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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.)

In March 2015, a group of Columbia University students created a Facebook page named Columbia University Class Confessions.

The group behind the Facebook page is known as First-Generation Low-Income Partnership, otherwise known as FLIP.


Their goal? To provide lower-income students at Columbia a space to voice their realities.

Their realities are pretty darn harrowing.

Before Columbia, Stanford had already launched a class confessions program a few years back:


After Columbia and Stanford launched their Facebook class confession pages in early 2015, other colleges followed suit.

Brown

Williams

There's a lot we can take away from these stories. They're intense; they're saddening. But here's one thing we should definitely note.

Hard work does not equal financial security. Social mobility isn't as easy as some might think.

When the Fight for 15 protests happened across the nation in favor of raising the minimum wage, one of the most common counterarguments was: "Why don't they just go get a college degree?"

Well, look at these college students working hard — to feed themselves, to get a roof over their heads, to get the medical assistance they need for depression or other health conditions, to support their struggling families back home. They went to go get that college degree that is supposed to help people out of poverty. They even worked hard enough to apply and get accepted into incredibly prestigious colleges, colleges that one would think would be the golden ticket to success.

And still, they're struggling. "Hard work" doesn't always give lower-income folks what they need to survive and fit into a world that's not made for them.

And the sad reality is that many lower-income people will still be struggling after graduation thanks to a weak economy — and a lot of debt.

From the Institute of College Access and Success: 69% of the Class of 2013 graduated college with an average of $28,400 in student debt.

Lower-income students clearly have more difficulty navigating things that others might take for granted — simply because they never had access to the resources some have always had — and don't know how to use them.

Check out more stories being read by students in this video below:

We all deserve the right to survive without struggle. These students show that hard work doesn't cancel out the obstacles that many lower-income folks face when trying to move up the socio-economic ladder.

Maybe their stories will help stop the unfair judgement of lower-income people and help others be more aware and understanding at the same time.

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2 words. That's all it takes to leave a club with 2.5 billion people. (I'm sure you can't guess.)

There are lots of types of inclusion. Here's one kind that's often overlooked.

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Two words worth learning about: financial inclusion. What is it?

Well, let's talk about Constance.


Hi, Constance!

Lovely family you've got there.

For an animated character, Constance is really important. She represents the 2.5 billion people in the world who are not financially included. That means she doesn't have a bank account for her savings.

She doesn't have a payment service to transfer money.

Nor does have access to a secure loan.

For Constance — and those other 2.5 billion people — financial inclusion means having access to services that allow her to save money, make secure payments, and take out loans from a reliable, reputable source.

And one way that's now being achieved is through payment technologies: secure cards and mobile phones. Granted, these innovations are not going to solve everything, but they're empowering people like Constance to engage in society with more freedom and security.

But don't take my word for it. Here's Constance:

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