21 Warning Signs Of Financial Irresponsibility In A Relationship

Last updated on June 8, 2022 by April Maccario

When you’re young, the financial responsibility of a potential partner doesn’t really cross your mind. You’re not too concerned about how much your beau earns, if they pay their bills on time or if they’re up to their eyeballs in credit card debt. 

However, as you progress into a more mature adult, you realize that, although not very romantic or exciting, being with someone that has good financial habits is incredibly important. Financial security is attractive, and being with someone that’s mature about their finances will make you feel secure, especially in the long term. 

However, it’s a general rule of thumb not to discuss finances with anyone or really ever talk about money unless you’re married and have a joint account or payments that you make together. 

So, it can be really difficult to figure out whether your partner or someone you are dating is financially stable or not. But there’s an array of behaviors that someone will be showing if they are financially irresponsible, and this article is going to help you by sharing 21 financial red flags.

Financial Irresponsibility

1. They get angry if you try to discuss finances

One of the most obvious signs that someone has problems with money or is irresponsible with money is if they get angry when you trying to talk about money with them. 

Although talking about money is uncomfortable, most people won’t get angry when the subject is brought up. So, if your partner gets angry when you try to talk to them about money, it could be because they don’t want you to know that they have problems.

In addition, if you’re in a long-term relationship, talking about money shouldn’t be too much of a problem as it’s a necessity to make sure going forward the two of you can work together when figuring out finances.

2. They have credit card debt

They have credit card debt

Although it’s not uncommon for someone to have debt, there’s a huge difference between owing the bank a couple of hundred dollars and owing thousands. Most people that have credit cards will constantly be concerned about paying the debt off to make sure they are financially free once again, and therefore they will spend less and save to pay it off.

If your partner is swamped with debt and hasn’t got any kind of payment plan in place or is always missing payments, it’s defiantly one sign they are bad with managing money. 

3. They’re overdue to pay bills

As an adult, it’s not normal to miss payments for bills, because they are one of the things you should budget for every month. Therefore, if your partner doesn’t pay their bills on time, it suggests that they haven’t made sure they have enough available money in their account in advance, or maybe they don’t have any money at all. This is a big financial red flag.

4. They owe people money

If someone is financially unstable and irresponsible, they will most likely owe people money. They might have borrowed money from their friends, family, or even from people they barely know. Obviously, if someone is in a bad situation sometimes they need a little helping hand from someone that’s close to them, but as a responsible adult, they would be very concerned about paying this back.

The difference with someone irresponsible will be that they won’t really care about the fact they’re spending someone else’s money, and might not even pay it back.

5. They overspend

When a responsible adult has very little money, owes someone money, or is in debt with several credit cards, the last thing they will do is overspend. However, every single penny someone has available to them will be spent if they are irresponsible and immature when it comes to balancing their spending and saving. They will spend way over what they earn every month.

6. They live a lifestyle that they can’t afford

Similar to the point above, most mature individuals will only lead a life that they can afford. They might even live at a slightly lower level of comfort than what they can afford in order to save money. However, someone that’s bad with money will live a lifestyle much more expensive than what they can actually afford. 

You might be receiving nice gifts all the time, being showered with expensive dinners, or taken to the fanciest places, but your partner might not actually be able to afford it. Your partner will have very little concern about the fact they live way over their means.

7. They don’t have any savings

Although not everyone saves money, the majority of adults do try to make sure they have a decent amount saved up. People save their money to purchase assets, to invest, to always have a security blanket or so they can reach a financial goal of theirs. A sign that someone is financially irresponsible will be if they have no savings and live paycheck to paycheck.

8. They have a bad credit score

Your first requirement when looking for a partner might not be a great credit score, but credit scores are actually so important, especially if you’re going to move in with someone, purchase something together or have joint bank accounts. If someone has a bad credit score. 

It’s a sign that they have credit cards with debt on, they’re late on payments, and they’ve never bothered to try and make it better. You don’t want to be financially associated with someone like that.

9. Their card gets declined often

Their card gets declined often

Have you noticed that your partner’s card gets declined frequently? If you have, this is firstly obviously a sign that they don’t have any money in their account. However, actually, more importantly, it shows that this person doesn’t check their financial situation on a regular basis and doesn’t know what’s going on.

10. They have multiple cards

You shouldn’t ever really need more than two or three bank cards, and if someone has a lot of bank cards it’s normally a sign that they need a lot of credit cards to get by. If your partner uses multiple credit cards or tries a selection of them after one gets declined, it’s a sign they have no money, and they’re also in debt. 

11. They ask you to pay for things

If your partner is always asking you to pay for things or pick up the bill, it’s a sign they’re in a bad financial situation. Typically in serious relationships, the couple will split bills or take it in turns to pay for things, so if you’re always the one that’s being relied on for the cash, this isn’t good. In fact, this is one of the biggest financial red flags out there.

12. They never take you out

Obviously, it’s not a necessity within a relationship to be constantly taken out or treated by your partner, but typically, a couple will go on a date night once every week, or once every month. After all, a relationship only stays alive with romance. So, it’s definitely concerning if your partner never takes you out and it could be a sign that they’re financially unstable.

