When it comes to romantic activities, most newlyweds would rank poring over financial statements just above mowing the lawn -- maybe. But your marriage may depend on it.
Many singles are content with modest lifestyles -- they'll often put off big-ticket items such as buying a home until later in life. Without family obligations, you can focus entirely on your career, and finding the hidden fortune in your paychecks seems a lot easier.
Then comes love ...
Having a serious relationship changes the rules. Suddenly, you're no longer thinking just about your own needs, and your partner may have a completely different way of thinking about family finances. When you're starting a family, you have to think about buying a new home, paying the expenses of raising children, and working your way up the corporate ladder without sacrificing too much of your personal life. You feel constant pressure to make sure you can keep everything together. That's why, whether you've been married for 30 minutes or 30 years, money is a touchy topic for many couples.
Not everyone makes it through those tough times. Just as companies sometimes walk away from proposed mergers -- as Mylan Labs (NYSE: MYL ) and King Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: KG ) did in 2005 -- some couples conclude that they just can't make things work. Yet to continue the metaphor, if you keep trying -- the way Monsanto (NYSE: MON ) did with Delta & Pine Land last year -- you may find a way to make things work out after all.
As many longtime couples will tell you, money doesn't have to be an insurmountable obstacle to a successful marriage. There are many different ways to tackle money issues, any of which can work out well for you and your sweetie.
Our gift to you
That's why we've brought together our whole team of personal-finance writers to share their views on how to deal with money problems before they can hurt your marriage. We'll give you help on everything from fixing premarital credit trouble to picking investments the whole family can support. Our two-day crash course starts with these topics:
Then stay tuned tomorrow, when our very own Mrs. Riches, Elizabeth Brokamp, invites you to Newlywed Financial Boot Camp. You'll flex your financial muscles and learn the exercises you'll need to face everything your marriage will throw at you. Consider it our wedding gift to you.
Congratulations to this year's newlyweds, and may you enjoy a lifetime of happiness and success!
Fool contributor Dan Caplinger celebrated his fourth anniversary earlier this month, and he takes care of all the lawn mowing. He doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned in this article. The Fool's disclosure policy helps keep it all together.