Love and money can be a toxic mix. Whether you’re currently on the lookout for your perfect match or you’ve already sealed the deal, beware of sneaky financial issues creeping in and wreaking havoc on your relationship.
Look for the tell-tale signs early on that your money personalities may not be the best match. Here are the fellas to avoid when it comes to love and money. (And for the guys: This goes both ways. In fact, I may have a touch of the Money Tracker syndrome myself.)
These men are sweet and generous and probably far better people than I’ll ever be, but there’s a fine line between being giving and being taken advantage of. We’re not talking about the guys who so heroically donate a portion of their salary to their favorite charity. We’re talking about men who money moochers flock to because they can sense his inability to say no.
Maybe it’s the sister who “needs” a designer jacket, or the buddy who buys that big-screen TV before he can actually afford it, or even the friends that simply assume that he’ll automatically foot the bill at dinner. You name it, he’ll open his wallet. This kind of man may bode well for you if you’re looking for someone to buy you baubles, but his bank account will dry up in no time.
While these guys may be sensitive and carefree, they simply can’t hold onto their money. Balancing their checkbooks is never top of mind, but they’ll get to it…eventually. Procrastinators use their debit cards far too often–like it’s some kind of magical money card–only to have their mystical beliefs shattered when they discover they owe $75 in overdraft fees.
Don’t be surprised if these men come running to you to help them get out of deep water. These guys live paycheck to paycheck in a never-ending cycle. If you find yourself falling for the Procrastinator, save yourself the hassle–and dollars–by keeping your finances separate.
The Money Tracker:
These men are mama’s boys and love money so much that they actually track every penny they spend in an Excel worksheet. In your time of need, they can be very understanding and may even lend you money to help out. But borrower beware! Even if you’re this guy’s significant other, the Money Tracker considers the amount borrowed a loan. While these men won’t hold it over your head while you’re datng, the minute you dump them, they’ll make you pay them back before the breakup is final–with interest to boot.
And if you’re not borrowing cash, you better believe the Money Tracker is keeping tabs on every time you “go dutch.” He’s always a little too quick to remind you that he paid for lunch or that you owe him a coffee too.
This is the guy who’s determined to “win big” in life–without actually working hard toward any goals. Gamblers won’t spend money on you–or their bills, for that matter–but when it comes time to play a big hand at the casino or buy a keg for a party, the funds miraculously appear. He has an okay job, but doesn’t put in the extra time and effort to really make a successful career out of it. But it’s fine because he’ll “be the boss man someday!” If you’re cool with being the financially responsible one in the relationship, he’s all yours.
These men are all about using their money to win your heart. They’ll spend big to make a big impression, but don’t be fooled. The One-Upper isn’t opening his wallet out of the goodness of his heart; it’s all a game. He may buy you gifts for no reason or plan over-the-top date nights. And the longer you date, the more “impressive” he gets. But it’s the competition that drives him, not his adoration for you.
You’re a prize, just like the baubles he buys you. Clues that you might be dating a One-Upper might include receiving a Christmas gift one day late to ensure that his gift is the most memorable. Or after buying him a watch, he quickly runs out and buys you the most expensive Rolex he can find. If you play his games, you’ll only experience anxiety because nothing you do will ever be good enough and will only encourage his one-upmanship.
The Delusional Debt Dude:
He’s got a great car, a Master’s degree, a 42-inch HD flat-screen, a huge house–and an enormous amount of debt. Along with most of these seemingly great things comes a lot of students loans, high credit card bills and possibly the worst credit score on the planet. He’s the type that doesn’t want you to know that he’s struggling financially, so he’s making minimum payments on all of his debt so he can continue to live a great, albeit borrowed, lifestyle.
Tread lightly with the Delusional Debt Dude. The second you combine bank accounts with him, you’ll discover just how deep his debt goes, and his low credit score can impact the ability to buy a home and start a fiscally sound new life together.
The Shallow Spender:
These men use their big pockets to mask their shallow hearts. They may lavish you with gifts and fancy nights on the town, but deep down, they’re made of stone. They’ll keep the gifts coming in an effort to distract you from having any real emotional discussion and to keep you from discovering that they have nothing to offer but their wallet. The Shallow Spender is the perfect fit for the gold digger, but if you’re looking to experience real feelings, this guy will never deliver.
To avoid a surprise down the road that your dude is heading for financial disaster–bringing you with him–casually suggest you both try Quizzle.com one evening. You’ll each get a free credit report and free credit score, plus other personal finance tools that will quickly let you know if you’re a money match.
Ann-Marie Murphy is the Community Builder for Quizzle.com, an online service that provides free and easy ways to manage your home, money, and credit–all in one spot. She pairs her experiences in financial services with her writing skills to help consumers better manage their personal finances.