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5 ways financial literacy could make your relationship better than ever.

Aside from politics and religion, what is more polarizing than money?

A 2013 survey found that money is the #1 cause of stress in a relationship.

More so than in-laws or whose turn it is to do the dishes. In fact, arguing about money is easily the top predictor of divorce. Yipes.

But, a deeper understanding of how money works can affect our lives in many surprising ways.


Ways that go beyond just making more of it and can change our relationships for the better.

Jeffrey Dew, Ph.D., a professor at Utah State University, told Upworthy, "Financial literacy is important because it can help inform couples about how to handle their money on a day-to-day basis as well as inform their long-term financial goals."

Well said, Professor Dew. Now, here are five things everyone needs to know about money.

1. Proper planning will lessen your financial stress immensely.

Ahhhh yes! The sweet, soothing touch of financial literacy.

No surprise here! No couple wants to go through the doldrums of financial stress. BUT if you’re smart about your expenses and budget accordingly, there’s peace of mind and, well, peace in general.

One way to start is by signing up for a financial app to help you budget. There are a lot of options out there that let you integrate all your accounts, provide forecasts, and fast-track the stress-relieving process to get you looking like that baby owl in no time. You and your partner can review your accounts, set savings goals, and watch your progress together!

2. Talking about money actually brings you closer together.

A romantic getaway. A candlelit dinner. Fixing your finances.

Yes, all of these can strengthen your relationship. Taking the time to assess your financial situation together not only gives you a clearer idea of where you stand, it reinforces a crucial relationship dynamic — teamwork! By figuring out each of your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to managing money, you can build a solid foundation for working together that you'll use again and again throughout your relationship.

Let's never argue about money again! GIF from "Saturday Night Live."

Teams don’t go splurging on stuff in secret. Teams look out for the well-being of one another and do what’s best for the whole.

3. Understanding your finances will help you predict the future.

Oooohh! I see a comprehensive financial plan in your future.

Well, kind of. For couples, a financial plan is probably the closest thing to a real crystal ball. I mean, it can help both of you figure out exactly where you want to be in five, 10, 20, or 50 years if you want to!

The perfect house? The perfect car? All of it (plus more) can be yours for the incredibly low price of putting in the work and creating a solid plan that makes sense and keeps you on the path toward your goals.

4. Creating a budget will actually save you more time in the long run.

Time is money, money is time, and so on and so on. GIF via Vortex Anomaly.

Breaking down your finances will take time. It’s just a question of how much.

If you put in the work early, you save yourself from all the unnecessary hours rummaging through paperwork and dealing with collectors later on. That’s time you can spend going out, watching "Game of Thrones," or even actually spending your money on experiences and creating memories together.

Which leads me to my last point...

5. You can still treat yo selves, you know.

Aziz knows what's up — style-wise and money-wise.

OK, so this is pretty money-related, but it’s not about having more of it. It’s about understanding that you should enjoy the fruits of your labor.

The trick is finding the middle ground so you can still splurge, just smarter. When you’re efficient with your funds, you can find ways to buy the things you want and maximize every single cent.

Now go call your significant other! Tell them you love them, and tell them you have a plan to ease all your money-related stress.

We did it! We did it! GIF from "Seinfeld."

(Just don’t do it in an "I won the lottery!" kind of way.)

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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There are certain pleasurable sights, smells, sounds and tastes that fade into the rear-view mirror as we grow from being children to adults. But on a rare occasion, we’ll come across them again and it's like a portion of our brain that’s been hidden for years expresses itself, creating a huge jolt of joy.

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