By Jim Donovan

By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — You think you know someone before you say “I do”, but their money habits may come as a shock and cause conflict for newlyweds. Even though the dress is bought, the cake is ordered, and you’re just waiting to walk down the aisle, have you had a serious talk about money yet? 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan has some advice on keeping perfect financial harmony.

Wedding season is in full swing and lots of new couples are beginning their financial lives together. But differing money attitudes can come as a shock. Rebecca Dolgin of, a website for newlyweds, says it’s important to talk before you make the walk down the aisle. “You’re entering a partnership and you want each other to know everything there is to know about that partnership,” says Dolgin.

A first step towards financial bliss? Avoiding too much wedding debt. Dolgin says, “The average wedding is about $28-29,000 dollars and that’s a big debt to be carrying at the very beginning and a lot of times at the very beginning of your careers.”

Also, know your spouse’s spending style. Put numbers on the table, everything from credit card debt to student loans, no matter how ugly. Decide whether you’ll completely marry all accounts, or keep some separate. Also, even if you’re not combining your accounts, if one of you is spending a lot more than the other one is spending, it will be a problem because it affects the other person.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, since half of all marriages end in divorce, before walking down the aisle all couples should consider getting a pre-nup. I like to think of pre-nups as divorce insurance! One will come in handy if things don’t work out, especially if you break up because you’re financially incompatible.

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