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Money Can't Buy Me Love

My husband and I have had some very heated arguments over money - how much we have, want, spend and save. These arguments can be so painful we prefer to not talk about money issues even though deep down, we know we should. And as it turns out, we're not alone. According to SmartMoney.com , money is the top reasons why couples argue. So when my husband came home one day from taking our daughter to a playdate and announced that our friends revealed that they, too, have serious arguments over money, I realized I had a perfect topic for These Days .

I decided we needed to do a show that looks at how money issues impact relationships and how couples could talk about and manage money in a constructive way. Both the psychologist and the financial planner I booked as guests for the show said that money issues cause emotions to run very high in relationships. And not knowing how to talk about it can be very destructive. It was no surprise then, to learn that money is a top reason cited for why people divorce.

Producing this segment was an eye-opener for me. I learned that there are probably some underlying reasons why my husband and I argue over money, like fear of losing control, or wanting to share more of the responsibility of managing our money. I also learned that there are simple things that could ease the tension over money. One was to talk about long term goals and then discuss ways to achieve those goals. Another was to create three accounts - one for shared expenses, and one for each spouse. The shared account covered all family expenses while the individual accounts were for individual spending (ie, mad money). From the high volume of calls we received during the program, it was obvious that many people shared my frustration with money matters.

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The adage that you learn something new everyday is certainly true in my case. Now let's see how well I can put it into practice!

-- Natalie Walsh is senior producer for These Days .

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