52. Recognizing Financial Red Flags in Relationships

October 27, 2022

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The following article may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. This doesn’t cost you anything, and shopping or using our affiliate partners is a way to support our mission. I will never work with a brand or showcase a product that I don’t personally use or believe in.

These red flags might be more terrifying than any horror movie…

As a nod to spooky season, we’re going down the list of some of the biggest financial red flags in relationships.

Everything from the friend who always splits the check when you ordered a salad and they ordered the lobster to the more serious forms of financial abuse –– we’re covering some of the most common red flags you might come across and how to avoid them or confront them directly. We’re also covering what to do if you have any red flag behaviors!

You’ll learn:

  • A non-exhaustive list of red flag behaviors from small to major

  • How to set boundaries with friends and family around money

  • What to do if YOU are the red flag


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Tori Dunlap (00:15):

Hello, Financial Feminists. Hello, everybody. So excited to see you back, yet again. Thank you as always, for your support of the show, the support of this movement. You liking, subscribing, rating the show always helps new people find the show. It helps us boost our ratings, which helps us continue to deliver great information for you, and to give you great guests. And it’s very exciting. So, we appreciate your support of the show as always. And we always love it when you leave a voicemail. If you haven’t left a voicemail, if you have a question, if you have a favorite episode, if you have a favorite money win, please let us know.


Also, we’ve never done this before and I am doing this live on the recording here. I did not pitch this to Kristen beforehand. But I have been reading all of the reviews and some of them are just really fucking lovely. And so, I actually want to go and read a few today. And if you left this review, thank you, kisses. And I just, yeah, I want to be able to highlight you and highlight your amazing wins and your stories.


So, [KatGreen2018 00:01:19] says, “I’m 28 and I thought I was pretty knowledgeable with money and had good guidance. With that being said, I learned so much more and in a healthy way, not the typical scare tactic, old white grandpa warning ways. I wish I had this before I bought my house, but I’m happy I found it when I did. Thank you guys so much for everything you do.” Thank you, Kat Green, that’s so kind.


Their username is 10K Emergency Done, which makes me think that they maybe just created their account to give a review, which, props. 10 out of 10. It says, “My big sister who teaches me about money. I’ve been listening to the show since the first episode.” Wow, oldie but a goodie. “It is truly so important for all women to understand money. I’m so thankful I can listen to your words and learn how to be the most independent woman I can be by having my finances in check. And I just pre-ordered your book!” All caps with some smiley faces. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


Let’s do one more. I’m trying to find a win. There it is. Very inspiring. Oh, my gosh. I’m not going to read their username because it’s literally… it looks like a bunch of gibberish. Okay. “Just saved my first $20,000 in part because of you. Never thought this number was possible. Last year I had $0 in savings.” So in a year, this person saved $20,000. That’s fantastic. And they said, “Working towards my first 100K right now.”


Yay. We love it. We love reading reviews, especially the good ones. And if you’re going to leave a bad review, just don’t listen to the show. If you don’t like the show, don’t listen. Right? If you take a bite of something and you don’t like it, don’t eat it. So, good vibes only here. Good vibes only team.


So today, we are doing what we’re considering to be a Halloween themed episode. Woo, little spooky episode. And we are talking all about financial red flags. This is a question we get constantly. “What should I look out for in my relationships, both romantic and a roommate or a friend situation? What should I look at when I am trying to determine a company or a bank to work with?” Red flags are all over. We’re talking specifically today, about emotional red flags in partnerships and friendships.


Everyone, anyone can have a financial red flag, even people who don’t mean to. Sometimes financial red flags are not manipulative, they’re not necessarily intentional. Sometimes it’s just people having emotional hangups about money. We have so many episodes in the back catalog about how to overcome your psychological bullshit around money, your financial trauma. I’m going to keep plugging it, guys, because literally, I put everything I know in this book. But the entire first chapter of Financial Feminist, the book, is all about the psychology or the motions around money. So please pre-order, if you haven’t already.


But it’s important to recognize financial red flags so you can confront them in other people, so you can work towards a better, more he
althy relationship, but also in yourself. If you’re currently in a red flag kind of relationship, and especially if you’re feeling unsafe, I’m going to come right off the top here. We have an incredible episode with Jan Langbein, who talks more about domestic and financial abuse. We’re going to talk about some red flags here that do relate to abuse. But if this is something that’s pretty serious in your life, please take a listen to that episode. You can also call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline, available 24/7 at 800-7-9-9-7-2-3-3. So, we want to kick off the episode with that.


