newlyweds

*Thirty-two percent of marriages between two African Americans end in divorce compared to 22 percent of marriages between Hispanic couples and 21 percent of marriages between two Caucasian individuals. As this divorce study shows, marriage ain’t easy, but it seems to be even more difficult for couples of color. So as a young black couple, how do you avoid becoming a statistic?

One of the most common reasons for divorce is money. For the recently married who want to stay the course, being on the same page financially is crucial. To help newlyweds navigate major investment and purchasing decisions you often face shortly after marriage, here are three of the most costly post-marriage purchases based you are likely to make and practical tips for organizing these purchases accordingly so they’re not overwhelming.

A retirement plan

If you think the honeymoon is too early to begin talking about retirement, experts say you are wrong. The sooner you and your partner start discussing the future, and the sooner you start planning and saving for it, the better off you will be. With fewer employers offering pension plans, the responsibility of funding your retirement falls on your shoulders. However, many employers will match funds deposited by employees into an IRA or 401k plan, where your funds will sit tax-free until you choose to have them pay out.

IRAs and 401k accounts have to be established and maintained separately, and though discussing IRAs is not the sexiest conversation, it can still be romantic. By choosing to maintain your accounts together, you and your partner are reconfirming your belief in each other and your faith that you will still be together when the time comes to retire. By planning your financial future together, couples can forge a stronger bond and commitment to each other.

A home

Often a home is the most expensive purchase a couple will ever make together, and the process can be one of the most stressful experiences of your life. When buying a house together as newlyweds, there are several steps you should take to keep the stress level low.

You should know your partner’s credit score and both decide what debt level you are comfortable living with. To avoid arguing about money later, some credit analysts suggest deciding on a home in which the payments are affordable based on just one income. This way if either of you loses a job in the future or if money just becomes tight, you are still able to make your mortgage payments with relative ease, therefore minimizing the likelihood of stress and debate later on.

A luxury item

In addition to investing and pragmatic purchases, don’t forget to treat yourself. Investing in a luxury item that you will get a lot of use out of is a good idea, too. Something like a home computer or new mattress is a long-term investment that you will both use.

A new bed is a particularly good choice since, in contrast to a home computer, it will not become obsolete in a few years and the marriage bed has long been a symbol of love and unity. Plus, since we spend on average about 25 years of our lives sleeping, a new bed set and mattress means that you plan to do so together and in style.