Financial Red Flags in Relationships: 7 Signs Your Partner is Bad with Money

Key Takeaways

  • Look out for partners who live beyond their means, even if they have a good income.
  • Avoid partners who are financially irresponsible, such as those with bounced checks or who constantly borrow money.
  • Don’t be pressured into co-signing on loans or taking on debt for your partner.
  • Be wary of partners who are unwilling to discuss financial goals or who have a history of financial trouble without a plan to improve.

Financial Red Flags in Relationships.

Imagine this: you’ve built a life with someone, shared dreams and laughter, only to have it crumble under the weight of financial burden

Statistics paint a grim picture of this reality. 

Nearly half of all marriages that end in divorce is because of money problems. 

In other words, 4 out of 10 couples split up, at least in part, because of financial issues. 

Not because someone has cheated. 

But because of money troubles. 

Financial disagreements are a silent killer in relationships, tearing couples apart and leaving emotional scars that can linger long after the divorce papers are signed.

Love is a beautiful thing, but let’s be honest, it takes more than great sex and a home cooked meal to build a long lasting relationship. 

If you diligently save your money, you don’t want to date (and potentially marry) someone that view credit cards as an endless well of free money. 

Financial compatibility might not be romantic, but it’s a crucial piece of the long term relationship puzzle. 

In this video I will give you 10 red flags to look for when it comes to financial compatibility. 

Make sure to stick around until the end because the last red flag isn’t the most obvious!

And also because I will tell you what financial qualities you should be looking for in a partner.

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Financial Red Flags #7 – Living Beyond Their Means

Let’s say you have been flirting with someone that you work with.  

Since you two work together you have a general idea of how much money they make. 

Look at their spending habits. 

Does he or she live beyond their means?

Does he always have the latest iPhone?

The iPhone 15 just came out and you’re buying it like your iPhone 14 doesn’t still look brand new?!

Does she frequently take random weekend getaways with the girls?

I mean we all have to get away sometimes, but every month flying to a different place is a bit much!

What about that nice condo with the empty refrigerator?

It may not be a smoking gun, so to speak, but these are signs that they may be living above their means.

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Financial Red Flag #6 – Financial Irresponsibility

Bounced checks, missed utility payments, or constantly needing to borrow small sums of money from friends and family are all signs of financial irresponsibility. 

This one is easy to let slide for a while because we all fall on hard times every now and then.

Everyone can be forgiven for forgetting to pay a bill on time every now and then. 

But every month?

That’s a pattern that he/she’s not responsible with their money or maybe wasn’t taught how to budget correctly.

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Financial Red Flag #5 – Taking on Their Debt

This one is obvious to me, but not to many people.

A partner who pressures you to co-sign on loans for them or take on credit card debt in their name is not good for you or your financial health. 

This is a form of financial manipulation and should not be ignored. 

The last thing you want is to put yourself on the hook if/when your partner defaults on the debt.

Especially because at this point you are not even married. You’re just dating. 

That is too much burden for the dating phase. 

Financial Red Flag #4 – Unfair Spending

Unless the feeling is mutual and you have no problem paying for everything all the time, this will be a red flag to watch for.

If you’re a woman, the dating phase is the guy’s opportunity to impress you. 

If he’s not trying to impress you this early in the relationship, it’s probably because he’s broke.

And If you’re paying this early in the relationship, you can best believe that you will be paying for the remainder of the relationship.

If you’re a man the same rule applies.

Especially if she pampers herself with her own money as well.

This creates financial strain and resentment. 

Especially if they avoid splitting bills or uses the excuse of being “low on funds”  while still managing to afford personal luxuries. 

This dynamic can be unsustainable in a healthy relationship long term. 

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Financial Red Flag #3 – History of Financial Trouble

If your potential partner has a history of bankruptcy, repossessions, or defaults on loans, that should perk your ears up.

Now again, there’s nothing wrong with any of those things in a vacuum. 

We all go through hard times every now and then.

This is not judgment at all. 

But it’s important to understand their plan to address past mistakes and avoid repeating them. 

A partner who openly discusses their past financial struggles and demonstrates responsible budget management habits now, has a clear plan to rebuild their life.

On the other hand, if they don’t have a plan and are hesitant to discuss their financial mistakes, that should be a red flag to keep an eye on. 

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Financial Red Flag #2 – Gambling

I know you don’t want to hear this, but in the context of relationships this is something to take hard look at.

The reason is simple: stability. 

In any healthy, long term relationship you want stable incomes. 

A drastic increase or decrease in spending habits can be a warning sign. 

So if he spends a good portion of his money on lottery tickets or fantasy sports gambling that is a red flag.

If it’s all in fun and under control, there is no problem.

But if it’s combined with any of the other red flags that I previously mentioned, then run. 

If he’s a little short on money because of his losses and “just waiting on a big payday” trust me, those months will turn into years.

This can be a sign of someone struggling to manage their finances and potentially impacting your future together.

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Financial Red Flag #1 – No Financial Goals

Financial security is a crucial part of a long-term relationship. 

Do they have any plans on saving for retirement, a down payment on a house, or any future financial goals? 

If not, this will indicate a clash in priorities down the line.  

If you have dreams of traveling or starting a family, a partner who seems uninterested in discussing financial planning for those goals is not on the same page.

So to recap, you should be looking for a partner that doesn’t live beyond their means.

People who are financially literate knows it isn’t how much money you make, but how few bills and debt you have.

They will be responsible with their money and never ask you to take on any of their debts.

If they had a financial hiccup in the past, they have corrected course and are open and honest about it because they are confident in their plan.

They only gamble in small amounts or with residual income because they understand that one bad loss will ruin their financial goals for the future. 


These are just a few examples of financial red flags that, if ignored, can lead to major stress, resentment, and even the end of a relationship.  

By knowing what to look for early on, you can save yourself some pain and heartache later on down the line. 

Remember, love is essential, but trust and financial compatibility is the foundation for a secure and happy relationship.  

Have you ever encountered a financial red flag in a relationship?

Share your experiences in the comments section below.  We can all learn from each other’s stories. 

And if you’re looking for more relationship advice, don’t forget to hit that subscribe button for future videos on navigating love, life, and everything in between!

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