Relationships are like hard. We hopefully won’t go through too many partners before we find that special someone, but way too often we come across relationship red flags that make us wonder if we can do better. It’s easy to overlook superficial issues, but when it comes to financial red flags there are definitely some deal breakers.

Don’t get me wrong, no one is perfect. It’s not like we’re all naturally good with our money, plus it’s totally okay to have disagreements when it comes to our finances. But if we’re serious about taking our relationship to the next level e.g. marriage, then we really need to make the money talk a priority – just don’t do it on the first date.

financial red flags

Financial Red Flags to look out for

Credit card debt – I understand that some people have credit card debt, it happens; that’s not a reason to end your relationship. What I would be concerned about are people who are making no effort whatsoever to eliminate their credit card debt. What you want to look out for are people who are using credit to feed their excessive lifestyle even though they can’t afford it. Okay technically you can afford it if you’re making just minimum payments, but eventually, have to pay that money back.

If you want to make the relationship work you need to talk about the debt and figure out a way to tackle it together. Although one partner may have more debt that the other, it shouldn’t be treated separately, in the end, you’re in it together.

Excessive spending – Spending comes in many forms; some people prefer to buy new clothes and gadgets all the time while others may always offer to pay to pay since it makes them feel important. Even if they’re not putting things on credit, spending all their money is still a financial red flag.

In some relationships, one partner will spend more and justify it because they earn more money. This is a terrible excuse since it creates a situation where one partner may feel that they aren’t equal in the relationship. If the amount of money your partner spends is a concern then you should probably have a civilized discussion about it so you can hopefully come to some kind of common ground.

Related: Money mistakes couples make

Can’t keep a job – Job losses suck and they can happen to anyone. However, the reason one loses a job is what matters. If it’s a legit reason such as layoff then there’s no real need to be concerned, but if your partner can’t seem to hold a job and is always blaming someone else for being let go, I’d start to wonder if there’s a bigger issue at hand.

Maybe your family can live on a single income, but in many relationships, a dual income is required to live. It’s unfortunate, but some people aren’t willing to accept responsibility when it comes to being a good employee. After a while the excuses get tiring, if you can’t trust them to keep a job, how can you honestly expect them to help you save for a home or retirement?

Final word

I don’t want to ruin the romance, but seriously, wouldn’t you prefer to be with someone who has their sh*t together? Financial red flags are a real thing to be concerned about, but they can be resolved as long as both partners are willing to address them together.