In order to achieve common goals, getting on the same financial page with your romantic partner is critical?but it?s also challenging.
As our own MONEY survey recently revealed, a majority of married couples (70%) argue about money. Financial spats are, in fact, more frequent than disagreements over chores, sex and what?s for dinner.
The Internet can offer some strategic intervention. From budgeting to paying off debt, saving to credit awareness, these five online financial tools can help everyone?and, in particular, couples?get a better handle on their money.
The best part: They?re free.
1. For help reaching a goal: SmartyPig
SmartyPig is an FDIC-insured online savings account that?besides paying a top-of-the-heap 1% interest rate?is designed to help consumers systematically save up for specific purchases using categorized accounts like ?college savings,? ?summer vacation? or ?new car.? Couples can link their existing bank accounts to one shared SmartyPig account and open up as many goal-oriented funds as they desire. You see exactly where you stand in terms of reaching your goals, which can motivate you to keep saving.
Additionally, SmartyPig has a social sharing tool that lets customers invite friends and family to contribute to their savings missions. Don?t want people to bring gifts to your child?s next birthday? In lieu of toys, you can suggest a ?contribution? to his SmartyPig music-lessons fund and provide the link to where they can transfer money.
2. For help boosting your credit scores: Credit.com
If you and your partner need to improve one?or both?of your credit scores and seek clarity on how, Credit.com can help. The Web site offers a free credit report card that assigns letter grades to each of the main factors that make up your score: payment history, debt usage, credit age, account mix and credit inquiries.
A side-by-side comparison of each person?s credit report card can?even if the scores are roughly the same?actually reveal that one spouse scored, say, a D for account inquiries, while the other has a C- under debt usage. From there you can tell what, specifically, each person needs to improve upon. ?It may lead to some friendly competition,? says Gerri Detweiler, Director of Consumer Education at Credit.com.
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