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A couple’s discussion about finances should never be a one-off. Once you’ve laid the foundation for open and honest communication about money, make it a habit. If you’re living together, engaged, or married, set up monthly “money dates” to review bills, budgeting, spending and savings, or large purchases. You can use the time to review current expenditures, air any worries, discuss goals, and create long-term financial plans.

But, as relationship counselor Pater Saddington told The Guardian, try to keep the dates brief, ideally about 20 minutes. “This will make it more likely you’ll stick to the points and avoid old arguments. Limiting the time potentially avoids it becoming a heated conversation, and don’t have the discussion late at night, or when you’ve been drinking alcohol.”

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