Let’s talk about some of these red flags and how they can manifest. Number one, first financial red flag is, this person is controlling aspects of your relationship, or if you’re on a date, they’re controlling it right from the get go. So, what does this look like in actuality? Maybe they’re always in control of where you go, when you go there, what you order at a restaurant, basically trying to have some semblance. It’s not just the control aspect, it’s deciding for you what is happening in your life.


So, I’ve seen this manifest and we’ve gotten unfortunately, so many community stories about red flags, about abuse. So we’ve seen this manifest in terms of, I had to be home at a certain time or this person would be upset. And even if I had a good explanation, the person would still be upset. I had a curfew, even as an adult. It manifests as literally a person controlling what you eat, controlling how much you eat. And this can again, look as severe as literally monitoring your food, monitoring your spending, or as simple as comments about how much you eat.


I was unfortunately in a relationship, my first ever relationship, where my partner would make comments about my weight. I literally was at Thanksgiving dinner with my family and he made a comment about me grabbing another role at the table. So, this can be as severe as literally them tracking every single thing you do, your movements, or even these more subtle aspects of control.


Number two, they are not equal partners when it comes to money. And we’re not just talking, again, romantic partnership. So something we’ve talked on the podcast a lot about already and that we’ll continue to talk about, is this idea of equality in a partnership. Equality, at least, especially a romantic relationship or even in a roommate scenario, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re splitting things 50, 50. Right?


If I were to move in with a partner, I will probably be making more money than them. So, I don’t think it makes sense for us to split the rent 50, 50. I think it makes more sense to split our rent by our relation to our income. So, I might pay 70% of the rent versus their 30%, because that makes more sense for how much money we’re bringing in. So when we say equal, we don’t literally just mean 50%, split down the middle all of the time.


So, how does this manifest? Okay, couple examples. One, they get a little cagey, when it comes time to pay. They forgot their wallet at home, even if you’re asking to split the bill or cover it. And it’s not just like once or twice, this is happening a lot. They also may act offended when you ask to split the bill or go Dutch. Or again, they may be forgetting their wallet, asking you to pay for more dates than you do. Right? They’re asking you to pay for more dates than they’re reciprocating.


If it’s a roommate situation or someone you’re living with, maybe it’s the refusing to cover certain bills. They’re not interested in splitting. They always, again, forget. “Oh, my God, it’s rent day. I totally forgot.” Right? It’s not just every once in a while, it’s happening repeatedly. Again, this can be more malicious, this can be more intentional, or this can just be someone being truly forgetful and unorganized when it comes to money or avoiding managing money because it makes them nervous.


Okay. The third, and probably one of the ones that I need all of you to listen to me. Please, dear, God, is accounts all in this person’s name. Now again, a lot of times, this kind of just happens. This is not somebody saying, “I’m going to put all the accounts in my name. [inaudible 00:08:48]. It’s more just either the partner, either not advocating for themselves or not knowing they should. We talked on an earlier episode about credit and about building credit, and about how what often happens is in a heteronormative relationship, a man will take out a credit card or a parent even will take out a credit card. And you are a co-signer or you are attached to their credit card. So, you are not building your own credit, you are building your partner’s credit or you’re building your parent’s credit.


What happens of course, is that when you try to buy a car, when you try to open a credit card in your own name, all of those good behaviors, all of the paying on time, paying in full, you have not built your own credit score. So, this accounts all in somebody’s name, again, can either be malicious or can just be the person added you and it’s still in their name. Or when there was a deed to the house, and it’s not two people on that deed. So if you haven’t done so already, if you’re in any sort of partnership, a romantic partnership, a business partnership, please make sure that everybody’s name who’s supposed to be on the things, on the accounts, on the deeds, on the contracts, is actually there. We want this red flag to be as avoidable as possible.


