NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CNN/WTNH) — Love is strong but money can make or break a relationship if you’re not careful. Whether you are planning a wedding now or you’re in the middle of a 20 year marriage, experts say it’s important to maintain a dialogue about money so you always know you’re on the same page. Money isn’t the most romantic thing to talk about. In fact, cash can cause stressful conversations.
“Most couples are not fighting over the money itself. We’re fighting over what it represents, what to spend it on,” said Brian Nelson Ford
But having an open dialogue may make your relationship stronger.
“If people focused on their money, which is sometimes a cause of stress, they can actually better their relationship,” Nelson Ford said.
Before the conversation, the folks at Suntrust Bank say to make a list of things you want to spend money on or note your long term financial goals. Then, talk with your partner.
“You’ll realize that you have some of these values in common and that’s good because that’s where we want some of our hard-earned money to be funneled towards, at least the majority of it. But, what you’ll also notice is that there are some things that are different and that’s okay because that’s the beginning of a conversation about money and that’s really what we want to have happen with relationships and couples.”
Avoid co-signing loans if you’re not married
Make a joint account for vacations and entertainment
Respect each other’s money skills. You may have a different expertise when it comes to money, decide who fits where so both are somehow involved in the process.
If you think it’s not worth paying attention to now, you may find it to be more important eventually. GoBankingRates found 22 percent of Gen X’ers ended a relationship over money. 75% of those was because their partner put them in debt. Better to get on the same page sooner rather than later.