Financial stress is one of the most common issues in a relationship. Before you get married, or decide just to live together, the issues are not so important because you each pay your own way. Once you share a household, the stress will intensify until it reaches a breaking point, unless you keep a few tips in mind.
Talking to your partner is the single most important thing you can ever do. Whether there is a financial issue, personal issue, or you need to tell them how important they are to you, all of it comes down to talking. Financially, you need to start talking shortly after the decision is made to co-habitat. Every aspect of your finances need to be covered. Talk about joint bank accounts, closing some credit card accounts or adding your partner to old accounts. Broach the topic of a budget. You will find plenty of topics once you open a line of communication.
Decide how you are going to manage money before living together. Is one of you going to handle most of the budget setting? Are you going to combine your money or will you maintain separate accounts then pay a fair portion of each bill into a household account? If you can not decide, put off living together until you can.
Once you have decided on the basics in the first two tips, then it is time to talk retirement. Yes, you are probably young enough that you have lots of years to save, but there is no reasons to wait. After all, it will be a lot easier to save now than after you have children. You both need to have a common goal in order to keep stress at bay.
Statistics show that financial stress is one of the top five reasons couples give for their arguments. You will find there are plenty of reasons to disagree, but you can avoid many of them if you openly communicate, and hopefully avoid both marriage and credit counseling in Alabama!