In the more malicious sense, the accounts all in one place thing is a very, very serious transgression. It is a hundred percent about control. It is a hundred percent about the ability for typically a romantic partner to keep you in a place you don’t want to be. We talk all the time about how money gives you options and money gives you choices. And unfortunately, of course, when you don’t have your own money, when somebody is controlling your money, when someone is controlling what happens to it, you can’t get out of that situation, because you don’t have the financial means to do so. Again, if this is a more serious, more malicious thing, you will know. You can trust your gut. Your gut is telling you.


That’s one piece of advice that’s just for this entire episode. If you’re wondering if it’s malicious or not, you already know. I promise you, you do. And either you’ve been gaslit into thinking you don’t, or you’re gaslighting yourself. You’re going, “No, but he wouldn’t do that. He’s a really nice guy.” Right? Or, “Oh, it’s just a misunderstanding.” It’s not. If you know, it’s not. It’s not.


So, the accounts all in one name is not a great thing, regardless of the intent. It is one of the worst things, if it is intentionally malicious. And if you’ve been following me on TikTok or Instagram for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard me discuss that one of these few personal finance rules that’s hard and fast for me, is that no couple in a romantic relationship should a hundred percent combined finances. No couple in a romantic relationship should have accounts in just one person’s name. At least shared accounts, right? Joint accounts. You need some of your own money. And anything that you are in together, a joint account, again, a house, whatever that looks like, should be in both of your names.


All right. Number four, I don’t think there’s any way that this isn’t one that’s egregious or malicious. But giving you an allowance or a stipend, especially if it’s your own God damned money. This is one of the telltale signs of both financial and domestic abuse, is telling you that you can only spend this amount of money, and that this is the only money you have for a certain thing. And it’s not like, “Hey, we’re each getting $50 to go do something fun.” My dad has his own money so he can go take golf lessons, and my mom has her own money so she can go buy scrapbooking supplies.


This isn’t it, right? This is one person divvying up a certain amount of money for another person, and then again, creating really strict barriers around what that looks like. This is, again, another one that is incredibly malicious. And if this is your reality, this is financial abuse. This is financial abuse.


Number five is, limiting where you spend your money or time, very similar to giving you an allowance. Either monitoring your spending on your accounts, or again, giving you some type of allowance.


Number six is, telling you what jobs you can or cannot have. We see this in a lot of abusive situations where one partner tells the other person they’re not allowed to work. Or that they’re only allowed to work certain jobs or certain industries or certain hours because they quote, “have to” take care of the home or kids. Or just because they feel their partner should not be allowed to work. This is a very patriarchal idea, assuming again, you’re in a heteronormative relationship, where the male identifying person is the abuser. You need to stay at home barring you and restricting you from A, spending money outside the home, or B, being able to have your own money.


This is another sign again, of control is preventing you from making money. Because if you’re not making money, of course, you don’t have money to spend. Again, we mentioned earlier, this is all about control. This is all about making sure… Again, in maliciously abusive situations, this is all about making sure that you don’t have access to money, that you are not making your own money, that you can’t escape.


All right, number seven, very similar, but some sort of resentment towards you making more money. Almost like guilting you into trying to not work. This can look like snide comments or them freezing you out when you come home from work. Or again, literally making you or asking you to quit your job.


Number eight is one that could be malicious or could be just somebody, again, like mismanagement of money. But number eight is, constantly asking to borrow money.


All right, number nine is, a refusal to talk about money. Some of this might be money trauma. Some of this might be the narrative of, talking about money is gross, talking about money is bad. And probably, it’s more commonly that, is, money makes people uncomfortable. This is what we’re trying to change here at Financial Feminist. But this refusal to talk about money is often just based on money trauma around those narratives that, again, talking about money isn’t polite or just a lot of shame, a lot of shame about their financial situation, a lot of shame about money.


But if you get closer to a partner and you’re starting to deepen your relationship and you’re starting to make choices together, you have to be able to talk about money. You have to be able to have conversations about money. In the same way that if you’re talking with friends and you’re starting… Christine and I take our trip every year. We travel every single year. We’ve had to become very comfortable talking about money with each other, because we have to plan out the budget for the trip. And if we’re not able to talk about what we can each spend or what we’re willing to spend money on, then A, the trip’s not going to be very successful. And B, there’s going to be a lot of unresolved tension there. You can kind of tell whether this uncomfortability around talking about money is truly just, they’re uncomfortable and they’ve either never done it before, or they have preconceived notions about what it should look like. Or it is very specifically a choice that again, feels manipulative.


