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Financial Problems: 21 Tips for Aspergers Couples

Financial problems can start even before the wedding vows are said, from the expenses of courtship to the high cost of the wedding. Couples who have money issues should take a deep breath and have a serious conversation about finances:

1. Acknowledge that one partner may be a saver and one a spender, understanding that there are benefits to both, and agreeing to learn from each other's tendencies.

2. Allow each person to have independence by setting aside money to be spent at his or her discretion.

3. Be honest about your current financial situation. If things have gone south, continuing the same lifestyle that was possible before the loss of income is simply unrealistic.

4. Construct a joint budget that includes savings.

5. Decide how much you can save each month, and then save an additional 20 percent.

6. Decide upon short-term and long-term goals. It's OK to have individual goals, but you should have family goals, too.

7. Decide which person will be responsible for paying the monthly bills.

8. Don't approach the subject in the heat of battle. Instead, set aside a time that is convenient and non-threatening for both parties.

9. Don't blame each other for the money problems.

10. Don't hide income or debt. Bring financial documents, including a recent credit report, pay stubs, bank statements, insurance policies, debts, and investments to the table.

11. Don't panic when the market goes down. The most important thing you can do in a bad economy is to stay calm.

12. If possible, pay more than the minimum every month on your credit cards.

13. Keep investing monthly in your 401(k) or IRA. 

14. Line up your credit cards from the highest interest rates to the lowest. Pay the minimum on every single card to stay current. When the card with the highest interest rate is paid off, put the amount you had been paying on it toward the next card in line. Keep repeating this process until each credit card has been paid off.

15. Never close down a credit card since it will hurt your credit score.

16. Never go over your credit limit.

17. Pay your bills on time.

18. Search for the savings account with the highest interest rate.

19. Sit down with your expenses and separate wants and needs. Circle all expenses that are wants. If you have debt or no savings, eliminate the wants.

20. Talk about caring for your mother and father as they age, and how to appropriately plan for their financial needs, if necessary.

21. Try to save enough to cover eight months of expenses.

==> Living With Aspergers: Help for Couples

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