5 Financial Red Flags That Could Ruin a Relationship

Relationships can add great value to our lives and often bring the rewards of happiness and love. But how they develop and continue is all down to each partner’s contribution – both what they bring to and what they put into the relationship.

The emotional investment is the primary driver, growing from the attraction and feelings you have for one another. But as the relationship grows, there are other factors to consider. That’s where the financial investment you each make to the relationship can come in.

When it comes to love, how you discuss and deal with financial matters can make or break a relationship.  Ultimately, without communication, a relationship may be doomed to fail if both partners aren’t on the same page about money. It is vital to talk about finances before it’s too late.

Here are 5 financial red flags that could ruin your relationship:

Unequal salaries

Both people might be 100% committed to each other on an emotional level, but their financial investments may not be the same. One partner will likely out-earn the other. If your salaries are especially lopsided, this could lead to arguments or resentment over who’s bankrolling shared expenses. It’s important to discuss what each party brings to the relationship and how you’ll both handle any disparity, or it could present real problems down the line.

Unequal investment

Having different salaries is one thing, but keeping a tight grip on your wallet is another. If one person invests everything they own into the relationship – paying bills, buying food, funding the couple’s shared social life – while the other never picks up the cheque, it could be a major red flag. It’s not fair for one partner to pay for everything if the other can easily afford to pitch in. Couples should aim to split the bills as fairly as possible whenever they can.

Hiding spending

There needs to be trust in relationships, including what each partner does with their money. While many couples accept that each person should have some freedom to spend their money how they like, there could be trouble if you have no clue what the other person is doing. Hiding how they spend money could hint at larger issues, like hiding poor credit or large debts. These red flags could make it harder for you to get a home loan, add to your savings or fund your social life as a couple in the future.

Lack of Communication

Avoiding discussing how your money should be spent as a couple could cause serious issues. You’re in this together, so decisions should benefit you both—not just one of you. A real cause for concern is when a person’s financial values and behaviors are not in sync with the other person. Discussing how you each tend to spend or save money could help. You may need to talk through a few compromises to keep the relationship harmonious and stay on track towards your financial plans.

Not planning ahead

Planning is one of the wisest financial investments we can make for our futures. No exciting vacation or college fund is going to pay for itself, after all!  Couples in long-term relationships may also want to think about things like life or funeral insurance to help protect each spouse from financial hardship if either were to pass away suddenly.  If one half is keen to plan, but the other isn’t, this could be a red flag. That person may not feel as committed to the relationship or has a very different vision of the couple’s future that needs to be discussed. A reluctance to plan could also come from a general uneasiness of thinking about all that could go wrong in the future. This might also be a problem, because burying your head in the sand won’t stop the unexpected from happening.

Don’t let money come between you

Finances can be a major source of discontent in relationships, whether you’re flush with cash or pinching every penny. It’s important for couples to talk about the finances together and be on the lookout for red flags, but you should always remember why you fell in love in the first place. Not losing sight of this in the heat of a money argument could help you both keep a level head and discuss any issues calmly and maturely.

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