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14 money-related red flags to look for in relationships ๐Ÿšฉ

money relationship red flags

14 money-related red flags to look for in relationships

Introduction ๐Ÿ‘‹

Did you know? ๐Ÿง 

A survey conducted by Slater and Gordon in 2018 found that money worries were the biggest reason for getting divorced. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

People often struggle with things like:

  • having different attitudes to money โš–๏ธ
  • different money goals ๐Ÿ†
  • disagreements over borrowing money ๐Ÿ˜ 
  • secret spending (sometimes even gambling, shopping, and debt problems) ๐Ÿคซ
  • secret saving e.g. secret bank accounts ๐Ÿฆ
  • spending too much money ๐Ÿ’ธ

If your relationships aren’t healthy when it comes to money (even in friendships!), it can cause a lot of stress. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

Here are our top 14 money-related red flags to look out for in relationships! ๐Ÿšฉ

Disclaimer: This website provides information for guidance and educational purposes only. The Grown-Up School does not provide regulated financial advice. You can seek independent financial advice from a suitably qualified and regulated professional advisor. Check out our disclaimer policy for more information.

1. Controlling how you spend your money ๐Ÿ‘ฎ

Whether it’s deciding:

  • how much you spend ๐Ÿ’ธ
  • when you spend ๐Ÿ“†
  • what you spend your money on ๐Ÿ›๏ธ
  • how you spend – e.g. cash, card ๐Ÿ’ณ
  • giving you an “allowance” to spend your money on – when it’s your own money! ๐Ÿ’ฐ
  • monitoring your income or spending on your bank account ๐Ÿ•ต๏ธ

no person should have control over your money.

Even if you don’t feel like you’re very good with money, you should always have your own money, and complete control over it. ๐Ÿ’ช

If someone else is in control of your money, this is a sign of an unhealthy relationship, and depending on your situation might be considered abuse. ๐Ÿšฉ

Check out our “Where to get help” section at the bottom of the article if you think this might be you!

2. Not paying their share ๐Ÿ’ฐ

Splitting money should be as fair as possible.

This means that if someone is:

  • reluctant to split bills with you ๐Ÿ™„
  • offended when you ask to share costs ๐Ÿ˜ 
  • asking or expecting you to pay more than they do โš–๏ธ
  • refusing to pay for bills โ›”
  • “forgetting” to pay bills ๐Ÿค”
  • not paying you back if you’ve lent them money ๐Ÿ”

this could be a red flag for your relationship! ๐Ÿšฉ

3. Not putting your name on joint documents โœ๏ธ

If you’re in a close relationship with someone, you might consider sharing some of your finances like:

  • Taking out a loan together ๐Ÿค
  • Opening a bank account together ๐Ÿฆ
  • Getting a house together ๐Ÿก

When you do this it’s important that you:

  • Know exactly how and where you’re sharing your finances ๐Ÿ•ต๏ธโ€โ™€๏ธ
  • Feel like you can trust the other person to share financesโœ…
  • Split the financial agreements fairly โš–๏ธ
  • Are both named equally on financial agreements โœ๏ธ

If you’re not equally named on agreements like:

  • Loans ๐Ÿ’ธ
  • Deeds for a house ๐Ÿก

You could be in a worse off/unfair position where:

  • Your credit score doesn’t go up when you take out a loan – the other person benefits from you paying towards the loan, and it boosts their credit score, not yours! What is a credit rating? ๐Ÿ“ˆ
  • You’re not listed as a full owner for your home on the house deeds, even though you’re paying towards it ๐Ÿ 

4. Borrowing your money ๐Ÿ™

Have you ever known someone who constantly wants to borrow money off you?

Lending money to someone you’re in a close relationship with can make you feel:

  • Uncomfortable in the relationship ๐Ÿ˜ฌ
  • Angry if you don’t get paid back ๐Ÿ˜ 
  • Unsure about when to ask for the money back ๐Ÿค”
  • Trapped in the relationship – like you have to stay in the relationship until they pay you back ๐Ÿ”—
  • Anxious about getting paid back ๐Ÿ˜ง
  • Unsure about whether they’re in the relationship for you – or your money ๐Ÿ˜ข
  • Unbalanced in the relationship โš–๏ธ
  • Stressed about your credit rating (What is a credit rating? ๐Ÿ“ˆ) ๐Ÿ˜จ
  • Pressured to lend them more money than you can afford to lose ๐Ÿ’ธ

Part of being in a healthy relationship, means not being dependent on each other for money.

