Financial strain can take heavy toll on
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
Kevin & Faye Kitzman
Remax Real Estate Centre
Direct : 519-577-0603