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Love and money are a complicated mix.
If you’ve been in a serious relationship for longer than five minutes, you get this. It’s not always easy for two people to agree on how to spend and save their hard-earned cash—no matter how deeply they love each other.
In honor of all the budgeting lovebirds out there, here’s our list of 14 money realities every couple understands. Read ’em and weep. Then laugh. Because we’ve all been there.
1. Money disagreements will happen.
It takes a plan—and lots of patience—to hammer out your saving and spending goals together. But you’ll get through it. Hard conversations now mean fewer money fights later.
2. Compromise is key.
The sooner you can meet in the middle, the better off your budget will be. When you’re working toward common goals, you can lose some little battles along the way and still win with money.
Related: How to Have a Good Money Fight
3. Timing is everything.
You can’t talk about money when you’re mad. Or distracted. Or hungry. Or 10 minutes late for church. When you set a dedicated time to talk about the budget, it’s much more likely to end well.
4. You play to each other’s strengths.
One of you loves crunching numbers and the other can’t stand math. That’s okay! The budget works best if you work together, allowing the other person’s strengths to shine through.
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5. You have a built-in accountability partner.
No more making money decisions alone. Your sweetie is a cheerleader when you need support and a referee when you run out of bounds. Teamwork for the win!
6. You’ve got triple the student loan debt.
You thought it was going to be hard to pay off your $25,000 student loans. Then you discovered your better half graduated with a $50,000 bill. Oh, the things you do for love . . .
Related: How to Pay Off Your Student Loans Quickly
7. Getting rid of debt takes some serious cooperation.
That means aiming all your extra household income at those student loans and credit card balances for the foreseeable future. It’s not fun, but it’s the only way to fix your finances.
8. Home-cooked meals aren’t as easy as they look on TV.
You have to agree on a meal plan, a shopping list, a budget, and a cooking schedule. That’s a lot of time and effort! Rachael Ray makes it look so darn simple.
Related: 13 Insider Secrets On How to Save Money On Groceries
9. Sometimes, it’s just worth it to order takeout.
You budget most of your food money for groceries, but some days you just need takeout. The stress it takes off your relationship is worth it. Especially when you have a BOGO coupon!
10. Dating doesn’t have to break the bank anymore.
Special occasions deserve extra effort (ahem, like Valentine’s Day), but most of your dates turn into a wallet-friendly movie night on the couch. And that’s perfectly fine after a long week. Who has the energy to plan an elaborate outing every weekend?
11. Vacations are a worthwhile spending category.
Your relationship is constantly stretched between work, church, family and friends. It’s important to get away and reconnect a few times a year, even if it’s just for the weekend. That’s money well spent.
Related: 15 Insider Tips for Your Next Debt-Free Vacation
12. Your sweetie owns a ton of stuff you want to sell.
Why does he need 18 binders of old baseball cards he never looks at? And why does she need 50 pairs of shoes she never wears? One day, you’ll yard-sale the heck out of that junk. One day.
13. Getting on the same page about money takes time.
If you’re married, there’s no his or hers. It’s his and hers. Budgeting together takes some getting used to, but when you get it right, it brings a whole new spirit of unity into your relationship.
14. Money is more fun when you have someone to share it with.
Life as a twosome isn’t always easy, but you couldn’t imagine going it alone. Everything—including money—is better with the one you love.
Couples who go through Financial Peace University learn how to get on the same page about money, create a budget together, and make a plan for their retirement. Find out how the class can help you and your spouse!