If you’re in a close relationship with someone who constantly wants to borrow money from you, this could be a red flag! ๐Ÿšฉ

5. Asking you to take out loans for them ๐Ÿ’ณ

Whilst it can be really bad if someone else borrows a lot of your money, taking out loans for someone else can be even worse.

Taking loans out for someone else can be dangerous because:

  • Your name is on the loan, so you are responsible for paying it back and not the other person. ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™€๏ธ
  • If you don’t have enough money to cover the payments, it could damage your credit rating. (What is a credit rating? ๐Ÿ“ˆ)
  • It can make you feel unbalanced in the relationship โš–๏ธ
  • If you don’t pay back the loan, the loan company might take action against you. ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โš–๏ธ
  • The loan company won’t chase anyone except for you for the money, because your name is on the loan. ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ
  • It could be really stressful chasing the other person for the money ๐Ÿ’ธ
  • It can make you feel trapped in the relationship – like you have to stay in the relationship until they pay you back ๐Ÿ”—
  • The other person might run away to avoid repaying the loan, and leave you to pay it off ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

If someone you’re in a close relationship with asks you to take out a loan for them, this could be a red flag for your relationship! ๐Ÿšฉ

6. Refusing to talk about money ๐Ÿ™Š

If you’re in a close relationship with someone, you’ll come across lots of situations where it’s important to talk about money like:

  • Budgeting for holidays ๐Ÿ–๏ธ
  • Meals costs ๐Ÿ›
  • Bills ๐Ÿ“ƒ
  • Trips ๐Ÿš—
  • Buying things together ๐Ÿ›๏ธ
  • House costs ๐Ÿก
  • Buying presents ๐ŸŽ

If the other person refuses to talk about money, this could create a lot of stress, awkwardness, and tension, and could be a red flag for your relationship. ๐Ÿšฉ

7. Not giving you independence ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™€๏ธ

It can feel like a huge compliment when someone wants to combine their life or finances with yours. ๐Ÿ’ž

Being that close to someone else can be a great feeling.

BUT

Not giving you financial independence, can actually be a red flag for your relationship! ๐Ÿšฉ

If you’re in a close relationship with someone who insists on things like:

  • only having joint bank accounts ๐Ÿฆ
  • taking out joint loans/credit cards together ๐Ÿ’ณ
  • not letting you have your own savings ๐Ÿ’ฐ
  • combining all of your money together ๐Ÿ”
  • not letting you make your own financial decisions ๐Ÿค”
  • asking for your bank login details and passwords ๐Ÿ“ฑ

this could be a huge red flag for your relationship! ๐Ÿšฉ

If you don’t have your own money and financial independence, it can make it difficult for you to leave the relationship, and make you feel unsafe. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

Depending on your situation, this might even be considered abuse.

Check out our “Where to get help” section at the bottom of the article if you think this might be you!

8. Controlling your career ๐Ÿ’ผ

Another way that a person might try and control you, is through controlling your career. ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ’ผ

This could involve doing things like:

  • preventing you from making money โ›”
  • sabotaging your work ๐Ÿฆนโ€โ™€๏ธ
  • asking you to not work ๐Ÿ™
  • talking you out of higher paid jobs ๐Ÿ’ธ
  • making you feel guilty about earning money ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ
  • treating you badly for working ๐Ÿคฌ

This can negatively impact how much money you make. ๐Ÿ’ฐ

If someone else is in control of your career, this is a sign of an unhealthy relationship, and depending on your situation might be considered abuse. ๐Ÿšฉ

Check out our “Where to get help” section at the bottom of the article if you think this might be you!

9. Sneaky spending habits ๐Ÿคซ

In close relationships where your finances are combined, it’s important to be open about your spending. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

If your finances are combined in any way e.g. taking out loans together, your financial habits could have a huge impact on the other person.

Sneaky spending habits could damage your relationship by:

  • making you feel like you can’t trust the other person
  • damaging your financial situation without you realising e.g. they can’t pay off loans, which could damage your credit score (What is a credit rating? ๐Ÿ“ˆ)
  • your joint savings getting spent without you realising
  • creating arguments
  • the other person becoming unable to pay their fair share because they’ve overspent
  • making it difficult for you to take out joint loans because the other person cannot control their spending
  • the other person stealing your money, or spending joint money without asking

The other person might have sneaky spending habits if they:

  • won’t tell you how much debt they have ๐Ÿคซ
  • have a lot of credit cards/loans ๐Ÿฆ
  • do a lot of shopping without telling you ๐Ÿ›๏ธ
  • gamble a lot of money ๐ŸŽฐ
  • pay for a lot of subscriptions e.g. TV, magazines, online videos ๐Ÿ”
  • act very secretive about money ๐Ÿ’ฐ
  • struggle to talk about how much they spend on things ๐Ÿ’ณ
  • hide letters, emails or phone notifications from you ๐Ÿ“จ
  • steal your money ๐Ÿš“

If you’re in a close relationship with someone who has sneaky spending habits, this could be a red flag! ๐Ÿšฉ

10. Taking out lots of loans ๐Ÿ’ณ

If you notice that someone you’re in a close relationship with has taken out a lot of loans, they may be struggling to keep on top of their finances.

