Building Financial Trust in Relationships

Emma Nunes-Vaz
November 29, 2022

According to The Independent, money worries are the leading cause of marriages falling apart in the UK. Although building financial trust in relationships can be difficult, it is clearly fundamental in forming healthy and lasting ones! With communication, budgeting and (annoyingly 🙄) a little compromise; couples can work toward a more trusting relationship with finances, as well as a genuinely happier relationship with money and each other overall! 

Prioritise openness

Firstly, the most important part of achieving financial trust is open communication. Talk with your partner honestly about where you are financially; including your current income, debts and your goals - and how you want to move forward together as a team. What’s more, being unfaithful to a shared financial goal (such as saving for a house) can damage trust within relationships. The same goes for keeping secret money, credit cards and debts hidden. Be open and honest about past mistakes so that you can build trust in the future!

Agree on the divide

If one partner makes significantly more money than the other, consider designing a shared budget that accounts for both incomes while allowing each person some autonomy, which could mean separate bank accounts. Whatever you do, make sure you can agree on a fair divide. Some couples split expenses straight down the middle, whilst other couples with disparate salaries split expenses by a percentage; e.g. if you make 60% the household income, you pay 60% of the rent. Ultimately, it’s entirely up to you! 

Speaking of expenses, it’s a good idea to create a joint budget too. Breaking it up into categories (such as rent/mortgage, bills, groceries, date nights etc) can help make sure that you’re sticking to what you agreed on as a couple, while still allowing room for flexibility. This can also help show you how much disposable income you have leftover; allowing you to decide whether you want to share it, some of it - or none at all. Every couple will be different, but as long as you have open communication about your finances with each other, it should work out well 😎

Discuss your lifestyle choices - and acknowledge your differences

It’s also worth noting your different lifestyle choices. When one partner wants a day trip to the coast and another dreams of lavish holidays, there are bound to be headaches about where disposable income should be spent. Have a chat to agree on your long term goals and how they translate to daily financial habits - and be as open as possible. Everyone has their unique relationship to money and how they want to spend it; one of you may be a “saver” whilst the other is quick to spend. It’s therefore crucial to understand one another’s relationship with money to avoid surprises down the line - and doing so can lead to less arguments too! 

Remember that compromise is key when it comes to building financial trust. You and your partner may have different ideas about how money should be spent, but it’s important to remember that you’re playing on the same team. Learning to compromise can help both of you feel secure in the decisions being made, and also hopefully lead to better financial health for yourselves as individuals, and as a couple! It’s important to note that some may have to compromise more than others - this person usually being the higher earner; as it is a lot easier to ask someone to spend less rather than to spend more. However, do whatever suits you as a couple - as we’ve said, communication is the crucial component in building financial trust! 

Building financial trust in relationships takes time and effort, but with honest communication and compromise, it is possible - so start talking today! Putting in the work now means you can build a strong foundation for a trusting relationship that can last a lifetime, and encourages you to do so in more areas than just your finances 🖤

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