Relationships are strange. They’re wonderful, maddening, inspiring, life-affirming, frustrating, filled with expectation and hilarious all at the same time. No matter how good or bad your relationships have been in the past, you can be sure that there is always someone out there who will be worthwhile for you. One of the most foundational attitudes of any functioning relationship is trust. This is too often listed as trust in the other person, knowing that they won’t cheat or cause you emotional harm. This is very important, so it’s not a surprise why people prioritize this to the end of time.
However, there are many other forms of trust that make a relationship productive from day to day, and something worth being in. One of these is financial trust. As the relationship blossoms, the subject of money will come up. While he or she might have seemed quite affluent when treating you to dates, soon you will find out what their income is. Then you will likely share the cost of certain activities. Then you might invest in even bigger items or experiences together.
This is the start of your financial coming together. There are better and worse attitudes to foster here. Here’s how you might go about matters as you increase in intimacy:
Be Fully Open
It’s important to know exactly, to the penny, the dual responsibilities of the finances. This is especially true when living together. It might be that you don’t want to pry into each other’s affairs, but you can be open about certain matters, or talk openly about who should share what burden. The ability to communicate about your finances will allow for a frank and honest discussion when things aren’t so good, and a mutual sense of co-operation when you’re both doing quite well with your money. Communication is key when it comes to finances, as any grey area or hidden funding might impact how you open to each other and trust each other from there on out.
It’s essential to start small, at least as small as you can. What should you start small in? Investing in things together. It might be that you share in your phone bill, and one person is on the contract. It might be that you use the financial ties of an item or purchase, such as a lovely dog for your home that you both share. These small decisions can help build trust with one another, or highlight weakenesses in the other person’s reliability. wWhen proving themselves, it might not be long before you begin trying for secured joint loans for a downpayment on a car, or using credit for your vacation experiences together.
There needs to be a place in your home where every single financial decision or investment is documented. It needs to be well recorded, calculated, and fully agreed upon. You should both make copies if possible. This will allow you to keep a sense of history regarding your financial story together, and be able to back up your side if you have a disagreement. Also, writing up mini contracts of this nature can ensure that everyone is completely clear on the terms of a new purchase, or the required shared costs of living together.
With these tips, you are much more likely to form a strong sense of financial trust in a relationship.
*This is a contributed post