The Journey of Love and Money

Despite bumps in the road, Canadian couples are working it out, according to Investors Group poll

WINNIPEG, July 9, 2013 /CNW/ - Financial worries impact three-of-ten Canadian couples (32 per cent) who admit to sometimes, often or always having disagreements about money, the latest Investors Group poll reveals. Additionally, half (50 per cent) admit to knowing other couples who argue about personal finances.

"Apprehensions about essential personal finance matters can be difficult for couples to address openly, sometimes leading to friction," said Christine Van Cauwenberghe, Assistant Vice President, Tax & Estate Planning, Investors Group. "The key to success is to talk frankly and regularly about personal finance issues to find common ground and make solid financial decisions together to plan for the future."

The Investors Group survey included 1,192 Canadians who are married or living common-law who were asked about the spending behaviours of their partners and their approach to personal finance matters.

Spending and saving

Investors Group's survey found that one-in-seven (14 per cent) Canadians try to convince their partners to spend less. However, 26 per cent say they are encouraged to save because their partner is a saver.

Eighteen per cent of Canadians have kept a secret from their partner about how much money they have spent, saved or have hidden. Thirteen per cent of females admit to secret spending, compared to only six per cent of males.

When faced with the uncomfortable news of finding out your partner has spent too much on an item, nearly one-in-five couples (18 per cent) choose to ignore it. Another six per cent confront their partner and suggest they return the item. Six-in-ten couples (59 per cent) bring it to their spouse's attention and express their genuine concern.

"No matter your financial situation, keeping track of spending habits is easiest when you develop a budget together and both agree to abide by it," said Van Cauwenberghe. "That way there are no surprises down the road and this sort of exercise helps develop a comfortable space in which you both can discuss money more often."

Tough love

So what happens if you need to regulate your partner's spending? One-in-five (21 per cent) Canadians say they have used an 'allowance' system to control the spending habits of their partner. Ninety-per cent of Canadians who use this approach are satisfied with the outcome.

Top of mind worries

While every worry does not turn into a disagreement, a majority (60 per cent) of Canadian couples identified saving for retirement as their number one concern. This tops paying off debt (52 per cent) and having enough for day-to-day living expenses (49 per cent).

Despite these top-of-mind concerns, the survey shows a majority of Canadian couples seem to agree on most issues including financial matters such as budgets, major purchases, spending and saving (67 per cent), as well as non-financial issues like extended family (66 per cent), relationship (65 per cent), household tasks (61 per cent) and raising and caring for the children (59 per cent).

Talk it out

When it comes to having important discussions, Canadians vary depending on the subject. Almost half of Canadians couples (48 per cent) feel it is important to have regular discussions about managing their children's activities. Seventy per cent of couples say it's vital to have conversations about general household operations such as daycare, cleaning, maintenance and repairs and 75 per cent say they regularly touch base on their personal saving and spending. Lastly, when discussing family outings and entertainment costs, half of Canadians agree it is important to speak about it while another 49 per cent say it isn't.

Additional highlights

  • 68 per cent of couples share financial duties and make decisions jointly, whereas 19 per cent like their independence and hold separate bank accounts with defined responsibility for specific expenses.
  • Of all age groups, boomer couples (45-64 years of age) are the most compatible with each other's spending behaviour (81 per cent).
  • Concerns about paying off debt among Canadians peaks at 67 per cent for young couples (age 25-34 years) and at 64 per cent for couples age 35-44 years.
  • Paying down the mortgage is a concern for 36 per cent of Canadian couples. Of all age groups, younger Canadians between the ages of 18-24 years are most concerned (64 per cent).
  • Gen Y Canadians (age 35-44 years) and younger Boomers (age 45-54 years) are equally worried about saving for retirement (75 per cent) and the most likely to be concerned about this issue.
  • Concern about saving for retirement is less worrisome for older Boomers (age 54-64 years) but more than half (54 per cent) are still concerned.

More media information, including an infographic, executive summary of survey highlights and Money Management and Planning Tips for Couples, is available on the Investors Group Media Room.

About the Survey Methodology

This data was gathered through teleVox, Harris/Decima's national telephone omnibus survey. The data was collected from May 30 to June 9, 2013 among Canadians who are married or are in a common law relationship. In total, 1,192 interviews were completed. A sample of the same size has a margin of error of +/-2.8% 19 times out of 20.

About Investors Group

Investors Group, founded in 1926, is a national leader in delivering personalized financial solutions to Canadians through a network of approximately 4,500 Consultants located throughout Canada. In addition to an exclusive family of mutual funds and other investment vehicles, Investors Group offers a wide range of insurance, securities, mortgage and other financial services. Investors Group is a member of the IGM Financial Inc. (TSX: IGM) group of companies. IGM Financial is one of Canada's premier financial services companies with approximately $125 billion in total assets under management as of June 30, 2013.

SOURCE: Investors Group Inc.

For further information:

Ron Arnst 
Investors Group 
(204) 956-3364 
ron.arnst@investorsgroup.com

Teresa Pagnutti or McKenna Wild
Environics Communications
416-969-2721/ 416-969-2774
tpagnutti@environicspr.com/mwild@environicspr.com

For more media information, please see: Investors Group's Media Room, follow @Investors_Group on Twitter or connect on Facebook.

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