6 Financial Warning Signals that Could Frustrate Your Relationship
The start of a relationship is always exciting. A person newly in love might find it difficult to spot red flags in all aspects. They also tend to ignore those that emerge, because at that moment it’s not a big deal. But if they stick in the relationship a little while longer, some hard truth bombs are bound to drop.
A survey conducted by Ramsey solutions discovered that money is the second major cause of divorce, right after adultery. The strain around household money matters is mainly as a result of poor communication and massive debt. Here are six financial warning signals that could test your relationship.
They Don’t Want to Talk About Money
The first obvious red flag would be your partner not wanting to discuss money. Now, this is not a conversation for a first date. However, it’s important to know – not too far into the relationship – if your significant other is comfortable with talking about money. Finances are a personal subject and if they are serious about the relationship, they should be willing to have a money conversation.
The initial conversations would entail the financial standing of your partner. For example, how much money they make and how much debt they are in. Your partner’s debt will become your debt as well if and when you get married so you cannot overlook this information. You should know what you’re getting yourself into and decide if it’s acceptable or not.
Subsequent discussions could include who will pay for what, how much you plan to save each month as a couple, your retirement goals and so on. These conversations reduce financial stress and help you to know what to expect. If your partner is resistant to having these discussions, that could be your one-way ticket to exit that relationship.
Divergent Ideas about Money
In many ways, having a partner that compliments you is important. For example, if you’re an introvert, an extrovert partner could help get you out of the house to have fun every once in a while. If you’re messy, a clean freak will keep your home in order. However, when it comes to money, having completely different philosophies could be a recipe for disaster.
For example, if you are a saver and your partner is a spendthrift, it will rub you the wrong way. Let’s say you believe that as a couple, saving as much money towards your retirement plan is a priority. But your partner believes that rewarding themselves with a few luxuries is okay because they work so hard. Both attitudes are valid, but you need to find common ground.
Depending on the gravity of your differing ideas, this may not be an immediate deal breaker. Instead, each partner should try to understand how the other views money. This will reduce conflict in your relationship. Some discussion points could be:
- What your parents taught you about money
- Your fears concerning money
- Your financial goals
Too Much Debt
Forty million Americans have student loan debt. If this kind of debt is a deal breaker for you, adjusting your standards might be in order. The interest rates on student loans aren’t alarming and in case they are high, the loan an easily be refinanced with much lower rates. This becomes a serious problem if student loans are in default.
These can cause lifelong consequences. They can bring down a credit score, making it impossible to buy a home with them in the future. What about credit card debt? Having credit card debt worth a few thousand dollars may be acceptable. However, if their debt is worth several tens of thousands of dollars, there is a cause for alarm.
Before you throw in the towel though, find out from them the reason for this mountain of debt. There could be a valid explanation. Probably, they had a large unforeseen medical bill or another kind of emergency. If they enjoy a lavish lifestyle on credit, that right there is a major red flag.
If the reason is valid, do they have a payment plan in place? Find out from them what the plan is and confirm that they are following through with it. If they aren’t committed to making timely payments, that will become a big issue in your relationship.
What if you find out that your partner has been unfaithful, with a secret savings account? Or credit card information? Or that they stashed away a huge amount of money and didn’t tell you? A financial infidelity poll revealed that:
- 19% of Americans involved in a live-in relationship have a hidden credit card, savings account or checking account
- 21% of the respondents stated that financial infidelity was worse than physical infidelity
- 35% responded that it’s the same as physical infidelity
- 2% of adults would end the relationship if their lover had a secret card with a debt worth $5000
Again, communication is important before making any serious decisions. Talk to them about this immediately. If they have a secret savings account, they could have a valid reason. It could be your own poor spending habits. Maybe they want to keep you from spending the money carelessly. Or are they being afraid of losing money in case you got divorced? Probably they are just selfish and want to keep it for themselves.
If they are secretly in credit card debt, it could be that they are embarrassed about the amount of debt they are in. They might be afraid that you will end the relationship. If that’s the case and they are actively committed to paying off their loans and that is where a loan finder like nation21loans.com can help a lot, you could give them a second chance.
Whatever the reason, discuss financial infidelity with your loved one. Are they willing to be transparent with their finances? Will you be honest as well? If you can both agree on a way forward, awesome. But what if you face resistance or even more lies? You’ll find it difficult to trust your partner, not only with money but other areas of your relationship as well.
If they are covering deeper issues like substance addiction or a gambling problem, you might want to end the relationship. Lying about addictions could lead to severe consequences. If your loved one has access to your details, they could ruin your credit. They can open credit cards and apply for loans with your information.
Does your partner hop from one job to another? Job loss can happen for several reasons beyond your control. For example, getting laid off by the company, the company changing physical location or the business closing. Also, people can lose their jobs for reasons within their control like frequent absenteeism, violence at work, incompetence or constant lateness.
If your loved one falls in the latter category, it could be a sign of their irresponsibility. If they can’t keep a job, they won’t be able to meet their financial obligations. You won’t be able to save money as a couple to meet your financial goals. This could cause friction in your relationship.
Academic researchers have revealed in a new study that nearly 67% of bankruptcies are due to health care costs. If your loved one filed for bankruptcy, obviously they ended up in a big financial mess and nothing else could save them. They were probably a victim of the exorbitant health care costs, so don’t walk away yet.
Find out from them what the actual cause of the bankruptcy was and how long ago they filed. What steps are they taking to improving their credit score? Bankruptcy can cause long-term consequences because it takes a decade for it to be wiped off your credit report. It could hold you back from getting a job. It can also affect your chances as a couple of obtaining financing for a house or a car for several years. Is that a chance you’re willing to take?
Have you Noticed Any Red Flags?
If you’re in a relationship and the above signals sound familiar, you would be wise to act immediately. Some of these red flags are not necessarily a reason to end your relationship. It all depends on your partner’s attitude and willingness to improve their financial situation. You might find that your loved one needs more help than you can offer. In this case, you can employ the services of a professional financial advisor.