They could even be stuck in a debt spiral. ๐ŸŒช๏ธ

(How to avoid debt problems ๐ŸŒช๏ธ)

This could have a huge impact on you when it comes to things like:

  • paying shared bills ๐Ÿ“ƒ
  • saving up money together ๐Ÿ’ฐ
  • taking out loans together and keeping your credit score in a good position (What is a credit rating? ๐Ÿ“ˆ) ๐Ÿฆ
  • sharing a house together ๐Ÿก
  • covering costs ๐Ÿ’ณ

Taking out lots of loans can be a red flag for your relationship. ๐Ÿšฉ

11. Splashing their cash ๐Ÿ’ฆ

If you’re in a close relationship with someone who spends a lot of money, that can sometimes be an indicator that they’re not in a good financial situation.

If the other person:

  • spends without thinking ๐Ÿง 
  • doesn’t budget โš–๏ธ
  • seems out of control with their spending ๐ŸŒช๏ธ
  • spends a lot of money on things that they don’t need ๐Ÿ’ณ
  • doesn’t check their bank account regularly ๐Ÿฆ
  • tries hard to look like they have a lot of money ๐Ÿ˜Ž

they might be spending more than they can afford, which could be a red flag for your relationship! ๐Ÿšฉ

12. Borrowing from family/friends ๐Ÿ‘ช

If you’re in a close relationship with someone who is always borrowing money from family/friends, this could be an indicator that they don’t have a lot of control over their money. ๐ŸŒช๏ธ

If you notice that the other person:

  • always asks others for money
  • doesn’t pay friends/family back
  • asks for large amounts of money
  • doesn’t pay their share around others
  • expects other people to pay for them

this could be a red flag for your relationship. ๐Ÿšฉ

13. Not considering your budget ๐Ÿ’ธ

When you’re making positive steps towards managing your money (like budgeting!), it’s important that the people around you respect that too. ๐Ÿ’–

Another red flag for your relationship, is when the other person isn’t considerate about your budget. ๐Ÿšฉ

This could involve things like:

  • pressuring you to do things outside your budget ๐Ÿ’ธ
  • making you feel bad for your budget ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ
  • not respecting your budget ๐Ÿ™‰
  • making fun of you for trying to save money ๐Ÿ˜‚
  • making you split the bill at a restaurant when you ordered the really cheap option to save money – and they didn’t ๐Ÿ“ƒ

14. Money hoarding ๐Ÿฟ๏ธ

In the same way that spending too much money can be a relationship red flag, spending too little money can be one too!

Some people are very scared about not having enough money. ๐Ÿ˜จ

This can lead to them becoming extreme savers, in a way that:

  • deprives themselves of fun
  • causes stress
  • damages relationships because they don’t want to spend any money with friends/family
  • makes you feel guilty for wanting to spend your money
  • puts pressure on you to spend less than you’d like to

This can make you feel like you have less control of your money, and hurt your wellbeing.

If you’re in a close relationship with someone who hoards money, this could be a red flag! ๐Ÿšฉ

Where to get help ๐Ÿ†˜

If you feel unsafe in a relationship there is help available through places like:

Conclusion ๐Ÿ‘

So that’s it!

14 money-related red flags to look for in your relationship are:

  1. Controlling how you spend your money๐Ÿ‘ฎ
  2. Not paying their share๐Ÿ’ฐ
  3. Not putting your name on joint documentsโœ๏ธ
  4. Borrowing your money๐Ÿ™
  5. Asking you to take out loans for them๐Ÿ’ณ
  6. Refusing to talk about money๐Ÿ™Š
  7. Not giving you independence๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™€๏ธ
  8. Controlling your career๐Ÿ’ผ
  9. Sneaky spending habits๐Ÿคซ
  10. Taking out lots of loans๐Ÿ’ณ
  11. Splashing their cash๐Ÿ’ฆ
  12. Borrowing from family/friends๐Ÿ‘ช
  13. Not considering your budget๐Ÿ’ธ
  14. Money hoarding๐Ÿฟ๏ธ

If you know any friends or family members who might benefit from learning about money-related red flags in relationships, share this post with them!

Finally, don’t forget to check out our similar articles below!

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