Talking about money with your partner and spouse is never an easy conversation to have, especially if you’re not sure what they think about it, or if you have limited knowledge of working with money.
We don’t all share the same philosophy about money, how we earn it and spend it, or how we invest it. Unfortunately, the friction surrounding the issue of money and finances can lead to further relationship problems, such as so-called financial infidelity, where people hide their purchases from their partners.
Putting off this conversation can often do more harm than good, and research shows that approximately 64% of couples admit to being “financially incompatible” with their partners according to Bread Financial.
Interestingly, the same Bread Financial research survey found that 45% of adult partners admit to some form of financial infidelity in their relationships.
Allowing money problems to interfere with your relationship and love life can have lasting effects on both you and your partner. It’s not always possible to immediately understand how everyone you meet works with money, and before pulling the cart in front of the horse, it’s always better to get a clear judgment before jumping to conclusions.
However, there are often financial red flags that begin to reveal themselves over time as the relationship progresses. And while you don’t want to feel like you’re telling someone else what they can and shouldn’t do with their money, it’s often best to acknowledge these issues and share an open dialogue with your partner before they escalate into bigger issues.
Financial Red Flags
Here’s a brief look at some of the financial red flags that could be hurting your relationship without you knowing it.
Your partner has ongoing financial problems.
Let’s face it, we all have financial problems and often these are carried with us for long periods of time, only to be resolved when we seek advice or guidance.
Although money problems can look different for everyone, from large amounts of debt to low credit scores, or even overspending, having money problems are financial problems that can be solved with the right help or by talking to someone who is more knowledgeable about money. issue.
On average, about two-thirds of all Americans use credit cards, and the average person has at least three credit cards, according to CreditNinja.
Jumping from one financial pitfall to the next, without learning from past mistakes, can no longer be seen as a coincidence, but rather as an active decision to ignore what other people are saying or find ways to address problems.
Unfortunately, having money problems and not being willing to do something to address these problems or improve the situation can be a problem that can harm you and your partner, and potentially others who may be involved.
Lack of financial prosperity.
There is no denying that we are not all at the same stage in life in our careers and financial prosperity. Often, you will meet someone who has recently started a new career or has just returned to the job market after being laid off. Perhaps your spouse decides to go back to school and depends heavily on his income to support the household.
At some other point, there will be a point where you or your partner will reach a point where you can create healthy financial habits, such as saving for a specific goal, setting aside some cash for retirement, looking to travel, or even starting a business. . .
If you notice that your partner is at a point in their life and career where they can save and invest their earnings, but lacks the financial capacity, consider talking about how you can save some of your money for retirement, or even put it in a savings account. account.
Be considerate of where they may be in your life and seek guidance yourself so that once you have the conversation, you are informed and can provide practical tips that you both can use.
They tend to be irresponsible with money.
Overspending isn’t hard these days, and we often find ourselves spending more money than we budgeted for. There are many cases where we could have bought something on a whim, without giving it much thought, or used some of our savings to pay for other expenses; this tends to happen to most of us.
However, there comes a point where you need to address irresponsible spending with your partner, especially if it starts to have an impact on you or the household.
Ask yourself, does your partner spend their income on luxuries before paying for more important things like rent, groceries, or utilities? Do they buy items without thinking about the short-term financial implications? Are they likely to run out of money before or during the month? Do they ask you for loans and forget to pay you back?
You may notice that they hide their purchases from you after you’ve confronted them, or that they don’t have the ability to tell you about the purchases you’ve made.
These and other valuable questions will be a key indicator of how your partner is working with their money and whether they are simply being irresponsible and ignoring their financial responsibilities for their own good.
Ignoring your financial responsibilities
Many of us have some form of financial responsibility, whether it’s paying off student loan debt or even making monthly installment car payments. Every month we budget according to our financial needs and make sure our cash lasts us until we get our next paycheck.
In some cases, people tend to neglect their financial responsibilities, often relying on their partners or partners to pay for their mistakes, or help pay for things like rent, utilities, and other major expenses.
Setting a budget for your partner, or even for your home, can help you see where your money is going and where it’s being spent. If your partner deliberately ignores these efforts and instead uses your money on less important purchases, it shows that you are unwilling to commit financially or improve your actions.
Bringing up irresponsible financial behavior with your partner or spouse is never easy and can be awkward at first, but for the long-term well-being of your relationship, it’s important to voice your concerns and share guidance whenever possible.
Your partner is drowning in debt
Although we all want to be debt free, many married couples, even those who are married, have some form of debt. Research shows that 7 out of 10 Americans marry some amount of debt, whether it’s credit card debt or student loan debt.
Balancing your debt is not an easy task and requires you to be sensitive to your income and spending habits. Making sure you don’t miss payments and are able to pay off your debt is a financial priority for many of us.
Yes, some of us may have more debt than others, and we often see our partners carrying debt in a relationship, but ignoring the importance of paying it off on time. Being in a debt-plagued relationship or marriage is more common than we think, and some people may ignore their debt responsibilities, hoping their partners will help pay them off.
Understanding how your partner has accumulated their debt over time and what they are doing to pay it off will give you a clear indication of their financial responsibilities and money literacy. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and often many people will hide their debt from their partners or go deeper into debt due to irresponsible money or spending habits.
Ignores the importance of talking about money
Another red flag to look out for is if your partner deliberately ignores having a conversation about money.
Oftentimes, they may be intimidated, even scared, or unwilling to share money matters because they may be afraid of the results, but if they are not willing to resolve their financial problems, they may have bigger problems to deal with in the future. .
The “money talk” is never easy and can be an awkward confrontation with your partner or spouse. If you’re not sure where they stand on money, then it’s best to ask or ask them about it when you feel the time is right to do so.
If you notice that you are putting off budgeting for your home, or if you are in a marriage where one person is not willing to make financial commitments, you may want to address these issues as soon as possible.
Not everyone may be open to talking about the value of their money, or even their income, so be patient with your partner and see how you can make the conversation less awkward or uncomfortable for them.
It’s best to think about how short-term solutions can help your relationship in the long term, but also make sure they help you build a financial future with someone else.
Being with someone committed to someone who is irresponsible with their money or unwilling to improve their financial situation can have a detrimental effect on your relationship and well-being.
Addressing money issues in a relationship isn’t easy, but the sooner you can agree on how you can make your money work for both of you, the more likely you are to share the same values and philosophy regarding your household finances.
When confronting your partner or spouse about their finances, make sure they feel comfortable enough to share their opinions and ask where you can help them if they need guidance. Instead of ignoring these problems, see how you can work together to overcome financial difficulties and build a prosperous relationship.
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