In Kenya, discussing finances is the last thing that couples want to do. This is imprudent, especially since monetary incongruence is one of the major reasons for divorce. This is why Nailantei Norari highlights a few signs that you should be on the lookout for when it comes to money matters
1. Different money habits
Opposites attract, but they rarely stay together for long. This is especially true when it comes to money habits. If one partner is a spendthrift and the other is frugal, there will be plenty of financial disagreements throughout the relationship. They will both have to change and find a middle ground or have to break up. Couples financial classes can help partners come up with congruent financial goals. You can also simply bolt if your partner has undesirable financial habits as they are bound to get worse with time. If your partner spends her money shopping for designer bags, it is just a matter of time before she uses your joint account to finance her habit.
2. Financial abuse
While it is important to be open about money and to advise relationship partners about good financial habits, it is imprudent to control a partner’s finances. Forcing a partner to change their financial habits by withdrawing their finances, no matter how good your intentions might be, is financial abuse. Using money as a power tool is also financial abuse. The most you can do is advice your partner without forcing them to do anything they are against.
3. Secretive about money
If your partner is secretive about money or how they get their income even after you have been going out for some time, it would be wise to run. This is how you find out you are dating a drug dealer on television or when you are both getting arrested. Get with someone who is open to discussing finances and is not secretive about how they spend or invest their money.
4. They’ve bad debt
If they have multiple loans on digital lending apps and owe multiple of their friends, run before they take a loan from you too. While debt is not by principle bad, having multiple debts is unwise. Moreover, taking out money for frivolous things such as a night out or a flight to Mombasa is unwise. So, run even if the loan they took was for you. Your portion is not to be in endless debt.
5. Late payment of debt and bills
If your partner is always late with their bills and debts, it means that they lack personal accountability. If they need someone to call them and remind them of what they owe, they do not take finances seriously. Run and find someone who takes finances with the gravitas they deserve.
6. Love flaunting their wealth
No one will spend money more than the person trying to gain validation from fellas and women. This is the person who will buy a Mercedes Benz to drive to work with while their Subaru is perfectly functional. This is the person who will tip waiters Sh5,000 each and hand out Sh1,000 notes to any street children you may come across. Run before they start giving out your hard-earned money as well.
7. Never pick the bill
If someone claims to have forgotten their wallet on several dates, they do not want to pay the bill, leave them. Dating someone who has gender expectations on who picks up the bill is a glimpse into how financial responsibilities will be divided. A male or female partner, who is unwilling to pay for dates will be unwilling to go Dutch on household expenses, which will lead to resentment in the long run.
8. Earnings but no investments
If someone has been working for several years and they have no investments to show for it, they are probably financially irresponsible. Investments here can be in the form of paying school fees for their siblings, or even buying land for their relatives. The investment does not have to be for themselves but can be for loved ones as well. Someone who cannot show where their money goes is not the correct choice of partner.
9. Lack of financial agency
If your partner continuously blames their financial circumstances on outside forces, it is probably best if you left them. You need someone who will take agency over their financial circumstances rather than blame the economy and inflation. You need someone who is willing to surmount prevailing circumstances to make a better life for themselves.
10. Monetary instability
If your partner is not financially stable, do not build a long-term relationship with them as financial expenses are bound to grow over time. Financial instability here does not point only at those who do not have a steady source of income, but also includes people who have no emergency funds or insurance and are therefore a paycheck away from poverty. Avoid them all.