What’s love got to do with money? Canadians tell stories of financial infidelity

Time to get financially naked with your partner

TORONTO, Feb. 12, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With Valentine’s Day around the corner, Canadians have chimed in with their stories of financial infidelity in a social media contest conducted by Credit Canada.

The contest, conducted in early February, asked for and received several tales of betrayal. Here are just a couple examples:

  • An ex secretly used my credit card to make online purchases shortly before a breakup. He even used my computer to make the purchases. Since he accepted the deliveries and hid the items, I wasn’t on alert and ended up on the hook for the payments.
  • My ex and I had a joint bank account for bills and the mortgage. Shortly before we split for good, he withdrew $1,000 for one huge party weekend. I only discovered it when the bank called and said we didn’t have enough money to cover the mortgage. It was horrible and took a few months to get caught up.

The contest builds upon last year’s Financial Infidelity Survey, co-sponsored by Credit Canada and Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC). The Leger poll asked Canadians the following question: “What is the worst form of financial infidelity you have been a victim of from a former or current partner?”

Not surprisingly, one third of those in a relationship (34%) kept financial secrets from their current romantic partner. Some other findings:

  • 36 per cent of those in a relationship have lied about a financial matter to a partner
  • Younger adults who are not married, aged 18-54, tend to be victims of financial unfaithfulness
  • Women and men were equally likely to become victims of financial infidelity, keep financial secrets from their partner and lie about a financial matter

“Talking about money can be difficult for an individual, but when in a relationship, issues are exacerbated,” said author, personal finance educator and FPSC’s Consumer Advocate, Kelley Keehn. “For example, 50 per cent of Canadians are $200 away from not being able to pay their bills. That can lead to a great deal of stress and strain on a relationship.”

“Often, partners do not discuss money matters,” says Laurie Campbell, Credit Canada CEO. “It doesn’t seem romantic. As a result, many individuals don’t know about their partner’s secrets, how they handle money, their values around money, or their thoughts on credit and debt. This leaves room for miscommunication and at worst dishonesty and possibly partner financial abuse.”

Financial infidelity red flags:

  • Regular cash withdrawals, unaccounted purchases and expenditures that cannot be explained
  • A change in behaviour or spending habits
  • Spending more, on themselves and/or others
  • Less frequent mail from your regular financial services and creditors
  • Partner is very concerned about the mail and doesn’t let you to see it first

Laurie Campbell and Credit Canada’s Tips to Combat Financial Infidelity

  1. No surprises. Have regular discussions with your partner about money, as well as your individual assets and debts, whether in savings, chequing or credit accounts.
  2. Keep a detailed budget and spending plan.
  3. Do not sign any document without reading it first.
  4. Maintain separate accounts.
  5. Individual credit cards in your own names.
  6. Speak to a certified credit counsellor. Some non-profit credit counselling agencies can do a free soft inquiry on your credit report to check for any inconsistencies. You can also see a credit counsellor as a couple for advice on managing money together and setting future goals.

Kelley Keehn’s 6-Step Conversation
Use the following questions and to-dos to get financially naked with your spouse and ensure you are on the same page:

  1. What are our goals?
  2. Write a joint needs and wants list.
  3. Where are we now? Make a list of all assets and liabilities held individually or jointly.
  4. How are we going to get there?
  5. Work with a CFP® professional to develop an action plan.
  6. Meet with your planner every year to review your plan and make any necessary changes.

More stories of financial infidelity can be found on the Credit Canada website.

About Credit Canada
Credit Canada is a not-for-profit credit counselling agency that provides free and confidential debt and credit counselling, personal debt consolidation and resolutions, as well as preventative counselling, educational seminars, and free tips and tools in the areas of budgeting, money management, and financial goal-setting. Credit Canada is Canada’s first and longest-standing credit counselling agency and a leader in financial wellness, helping Canadians successfully manage their debt since 1966. Please visit www.creditcanada.com for more information.

About Financial Planning Standards Council
A professional standards-setting and certification body working in the public interest, FPSC’s purpose is to drive value and instill confidence in financial planning. FPSC ensures those it certifies―Certified Financial Planner® professionals and FPSC Level 1® Certificants in Financial Planning―meet appropriate standards of competence and professionalism through rigorous requirements of education, examination, experience and ethics. There are approximately 18,500 financial planners in Canada who have met, and continue to meet, FPSC’s standards. More information is available at FPSC.ca and FinancialPlanningForCanadians.ca. Effective April 1, 2019, FPSC will become FP Canada™: a national professional body dedicated to advancing professional financial planning. Learn more at FPCanada.ca.


About the Financial Infidelity Survey 
Leger conducted a survey of 1550 Canadians between Jan 2 and 5, 2018 using its online panel, LegerWeb. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20. Leger’s online panel has approximately 475,000 members nationally – with between 10,000 and 20,000 new members added each month, and has a retention rate of 90%.

Contact for more information
Emma Ninham
Office: 416-640-5525 x 239
Mobile: 437-986-5746
Email: emman@wearemaverick.com

CFP® and Certified Financial Planner® are certification trademarks owned outside the U.S. by Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd. (FPSB). Financial Planning Standards Council is the marks licensing authority for the CFP marks in Canada, through agreement with FPSB. All other ® are registered trademarks of FPSC, unless indicated. © 2019 Financial Planning Standards Council. All rights reserved.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/d141f28b-0aac-414d-937d-8a28cc60da60

Financial Planning Standards Council