13. They lie to you about spending

Financial infidelity is a very real thing, and your partner could well be doing it. Does your partner lie to you about what their buying? Or perhaps they tell you they’re saving when all their doing is spending? If so, they’re probably financially insecure and irresponsible. You shouldn’t have to experience financial infidelity in a relationship, because there’s no need to lie about money.

14. They splash out on fancy things

Although previously we mentioned how irresponsible people tend to live a lifestyle they can’t afford, this point is different. Some people that are bad with money or irresponsible with their finances will make huge purchases and splash out on luxurious items, in a bid to prove they are secure.

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For example, your partner might have recently bought a designer pair of shoes or got a fancy car. If you know they have no money or are in debt and are doing this, this just proves how immature they are.

15. They have no assets

Of course, some people prefer to be nomadic and not have assets to tie them down. But let’s be real, that’s pretty rare. Most people have some kinds of assets, whether it be a car they bought or a house. If someone has no assets and shows some of the other behaviors mentioned, they’re most likely financially insecure.

16. They live in the present with no concern for the future

It’s a wonderful thing to be able to live in the present moment. However, it’s only wonderful when you still have an eye for the future. Someone that’s irresponsible with their financial situation will never care about their spending, getting in debt, or setting financial goals, because they don’t look to the future at all. They are immature and don’t think about future consequences to their actions.

17. There are sums of money leaving a joint account

If you have a joint account with your partner, it’s definitely a cause for concern if you are seeing substantial sums of money leaving the account. Most responsible couples that have joint accounts will always speak to each other before withdrawing money from it because, at the end of the day, both people paid into it.

However, if you’re in a relationship with someone that’s irresponsible and immature when it comes to finances, they will have very little regard for the fact that you worked hard for the money they use and will help themselves to as much as they want, whenever they want, without consulting you.

18. They gamble

They gamble

Gambling is not only a way that people become financially unstable and insecure, but it’s also one of the signs that someone is irresponsible and immature when it comes to finances. 

Gambling is always a bad idea, and if someone gambles frequently, they don’t tend to truly understand the value of money. Instead, they just spend spend spend. Responsible people will not risk gambling with their hard-earned money.

If you suspect that your partner is addicted to gambling and it’s causing significant problems within your relationship, you might find it useful to confide in a therapist or contact a support group that can help you figure out what to do.

19. They have no concept of how much things cost

Someone that’s irresponsible with their finances won’t understand the real value of anything, because they have no concept of actual cost - they just spend money like it’s free. So, if you notice that your partner really over budgets or under budgets for something, it could be a sign that they have no concept of how much anything costs because they don’t think about it.

Regardless of how much money someone has, most people always look at the price before buying a product because they understand they have worked hard for their money and they’re not going to spend more than they need to.

20. They live off the back of others

People that are irresponsible when it comes to finances will live off the back of their family, friends, and acquaintances. They will use people to get what they want, without having to actually pay for anything themselves. For example, they might try and live with someone for free or take money from people without ever thinking of returning it. 

21. They have no financial goals

Most people have financial goals, whether it’s to be debt-free and secure, or whether it’s a certain amount of money they want to earn every year. However, people that are immature and irresponsible with money won’t have any financial goals, because they simply don’t care enough about it.


What is financial irresponsibility?

Being irresponsible with finances means that someone will most likely live way beyond their means, borrow money from others with no concern, not have any savings and quite simply not care about what financial position they are in. Most people get taught by their parents how to be responsible with money or figure it out once they go to college or move out of their family home. Someone that isn’t responsible when it comes to money might have never learned about money management.

How can you tell if someone is financially irresponsible?

The 21 points in this article will help you to figure out whether someone is financially responsible or not. Overall, someone that doesn’t do well at managing their money will get angry when talking about finances, have credit card debts, owe people money, have no savings, and will generally have a lifestyle that they can’t afford.

When your partner is financially irresponsible?

Assuming this question is asking about what to do when your partner is irresponsible with money, you can try a couple of things. You will need to try your best to calmly and openly communicate with them, and when doing so you might want to share your concerns about finances rather than attack their lack of responsibility. You will need to protect yourself so that your credit score and finances aren’t linked with theirs, and you need to stop giving them money if you are. The aim is to teach them about money management. 

Should you date a man with financial problems?

This completely depends on what you’re looking for in a romantic relationship. If you want to find someone for a long-term relationship then it’s a good idea to avoid anyone with financial problems. However, financial problems aren’t actually the main issue, the problem is rooted in the behavior and attitude of the person. So, if someone shows all of the signs above, it’s best to avoid them. However, if someone is experiencing financial difficulty but is worried about it and working on it, don’t write them off.

What are some effects of financial irresponsibility?

When someone is financially irresponsible, it creates an array of problems, not only problems big enough for themselves but for others around them too. Mental and physical health can be put under strain, the pressure to repay owed cash can make someone feel anxious and depressed, people can lose relationships, and arguments in relationships occur.

Summing Up,

Hopefully, this article has helped you to become aware of how somebody will act or what kind of behaviors they will show if they are financially unstable and irresponsible. Whatever the particular situation you are in, we wish you the best of luck with it and just remember to always protect yourself and your finances. Don’t let someone ruin or take away what you have worked hard for.

Did you like this article and find it useful? If you did, let us know in the comments and feel free to share!

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April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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