All right. Number 10 is, they’re kind of sneaky about spending habits. They refuse to tell you how much debt they have, or they’re just hiding it from you all together, especially when you get to the point of combining finances. They will spend a bunch of money on a credit card, either under other names or they just won’t be willing to talk about it. A lot of, I think people have shopping addictions or shopping habits where you might go spend a bunch of money and then hide the bags from the store. Yeah, we see this a lot, especially with people buying pornography on the internet, as there’s different names for companies that show up on credit cards. And I believe sometimes, you can pay to specifically have a different line item on a credit card statement.


So again, this can be pretty egregious. This can also be, someone’s just not sure how to talk to you about how much they spend. Or they feel shamed because their previous partner or their families or their friends have shamed them for their spending.


With all of these, again, there’s a level, there’s a certain level of severity with these. But if someone is secretive about their spending, again, it’s probably linked to shame. It’s probably linked to them feeling ashamed of how much money they do spend.


Number 11 might surprise you, but number 11 is, overdoing it when it comes to taking out credit cards, taking on an $800 car payment, and just being like, “It’s fine. I’ll pay it off later.” This kind of temporary satisfaction of buying something without thinking through the long term impacts of that decision. Right? “Oh, let’s go to Cabo and we’ll go to this place every other weekend.” And not realizing that all of that is going on a credit card and they’re going to have to deal with it later.


Again, this is probably linked to a lack of understanding about how to manage money, about how to be smart around money. It might literally be as simple as, they don’t understand how a credit card works. We know that the number one reason women actually go into debt is, they don’t understand how the loan process works. And of course, that’s not because we’re stupid, it’s because no one ever taught us this. So it might just be literally, that this person is going into debt or spending money because they don’t either A, know any better, or B, know any different.


Number 12, we talked about borrowing money before. Maybe they’re not asking you to lend to them money, but they’re constantly borrowing money from everybody else. They’re constantly borrowing money from friends and family. And when we say, “borrowing money”, again, it’s not something that happens every once in a while or something that is an emergency. But it’s borrowing money and then sometimes using that money for either something different than why they asked for the money. Right? “Oh, I need money because I have an emergency medical bill.”, but then spending it on a vacation. Or doing it because again, they’re not managing their money very well. And so, they’re constantly getting themselves into these situations where they need more money because they’ve mismanaged their finances.


Number 13, most commonly happens with friends. This is, again, a more minor of these red flags, but something that should really be discussed, is, if you’re going out with friends and they never take your budget into consideration. They never make plans in a way that either A, asks you, “What do you want to do? What are you comfortable with?” Or B, they’re forcing you to split the bill instead of you just paying for your portion.


I don’t know if I’ve told this story on the podcast. When I went to my senior prom in high school, it was my money that we were paying for dinner. My parents didn’t give me money. When I went out to our pre-prom dinner, that was my money I had earned. And so I could only afford, at this really nice restaurant we went to, the $20 appetizer that I purchased as my meal. I think it might have been less than that. I was on a budget. And unknowingly… I had lovely friends. They didn’t do this intentionally. What happened was, my friend who had planned the dinner was like, “Hey, I have gift certificates to this restaurant, so we’re just going to go all in and split the dinner eight ways.”


For me as a 17 year old who I think ordered basically fancy grilled cheese, b
ecause that was the only thing on the menu I was comfortable spending money on, it was really shitty to realize that I was also going to pay for the steak dinner that my friend next to me had ordered, and the lobster dinner that my friend across from me had ordered. And at the time, I didn’t speak up, and you can tell that it still haunts me. Now, did this friend have any malicious intent? No, of course not. However, if this sort of behavior was either continued, if this happened a lot, or if I didn’t feel like I had the power or the kind of relationship where I could say something, that’s a red flag.


And finally, let’s talk about our last one, which may not seem like a red flag, but a hundred percent is. There’s such a thing as saving too much money. No, that might shock you that a financial expert is telling you that there might be a place where you’re saving too much money, or investing too much money, or paying off your debt too quickly. But this is often a financial trauma response, as someone who hoards money, either because they didn’t grow up with a ton of money or they have a scarcity mindset, or they’re just constantly scared that shit’s going to hit the fan. And of course, you can’t see this, but Kristen, our podcast producer is jamming in the corner because this is her, I think, in a lot of ways.


