5 Signs Your Man Is Bad With Money

money signsThey say money makes the world go round, and nowhere is this more true than in relationships. It's one of the leading causes of marital strife, as we have all been told. The way you spend money really can make or break your dating life, too.

But how do you know whether your man is compatible with you financially?

A few years back, my husband and I started seeing a financial planner, who I swear did more for our marriage than any counselor ever could. According to her, every person walks into a marriage or a relationship with an emotional tie to money, and the way we grow up influences that. For instance, my husband was raised in a house where they did everything themselves -- cleaning, cooking, fixing things. In my house, we outsourced. We walked into our marriage with different expectations, and that caused enormous fights.

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"Arguments about money [are] by far the top predictor of divorce," says Sonya Britt, a Kansas State University researcher whose study, which examined family issues and divorce in Family Relations Journal, made waves a couple years ago. "It's not children, sex, in-laws, or anything else. It's money."

More from The Stir: 10 Completely Creative Ways to Save Money

My husband and I have since smoothed over our issues by hiring help for some tasks and doing some ourselves, but for couples with bigger money problems -- massive credit card debt, excessive spending, gambling addictions -- those fights can spell doom. So how can you tell early on that a guy is bad with cash? Here are five ways:

1.) He is unemployed: It's entirely possible that someone could be "between jobs" and actively looking. If that's the case, it's not a sign of anything. But being chronically unemployed can mean deeper issues. If a couple agrees that one person will be the breadwinner while the other will take care of the home, that's a different story too. But a habit of being jobless should be a red flag early on. In a Huffington Post poll, 75 percent of women said they would have a problem dating a man who was unemployed. Who can blame them?

The truth is, even in this day and age, many women still want to marry a man who makes more than they do and has more education. And even if you don't buy into that, it just makes sense for both partners to be capable of earning a good living. Marrying a man who doesn't want to work is probably not the wisest financial choice.

2.) He's always short on cash: This one is a no-brainer, but if a guy is always asking for cash or puts everything on credit, he may not be making the best fiscal choices. If you marry someone with bad credit or huge debt, you marry that debt as well. It's just a fact.

Twenty-one percent of men consider high credit card debt a deal-breaker with women. With good reason. Women need to think that way, too. Marrying a man with bad credit is a mess NO ONE should enter.

3.) He gambles -- a lot: It's one thing to take a trip to Vegas every few years. It's another to be a regular or compulsive gambler. If he is willing to risk major amounts of cash, what else could he put on the line?

It's not that it can't be overcome. But who wants to deal with that? Gambling destroys marriages and can ruin lives too. Run.

4.) He has no savings: In our 20s, many of us struggle to make ends meet, especially if we live in big, high-cost-of-living cities. But by our 30s, we should be saving. He doesn't need to have millions in the bank, but a good nest egg and some thoughts on retirement would be nice.

Financial guru Suze Orman says it's best to have six months emergency savings. That might not be possible, but a man who has that will almost always make smart financial choices. Does he buy a new iPad the second it comes out? Own a lot of expensive gadgets he can't afford? These are the kinds of questions to ask when it comes to men and money. He needs to live within his means and be a planner.

5.) His parents were bad with money: This could go the opposite way, too. A man raised by parents who were bad with money might turn it around. But if he tells you his parents are in debt and can't properly manage their money, that could be a sign of tough times ahead.

A friend of ours is paying her husband's parents' mortgage on their home after they nearly defaulted. "Had I known this earlier, I might have thought twice about it all," she says. Now she and her husband can't buy their own house because they are so strapped from supporting his folks. Does that make him bad with money? Not necessarily. But now it's her problem, too.

Did you ever date someone who was bad with money? What did you do?


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