If you have an ex—which most of us do—you’ve probably received the “You’re better off without them” speech from a friend.
“You’re too smart/attractive/cool for that person,” said friend will tell you. You always hated their style/dog/way they chew anyway.
And now that you’ve broken up, they’ll say, you look better, feel better and have more time to exercise/score that promotion at work!
But what if the breakup left you better off in other ways?
Say, richer? Or without a significant other who was secretly dipping into your checking account?
That’s just what happened to the five people below. There are many financial red flags in a relationship, and their cautionary tales can help you avoid falling into a relationship you’re—at least fiscally speaking—better off without.
1. “My Ex Was Secretly Dipping Into My Bank Account”
Audrey, 38, New York, NY
“When my ex and I rented our first apartment together, it wound up being way too expensive. We were in our 20s, and our eyes were too big for our budget. At the time, our rent was $2,000 a month, and was in direct violation of the 50/20/30 rule because my portion of the rent represented about half of my take-home pay. For my ex, who was only sporadically employed, it was a lot more.
My ex grew up wealthy and didn’t worry about money, but rarely held a job and wouldn’t ask his parents for help. I wound up covering for us a lot of the time. Basically “our budget” became me paying for things, and him contributing when he could.
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One day, I checked my bank balance and realized there was several hundred dollars missing. Weird, I thought. We didn’t have joint accounts, but I called my ex and said, “I can’t figure out where this money went.” He said he didn’t know anything, so I called the bank, and they told me that the money had been withdrawn that morning, from the ATM on our corner. I checked and my card was right where I’d left in my wallet. And I hadn’t gone anywhere that day.
When they told me the time of the withdrawal, a cold chill came over me. I realized my ex must have taken my card out of my wallet while I was in the shower and withdrawn the money thinking I wouldn’t notice. Meanwhile, I wasn’t aware that he even knew my pin.
I moved out shortly thereafter, and it made me wonder for months after if he had ever “skimmed” money out of my account before, and I just hadn’t noticed.