Is Your Relationship Buckling Under Financial Strain?

Talking about your finances may not seem like the sexiest thing in the world, but, according to a new survey, couples who avoid talking about money problems may eventually see the financial strain affect their relationship, and family wellness. The survey results came from an Ipsos Reid online poll of 1,000 married and common-law living Canadians, which was conducted between the 23rd and the 29th of January, this year.

The Canadian study, from Ipsos Reid for Calgary-based accounting firm MNP Ltd, revealed that the relationship wellness of 20% common-law or married couples was at risk due to their current debt situations, and financial stress threatened the wellbeing of another 27%, leaving a negative impact on their relationships. According to Grant Bazian, president and CEO of MNP, ‘The critical thing is what is actually causing the riff in their relationship, and they say it is actually financial (problems).’

When the results were broken down into subgroups, the researchers found those whose relationships were reportedly the most affected by money worries were younger married couples and those in common-law partnerships (41%), whereas only 28% and 16% of middle-aged and senior couples were affected, respectively. Couples with children were more strained by finances (35%) than those who didn’t have children (23%), and even though 96% of those polled were aware of how much money they owe, 22% reported that they found it difficult to make the minimum payments on their debts, loans and credit cards.

According to Bazian, ‘dealing with debt can be overwhelming’ but if you don’t want financial stresses to affect your relationship, you have to discuss everything with your partner. ‘It’s all about communication,’ he said in a press release. ‘It’s something you wouldn’t want to hide — especially if the debt is joined.’ He also advised that ‘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. Is the gift worth the high interest rates and will it bring more joy, or just more stress, to your relationship?’

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