Many things can cause arguments in a relationship, from infidelity to a misalignment of values, but many problems come down to a lack of trust, a lack of communication, or a mixture of the two. And then you have your finances. Money causes major stress for many of us all individually, so it makes sense that it creates conflict between two people who might be sharing meals, rent, a mortgage, or the costs of a wedding or education of children. A new survey sheds light on the most common financial fights – so hopefully you can avoid them in your own relationship.

Not talking about money in a relationship is the main problem

Legal Templates surveyed 1,200 Americans, married or divorced, to understand how finances played out in their relationships. A major problem quickly became apparent: the couples themselves often entered into their own union without knowing how the finances would play out.

Almost one in four respondents did not discuss their salary or savings before getting married. Overall, 76% discussed their premarital wages, 74% discussed savings, 58% discussed debt, 47% discussed spending habits, and only 37% discussed earnings or crypto spending. A little more than half discussing debt isn’t good – it’s bound to happen when combining finances, working out the legalities of who inherits what on the other person’s death or obtaining a mortgage.

Although it may seem awkward, you need to talk about money with a potential partner. It doesn’t have to be the first date, but you may need to share what you earn, how you spend it, and how much you owe. Legal Templates found that married Americans were more likely than divorced or separated couples to have discussed all listed financial matters before getting married.

To get started, here are our tips for fostering financial intimacy in a new relationship.

The other most common money battles between partners

Lack of communication is one thing, but negative money-related interactions are another. Among divorced or separated Americans surveyed, 83% cited financial issues as the cause of the breakup. Overall, 39% of respondents cited overspending, while 36% focused on poor budgeting, 32% on not saving enough, 30% on secret shopping, and 29% on missed payments or bills. Poor investment led to conflict for 26%, income differences led to conflict for 25%, 24% reported student loans, and 23% emphasized dishonesty about debt.

A lot of this also comes down to communication. You may not be able to change if one partner earns significantly more or less than the other, but you box be open about your spending, actively avoid making secret purchases, and be honest about your debt. Other issues, like differences in spending philosophy, are more about overall compatibility – but again, you won’t know there’s even a hidden incompatibility if you don’t mention it.

One of the key takeaways here is that secret shopping was a much bigger problem for divorced or separated couples than for married couples: 28% and 37%, respectively. The types of things a partner buys are also important. Luxury goods caused the most conflict, being cited by 33% of respondents. Clothing, dining out, travel, hobbies, alcohol, home decor, stock investing and video games followed. Talk about your spending habits and set savings goals to reach together.

Solutions to consider with your partner

There are fixes for these issues. Budgeting worked for 52% of married people surveyed, while consulting a financial professional worked for 37%. Sharing expenses proportional to individual salaries was helpful for 34%; attributing problems to one person in the relationship worked for 33%; couples therapy worked for 33%; definition of monthly pocket money worked for 32%; and opening a joint account worked for 24%.

Sit down with a financial planner or a relationship counselor if you and your partner are having trouble determining which of these strategies might work for your relationship.