9 Tell-Tale Signs Your Partner Is Financially Unstable

Look out for red flags.

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Financial compatibility may not be high on the list of things you look for in a partner when you first start dating, but this is an important attribute for any long-term relationship.

Sure, not everyone can be a master investor, but when building a life together, it helps to be on the same page when it comes to spending. Whether it’s traveling the world together, planning your dream wedding, or buying a home, every relationship has goals — and a lot of those goals are expensive. 


It’s not abnormal for one-half of a couple to earn less in the relationship, as people contribute to a relationship in different ways. But if you’re going to share your finances someday, you want to make sure you’re both able to save and spend in a controlled way.


Debt and financial issues can take their toll on a relationship. In 2019, money was listed as the driving factor behind 36.1 percent of divorces surveyed!

9 Tell-Tale Signs Your Partner Is Financially Unstable

1. They’re secretive about money. 

We all have a right to privacy and to control our own money, but if you’re saving for a trip together and your partner is lying about their purchases, this is concerning.

If you’ve noticed money missing from your joint savings account, a lack of transparency about loans, or they aren’t willing to discuss savings together, this could be the beginning of a web of harmful deceit and lies.

2. They don’t have savings or investments.

When you’re young and starting out, it’s totally okay to be a bit strapped for cash or not have any investments. But if your partner is consistently out of pocket or never able to commit to expensive plans together, things might be a little more serious.


If they’re earning money, they should be able to save at least a portion of it. If they can’t, this could affect your ability to buy a home or even rent together. 

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3. They struggle with addiction.

If your partner has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, drugs, gambling, or something else, this can reflect negatively on their financial stability.

Funding an addiction can be costly and, for a lot of addicts, feeding their obsession takes precedence over paying rent, saving, or even buying groceries.

If you suspect this is the case, it’s important to address their addiction problems first and worry about the money side of things later.  


4. They let bills pile up.

We all miss a deadline or two and fall victim to late fees, but if you’re good with money you’ll learn not to do it again.

If your partner is consistently letting bills pile up and doesn’t seem to care enough to pay them, this is a sign they are not good with money. This is especially problematic if you live together and you’re constantly forced to be the one paying bills.

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5. They won’t stick to a budget.

Budgeting is an important part of being in control of your finances.

Your partner may have never learned about how to plan out their spending, but they should still be willing to try. A budget doesn’t have to be a detailed diagram with percentages, but having a rough idea of what to spend and where is key to making financial plans. 


6. They borrow but don’t pay it back.

Getting a helping hand from parents or friends is okay if your partner is out of work or if something unexpected happened that impacted their finances. But they should be able to pay back all their debts and save so they won’t need financial aid too often.

Not paying back loans is a sign of irresponsibility and dependency. It may not be your problem right now, but it could be when they’re sponging off of you in the future.

7. They love shopping.

Not to shame any shopaholics out there, but if all your activities as a couple revolve around going to stores or buying expensive purchases online, this is a red flag.

When someone is more focused on what they want rather than what they need, they’re spending for the wrong reasons.


Even if your partner has the income to match their crazy splurges, it’s always important that spending is controlled. Who knows when you might need that money that they spent on an extra TV or designer coat.

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8. They have a stack of credit cards.

Unless your partner is a whiz at exploiting rewards schemes, there’s no need for anyone’s wallet to be bulging with credit cards.


This is a sign that they’re not keeping tabs on their spending and are ignoring their debt build-up. If your partner is relying on their credit card for every little purchase, they may not have the money to pay for anything out of pocket. 

9. Some things just don’t add up. 

If your partner always has a flashy car or new gadget, but doesn’t have a job or can’t plan for a mortgage, something is not right. This could mean they’re quick to spend money when they have it, but fail to plan for times when they don’t.

Earning money isn’t just about funding a lifestyle in the present, it’s about preparing for the future. If you’re concerned by your partner’s financial habits, don’t just shrug it off.

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Alice Kelly is a writer with a passion for lifestyle, entertainment, and trending topics.