But this is a red flag. This is a red flag, is that if you are ever doing something financially and it is motivated by a fear, that’s probably a red flag. Saving an emergency fund in a way is like, “Oh, I don’t want this to kick me in the later.”, but a deep seated fear of, “Oh my God, everybody hates me and I’m going to lose my job. And the world’s going to burn and it’s going to be terrible.” Right? That’s an emotionally motivated financial decision in probably a negative way.


I tell this story in the book, in Financial Feminist, but one of my first money clients was saving 90 to 95% of our income. That’s insane. And that told me actually a lot. No one should be saving that much money. Truly, truly, truly. Unless you’re making I don’t know, millions and millions of dollars. It was crazy how much money she was saving. And the reason she was working with me as a financial coach is, she was worried she wasn’t saving enough.


And when we dug to the root of it, I realized that she had some financial trauma because again, her parents didn’t grow up with a lot, and so she was trying to save every single penny she could because she had the scarcity mindset. So if someone is, as Dave Ramsey so lovingly puts it, paying off their debt with gazelle-like intensity, and forgoing their relationships and forgoing their mental health and forgoing everything good in life in order to pay off debt, that’s a red flag. If someone is saving so much of their income that they’re depriving themselves, that shows you that they’re probably trying to compensate for something emotionally. So yes, actually being, quote unquote, to financially responsible, a hundred percent a red flag, and probably tied to your financial trauma.


This is by no means an all-encompassing list. There are other ways that financial red flags show up. There are other ways that abuse and trauma show up in our relationships, in our relationship with money. I can’t tell you enough, please trust your gut. Your gut knows better than your brain, better than anything else, if something doesn’t feel right.


And if these are more minor red flags that you think you can work through, open conversations, sending people this podcast episode, reading books, consuming YouTube videos or TikToks. Right? Becoming more comfortable, just hearing other people talk about money will most likely make you more comfortable having these conversations, and trying to broach either conversations or lasting change around money with the people in your life.


If you recognize some of these behaviors in yourself, it does not mean you’re a bad person, and it does not mean that you’re going to never be able to get over them. Recognizing and acknowledging is the first step. We all have moments from our past and our upbringings that shade how we manage our money, that influence how we manage our money.


So again, first steps might be having an honest conversation with a friend or a partner, or maybe with a therapist. Probably with a therapist. Podcast, of course, like ours at Financial Feminist, are a great place to start. We have two great episodes that I think will be really helpful for you. Actually, three. Overcoming Your Psychological Bullshit Around Money is number three, the third episode we ever released. Number five, the episode called, Where Do I Start? And number 11, around financial self-care. These are all great episodes to either go back to if you’ve heard them already or to start with.


So, we actually got an email about this feeling of, when you are the financial red flag. And Kristen, would you mind reading it for us?

Kristen Fields (25:33):

Absolutely. Okay. This email says, “Hi, there. I feel so much shame in writing this, however, I deeply trust your financial wisdom and guidance, so I’m writing anyways. I read your blog post recently about financial red flags in a relationship. It was helpful, but it was written mainly from the perspective that y
our partner is the red flag. I’m writing because it’s me. I’m the red flag in my relationship. What advice do you have for those of us in the opposite bone, being the ones with the dirty financial secret and wanting to change and open up to our partners?”


I’m going to give you some context. She gave some context. Okay, “Some context. We are in a long distance partnership, about four years now. As for my red flag, well, I was freelancing the last few years and really struggling to make ends meet, truly only being able to afford my rent and some bills, leaning on my credit card to support groceries, doctor’s appointments, therapy, and everything else life brings. I racked up 10K in debt. Because of my traumatic past and the struggle with PTSD, I kept this debt a big secret from everyone in my life, from my partner to my sisters and my parents. I had a lot of fear around being honest with my loved ones, scared of being judged, shamed, and having their opinions of me change.


