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As Alfredo A. Lopez, 31, approached his first anniversary, he noticed that he and his new wife, Edith, also 31, were spending more than he was comfortable with each month.
In an effort to gently address the problem, Alfredo decided to bring up the tricky topic using an unconventional approach: He jotted down some financial goals that he and his wife could strive for together, such as more conscious spending and eliminating credit card debt. He even tried to be lighthearted at one point, showing Photoshopped pictures of his wife in Paris, holding wads of cash, to illustrate what they could do if they saved more.
Unfortunately, Edith’s reaction wasn’t at all what Alfredo was expecting. “I saw her shutting down,” says Alfredo, a social media and content marketing manager. “The more I talked, the more she seemed to get upset.” The Lopez newlyweds aren’t alone.
In fact, one Kansas State University study found that if couples argued about money at the beginning of their marriage, they were more likely to report poor relationship satisfaction in the long-term. This is precisely why experts say it’s key for couples to tackle money issues early — to stave off fights over finances in the future.
So, what are the most common financial blunders that newlyweds tend to make? We asked financial pros to pinpoint the eight biggest offenders — and then offer up some advice for how to help right them early on.
Related: How Real Couples Save for Their Futures