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3 money red flags to watch out for when dating

Ned Ehrbar

Money can put a strain on a relationship in more ways than one, but making sure you’re on the same page financially as your partner can help.

It's never too early to talk about money in a relationship, according to Haley Sacks, otherwise known as Mrs. Dow Jones, who uses memes to educate millennials about finance.

“Being with someone who's on the same page fiscally creates so much more balance and harmony within a relationship,” Sacks says. “It can become very resentful if you're with someone who maybe doesn’t view money the same way as you.”

Opposites attract

Being on the same page financially doesn’t necessarily mean sticking to your own tax bracket when it comes to your love life, though. As Sacks points out, it’s possible to find common ground even when your income levels aren’t the same.

“It's definitely not about the dollar amount,” she says. “You could date someone who’s in a totally different tax bracket than you and still find a long-lasting love. I mean, we’ve all seen ‘Pretty Woman.’”

Find your balance

What’s more important is making sure your partner understands your financial priorities -- and limitations. “If you’re dating someone who wants to live very lavishly and that’s not really in your budget, then I think that you need to be upfront about it because otherwise you're going to end up resenting them,” she says.

And what about if your partner makes less than you? “You just have to be really clear that you love them and it makes you happy to treat them.”

There’s more to life than money

Money is an important part of a relationship, but it’s not the only part, and Sacks doesn’t think it has to be a make-or-break topic for couples.

“Having a different relationship to money than your partner can be incredibly beneficial,” Sacks says. “It doesn’t need to be scary and horrible and taboo. It can be something where you teach each other. It's just all about the attitude that you bring to it.”

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