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6 Signs Your Future Spouse Is Bad With Money

Finding your soulmate is hard enough, but once you do, how do you know if they’re good with money or bad with it? Financial issues are one of the leading causes of divorce, so it’s important to spot any red flags before walking down the aisle. This article will go over 6 signs that your future spouse may be bad with money so you can have an honest conversation and get on the same page financially.

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1. They Have Bad Credit

One of the biggest indicators of how someone manages money is their credit score. If your partner has a low credit score, it likely means they’ve missed payments, defaulted on loans, or have too much debt. According to credit experts, a credit score under 620 is considered bad credit [1].

While there may be legitimate reasons for bad credit like medical bills or job loss, consistent bad credit can signal poor money habits. Do they impulse shop with credit cards? Are they constantly living beyond their means? Red flags like these need to be addressed.

2. They Have No Savings

Saving money regularly is a cornerstone of financial stability. If your partner has little to no money saved despite a steady income, it could mean they are living paycheck to paycheck. Asking questions like “Do you have an emergency fund?” or “How much do you have in retirement savings?” can reveal if savings is a priority for them.

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According to finance experts, adults should have 3-6 months of living expenses saved in an emergency fund [2]. Retirement savings at age 30 should be around 1x your annual income or more. If your partner falls short of these benchmarks, it may indicate they struggle to budget, spend too freely, or don’t think about the future.

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3. They Have Poor Debt Management Skills

Debt in itself is not necessarily bad with responsible management. But if your partner seems constantly stressed or overwhelmed by debt, it could mean they are in over their heads. Signs of poor debt management include [3]:

  • Minimum payments only on credit cards
  • Constantly at or over credit limit
  • No plan for paying off student loans
  • No idea what interest rates they pay
  • Taking on new debt without paying off old debt first

If your partner puts purchases on credit because they don’t have the cash, or has no strategy for paying off debt, it can spiral into unmanageable levels. Get a clear picture of their debt and approach to paying it off.

4. They Pay Bills Late or Not At All

We all forget to pay a bill now and then, but if your partner is consistently late with payments, it signals disorganization and risk of consequences. Utility bills, credit cards, insurance, rent – these should be paid on time to avoid fees and damage to credit.

Ask if they’ve ever had utilities shut off or missed a credit card payment. Find out if they are overly optimistic about due dates, hoping the money will “work itself out” before then. Late payments, even by a few days, incur fees and should be avoided.

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5. They Make Big Purchases Impulsively

Impulse shopping may seem harmless at first, but it can be a major red flag about money habits. Does your partner see something they just “have to have” and buy it without considering cost? Do they buy expensive items just because they want it in the moment?

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Impulsive spending indicates lack of self-control and short-term thinking. Big purchases like cars, TVs, vacations should be thoughtfully planned and budgeted for, not spur-of-the-moment. And smaller impulse buys can really add up over time. Try to gauge if they can delay gratification or always give in to impulse.

6. They Don’t Budget or Track Spending

Does your partner know where their money goes each month? Do they use a budget or keep track of spending in any way? Understanding income vs expenses is vital for financial stability. If your partner spends freely without tracking costs or budgeting, it can lead to debt, overspending, and constant financial stress.

Ask if they make an effort to save receipts, use budgeting tools, or review monthly bank statements. Lack of awareness of where money goes makes it much harder to make smart financial decisions.

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Bringing up money issues may feel awkward, but it’s an important conversation before committing your financial lives together. Express your concerns positively, ask questions, and see if your partner is willing to work on improving money habits. With open communication, financial responsibility can be learned over time. But ignoring red flags altogether can set you both up for future money conflicts and stress.

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Spotting financial red flags now allows you to get expert help, make a plan to tackle debt, and build healthy money habits together. With the right focus and effort, your financial union can be strong, stable, and lead to lifelong prosperity.

References

[1] https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/credit-education/score-basics/what-is-a-bad-credit-score/

[2] https://www.bankrate.com/banking/savings/financial-security-0118/

[3] https://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/09/marriage-killing-money-issues.asp

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