What Canadians would change about their partners’ finances

By Staff | February 6, 2018 | Last updated on February 6, 2018
2 min read

More than half of Canadians (59%) who are in a relationship (whether living separately, common law or married) wish they could change at least one of their partner’s financial habits, finds an Ipsos survey for BDO Canada. But their partners might be oblivious, since 36% report rarely or never discussing personal finances with them.

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The survey found that those who feel they have a lot of debt are more likely to hide financial secrets from their partner. In fact, 53% of these individuals say their significant other knows everything about their finances, while the rest have hidden or are hiding something. The most common thing they’re hiding is credit card debt, followed by spending habits and other debt.

Women are more worried

For those who say they want to change at least one of their partner’s financial habits, 42% of women wish their partner would save more for long-term goals like retirement and emergencies, compared to 29% of men.

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Women (73%) were also more likely than men (66%) to say their partner knew everything about their finances. And while men are more likely to admire their partner’s budgeting skills, more women (23%) than men (16%) say they do not admire any of their partner’s financial habits.

Here are some more findings.

  • 62% had the debt talk before marriage, while 31% had the discussion within the first six months of their relationship.
  • Millennials were the most likely to discuss their debt earlier in the relationship—50% talked about it during the first six months.
  • The financial habit Canadians most admired about their partner was having little to no credit card debt, followed by good long-term savings habits, sticking to a budget and not having any student debt.
  • Baby boomers are most likely to appreciate a partner with next to no credit card debt, as 44% said they admired that trait in their significant other.

About the survey: The survey was conducted between Jan. 2 and Jan. 4, 2018. A sample of 1,540 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed.

Advisor.ca staff


The staff of Advisor.ca have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.