Couples and money: 5 ways to find financial harmony

Love and money
Love and money   

This Valentine's Day weekend most couple's thoughts will turn to love, but it's also a good time to think about money. Do you and your partner work together to manage your finances? After all, it's hard to have marital bliss, if you don't find financial harmony.

Here are five steps that can help you and your significant other figure out what you really want from your money, now and in the future.

Be open about money missteps

Nearly one in four Americans in a committed relationship admitted they have a private account their significant other doesn't know about, according to a new Citi Double Cash Survey."If you have a secret, whether a hidden account or debt that's out there or spending that you're not telling your partner about, then come clean," said financial advisor Ellen Rogin, co-author of "Picture Your Prosperity."

Read More7.2 million Americans hiding money from spouses

Keep your emotions in check

Nearly seven out of 10 of the respondents in the Citi survey said they've avoided bringing up the topic of money in order to prevent an argument. "People end up not having the money conversation and then they go along and often this leads to miscommunication or even fights about money," Rogin said. To keep your emotions in check, treat your next discussion about money like a friendly business meeting.

Read MoreThe 'uncomfortable' subject women don't like discussing

Know what you owe

You and your partner should know how much money is coming in every month, where it's coming from, as well as the assets (savings, retirement accounts, property) that you hold separately and together. You also need to know how much you each owe separately, including student loan debt, credit card debt and car loans, and jointly, such as your mortgage.

Deal with money matters as a team

Some couples may use the divide-and-conquer strategy for dealing with money. One person may be in charge of paying household bills, while the other makes investment decisions. But you need to work together in some capacity to figure out how the way you manage money fits into the big picture that you and your partner have for your financial lives.

Have regular money conversations

It may be difficult to schedule a weekly "money talk," but it's important to have the conversation on a regular basis. Not when you're angry because you've opened a bill for an item that you didn't know or want your spouse to purchase. Not when you're frustrated because of a challenge at work or home.

Pick a time when you are feeling calm and have already thought through what you'd like to discuss. "It can be fun. Go out and have a date," Rogin suggests. "It doesn't have to be something hard and boring to sit and talk about."

Epperson is the author of "The Big Payoff: 8 Steps Couples Can Take to Make the Most of Their Money—and Live Richly Ever After."