Financial tips for couples

Toronto, ON – We may agree to love each other for richer and for poorer, but the reality of debt can quickly spoil a relationship and put unnecessary strain on your life together.

According to an Ipsos-Reid survey, released on Wednesday, February 13th, 20 per cent of Canadians who are married or common-law say their relationship problems are due to their current debt situations. The survey also finds that debt has a bigger impact on younger married couples and common-law partnerships, with 41 per cent indicating that financial stress has left a negative impact on their relationship.

“Young couples often assume that they can’t have financial problems because they are pooling their financial resources, including income and debt payments,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit. “Unfortunately this is a misconception. Whether you bring debt into the relationship, or rack it up together, overwhelming debt can be devastating, both financially and personally.”

In fact, money is one of the main reasons any couple fights, and is a leading cause of marital trouble Canada (The Vanier Institute- Divorce: Facts, Causes & Consequences). To help you address your debt and prevent it from causing strain in your relationship, Consolidated Credit offers these financial tips for couples wanting to discuss their finances:

  1. Be honest about your debt – Couples should communicate with each other and be honest about debt. By sitting down together and calmly discussing your finances, including all of your debt, you can assess where you are financially.
  2. Create a plan to manage joint finances – The money talk should also include full disclosure of your incomes, spending habits and individual payment plans. Once you each understand the others relationship with money, you can discuss if and how you will pool your finances.
  3. Plan to repay debt – When it comes to repaying debt, it is important for the two of you to be on the same page. Once you understand the importance of getting out of debt, create a payment plan that will allow you both to pay off your debts as quickly and affordably as possible. You may wish to consider using a debt consolidation option to make repayment easier.
  4. Find mutual ground – When it comes to money, very few couples agree on every aspect of their finances. Have an open conversation about your financial obligations and your financial dreams. Once you find common ground, together you can start creating a plan for your financial future.
  5. Set goals – You cannot effectively eliminate debt or plan for the future without setting goals. Once you have discussed your debt, and agreed upon a payment plan, write everything down and keep track of it. By writing down your debt repayment goals, you can work together to eliminate debt and avoid future arguments about money.

When Love Marriage and Money Come Together is a great resource for Canadian couples wanting to have an open and honest discussion about debt, finances and money management.

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