Anyways, I have finally broken out of that awful dark place. I recently broke down to my mom and my sister about debt. I got a new job where I’m being paid very well. I put most of the little savings I did have towards my debt, and my mom helped me with a portion too. I am repaying her back slowly over the next months. I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I have about 2K left to handle, but something I haven’t tackled is sharing all of this with my partner. I am terrified he will judge me, and ultimately that he will leave me because I’ve kept this secret for so long.” Makes me sad.”We recently did talk about finances. He broke the ice and shared how he was concerned that we talked so little about finances in our relationship. He said he didn’t want to pressure me and was waiting for me to bring it up, but was curious why this wasn’t something I ever wanted to talk about with him. I downplayed it and ultimately avoided the conversation at the moment.


It’s been a few weeks since then, and I want to have this conversation, but I don’t know where to start. I don’t know how to find the courage, I’m scared, I feel so ashamed of my situation. Sure, a great new job, but years of keeping a secret and hiding this part of my life, I think hiding will hurt him more than learning about the amount of debt I was in itself. Do you have any advice on how to open up about this? I don’t even know where to begin the conversation, and it’s just so much to talk through.


I want to add that my partner is really supportive, I’m just terrified of opening up and him leaving me. If you can hear my therapist saying, ‘If he leaves you because of this, he wasn’t the one.'”

Tori Dunlap (28:14):

Okay, first of all, this is my audition to have a Dave’s Ramsey-like show with none of the bullshit. So, welcome to of the Financial Feminist call-in line. Okay, first of all, wow, your vulnerability in your email. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Second of all, you have already made such progress, one, financial progress of paying off $8,000 a debt, which is incredible. But two, it sounds like you’re starting to at least get a little more comfortable being uncomfortable. And you’re at the point where you’ve acknowledged, “Okay, this is an issue and I need to talk to people about it.” Three, I already know your partner is supportive because of how he is speaking to you in what you described of, “Hey, I noticed we don’t talk about money a lot, and I didn’t want to pressure you. And I was waiting for you to bring it up.” You can already tell he’s supportive.


So, I’m going to tell you a story. One of my first coaching clients who is now a very good friend of mine, and I will not name her, but I’m sure… She loves when I tell this story because it’s just, it’s so relatable, but also, it’s so powerful. When we started working together, she was in $80,000 of credit card debt, and her husband knew nothing about it. She had hid $80,000 of debt from him. And she was first of all, terrified of the debt, but second of all, deeply, deeply ashamed and felt so scared to tell her husband because of course, she was afraid of the judgment. And then she was also afraid that he would be angry that she kept it from him.


So, I’m going to give you the same advice I gave her. Admit to him that you’re scared. If you’re starting a conversation with him, which should be a, “Hey, not to alarm you, but I need to talk to you about something tonight. When would be a good chance to do that?” Right? This is not a conversation you have when he’s leaving the door for work or leaving the house for work. This is a, “Hey, I want to talk to you about something. Everything in our relationship is fine. I love you, but I just want to talk to you about something.” Right?


You say, “I’m really scared to tell you this. This is really, really difficult for me. I’m really scared you’re going to hear it and you’re going to leave me.” You can tell him how you feel. You can tell him that you’re scared. And it sounds like what this beautifully supportive person will do, is sit there very present and listen. And he might have a reaction, but ultimately, that reaction is going to be, “Okay, let’s do it together.”, which is what my friend’s partner’s reaction was.


At first it was like, “Oh, God. Oh, shit. That is a lot of money.” And then when he slept on it and he woke up the next day, he turned to her and said, “Okay, how are we going to make this happen?” And was very much in it as a team effort. So you’re going to say, “You know what? I’m really scared. I’m really
scared you’re going to leave. I’m scared to even admit this to you. But I went into a lot of credit card debt and I don’t have the best relationship with money. And I’m trying. And I not only want this relationship with money to change to better my own life, but to better our relationship. And if you’re able and willing, here’s how you can support me in that.”


Maybe it’s conversations with money, maybe it’s money dates. We’ve talked about that on the podcast before and in the book. Maybe it’s, “Hey, just encouraging me and telling me I’m doing a good job.” But first, admit that you’re scared. Second, be really honest with him. And third, tell him, “Here’s how you can support me.” Or maybe you have a longer conversation and you figure out how you can support each other through that.


I just also need you to know you’re so not alone in this. So many people have this of just, they feel so deeply insecure about money. And I hope it brings you some solace, that this thing that feels very siloed of, “I’m terrible with money. Everybody else is great at it. I’m fucking up.”, everybody’s doing it. Everybody, even me. I have financial trauma. Everybody has some sort of financial trauma.


