Are You Concerned About Your Partner’s Financial Habits?

The majority of Canadians in relationships are worried about their partner’s debt. A new survey from debt relief firm BDO Canada found that 59 percent of people who are married, living with a partner, or living separately from their partner, wish they could change at least one thing about their significant other’s financial habits. However, 36 percent rarely or never talk about personal finances with their partners.

“It’s important to be on the same page as your partner financially,” said Doug Jones, President of BDO Canada Limited (via “Hiding spending habits or debt from your significant other can cause serious financial issues that may require more formal debt relief solutions.”

People who feel they have a lot of debt are more likely to keep financial secrets from their significant others, according to BDO Canada. Fifty-three percent say their partner knows everything about their finances, but 47 percent have either hidden or are hiding information.

What types of financial-related things are people keeping a secret? Credit card debt, other spending habits, and debt acquired before a relationship started.

Twenty-nine percent of men surveyed said they would like to change at least one of their partner’s financial habits. Sixty-six percent of men claimed their partner knew everything about their finances, and 16 percent of men said they didn’t admire anything about their partner’s financial habits.

Fortunately, most Canadians do talk about their debt with their partner—62 percent do so before getting married, and 31 percent do so within the first six months of dating.

Want to impress a potential mate? Pay off your credit card. Thirty-eight percent say the habit they admire most was having little to no credit card debt. They also admire long-term savings habits, maintaining a budget, and having no student debt.

According to Jones, couples should sit down and come up with a plan to deal with their combined debt: “Take a look at all of your outstanding debts, figure out how much you owe and what the interest rates are on all of them. Then establish a debt repayment strategy that you can both follow. Creating a budget together, if you don’t already have one, is a great place to start.”

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