Financial Strain can take heavy toll on relationships:poll

Financial strain can take heavy toll on

relationships: poll

TORONTO — It may not be romantic, but couples who avoid talking about money problems may eventually

see the financial strain affect their relationship, according to a survey released Wednesday.

The study, conducted by Ipsos Reid for Calgary-based accounting firm MNP Ltd., found that 20 per cent of

Canadians polled who were married or common-law say their relationship problems are due to their current

debt situations. And 27 per cent say financial stress has left a negative impact on their relationships.

“The critical thing is what is actually causing the riff in their relationship, and they say it is actually financial

(problems),” said Grant Bazian, president and chief executive officer of MNP.

The study also found that younger married couples and those in common-law partnerships were most likely

to say money was affecting their relationships (41 per cent) compared with those who were middle-aged (28

per cent) and seniors (16 per cent).

Those with children were also more likely (35 per cent) than those without (23 per cent) to say their

relationships were strained by finances.

Twenty-two per cent also reported they found it difficult to make the minimum payments on their debts, loans

and credit cards even though the vast majority (96 per cent) say they are aware of how much money they


According to the last calculation from Statistics Canada, the average household owes 165 per cent more

than it earns in annual disposable income — meaning an average family with $100,000 annual disposable

income owes $165,000.

Bazian says sharing with your spouse is key if you don’t want financial stresses to affect your relationship.

“It’s all about communication,” he said. “It’s something you wouldn’t want to hide — especially if the debt is


The poll also found that those who lived in Atlantic Canada were most likely (32 per cent) to say they

struggled to make their minimum monthly debt repayments, followed by Ontarians (25 per cent), Albertans

(22 per cent), B.C. residents (18 per cent), Quebecers (18 per cent) and Saskatchewan and Manitoba

residents (15 per cent).

“Dealing with debt can be overwhelming. And this Valentine’s Day, when you’re getting ready to purchase

that gift for your loved one, you may want to think twice as to whether or not you can afford more purchases

on your credit card,” said Bazian in a release.

“Is the gift worth the high interest rates and will it bring more joy, or just more stress, to your relationship?”

The survey results are from an Ipsos Reid online poll of 1,000 married and common-law living Canadians

conducted between January 23 to 29.

The Canadian Press


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