And it sounds like you’re in therapy. I always recommend therapy. Talk to your therapist about it. And it sounds like you’re already starting to do that. I am not a medical or psychological professional. I’m a financial expert, but I know that being able to talk to somebody who will help you work through it and counsel you through it from a brain standpoint or from an emotion standpoint, will also be very helpful. You’re not alone, you’re taking exactly the right steps, and you’re fucking brave. And you should be really proud of yourself.

Kristen Fields (32:57):

Also just gold star, because you did get out of it. You know what I mean? That’s amazing.

Tori Dunlap (33:04):

Right. Right. You’re actively working your way out of it.

Kristen Fields (33:07):

Yeah. I love that. It was such a great email to get. I love how vulnerable she was.

Tori Dunlap (33:13):

And if you are the person who’s listening to this podcast episode and you’re like, “Fuck, I’m the person. I’m the red flag. I am a fucking blazing, on fire red flag.”, you’re here. You’re listening to this podcast. You’re doing first steps. And I always talk about how, to change anything in your life, you have to get uncomfortable. You have to get uncomfortable in order to be comfortable. You have to get comfortable being uncomfortable in order to be comfortable. So, you just being here and absorbing some information and maybe taking that information and starting to apply changes to your life, starting to bring up money in conversations, that’s why we do what we do.


And again, if you are in a red flag relationship, if you’re in an abusive relationship, and especially if you’re feeling unsafe, we have that incredible episode with Jan Langbein that talks a little bit more about domestic and financial abuse. And again, that hotline is available to you 800-7-9-9-7-2-3-3.


So team, if you’ve listened to this episode and you’ve taken something away from it, please share it. It’s so important, especially around red flags. I can’t tell you the amount of [inaudible 00:34:26] people, but especially women who get into relationships, whether that’s, again, partnerships, romantic partnerships, or friendships or living situations, and they ignore all the red flags. Or they don’t realize that the red flags are actually red. Right? So please, share this episode on social media, share it with your friends. And if you are either in a red flag scenario or you are the red flag, we have all of the resources you need linked down below.


Thank you, as always, for being here. Thank you for your support of the show. I hope you have a happy Halloween. I will be watching the multiple community episodes around Halloween, because in my opinion, they’re the best episodes. They’re so good. And yeah, the one where they’re doing ABBA, it’s the episode where they all turn into zombies. Great episodes, season two, I believe. All right. Thank you, as always, for being here, Financial Feminist, and I’ll talk to you soon.


Thank you for listening to Financial Feminist, a Her First $100K podcast. Financial Feminist is hosted by me, Tori Dunlap, produced by Kristen Fields, Marketing and Administration by Karina Patel, Olivia Coning, Cherise Wade, Alena Helzer, Paulina Isaac, Sophia Cohen, Valerie Oresko, Jack Coning, and Ana Alexandra. Research by Ariel Johnson, audio Engineering by Austin Fields, Promotional graphics by Mary Stratton, Photography by Sarah Wolfe, and theme music by Jonah Cohen Sound.


A huge thanks to the entire, Her First $100K team and community for supporting the show. For more information about Financial Feminist, Her First $100K, our guests, episode show notes, and our upcoming book, also titled, Financial Feminist, visit herfirst100k.com.


Tori Dunlap

Tori Dunlap is an internationally-recognized money and career expert. After saving $100,000 at age 25, Tori quit her corporate job in marketing and founded Her First $100K to fight financial inequality by giving women actionable resources to better their money. She has helped over one million women negotiate salary, pay off debt, build savings, and invest.

Tori’s work has been featured on Good Morning America, the New York Times, BBC, TIME, PEOPLE, CNN, New York Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, BuzzFeed, and more.

With a dedicated following of almost 250,000 on Instagram and more than 1.6 million on TikTok —and multiple instances of her story going viral—Tori’s unique take on financial advice has made her the go-to voice for ambitious millennial women. CNBC called Tori “the voice of financial confidence for women.”

An honors graduate of the University of Portland, Tori currently lives in Seattle, where she enjoys eating fried chicken, going to barre classes, and attempting to naturally work John Mulaney bits into conversation.

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