Money Sense Matters in Albertans’ Marriages: Valentine’s Day Poll

February 8, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
Valentine's Day
Eighty percent of Albertans surveyed in a Valentine's Day poll said they would not marry someone who was bad at managing their personal finances or held excessive debt. (Photos.com)

Albertans should forgo giving a gift this Valentine’s Day and instead pay off their credit card, because financial management is a relationship deal-breaker, according to a new poll.

Eighty percent of Albertans surveyed in the poll, released by TD Canada Trust, said they would not marry someone who was bad at managing their personal finances or held excessive debt.

The poll, which surveyed adults currently or recently in a committed relationship, found that 27 percent would date but never marry someone who couldn’t manage their money well.

In addition, 39 percent said they wouldn’t even consider dating someone who didn’t have their finances under control.

“Whether you’re moving in together or getting married, you each contribute something to the relationship including savings, investments, and debt,” says Shawnette Fraser, manager of customer experience with TD Canada Trust.

“Opening up about your finances—not to mention actually sharing your assets and liabilities—can be a challenging notion for some.”

Money Talks

The poll also revealed that Albertans are more likely than the national average to communicate openly with their partner about finances.

Fifty eight percent feel confident talking to their partner about money and savings for the future, compared to 48 percent nationally.

Albertans are among the most likely to discuss how much debt their partner has—90 percent vs. 85 percent nationally—and most know the details about their partner’s salary, savings, and investments.

Only a few admitted to lying to their partner about purchases. Nineteen percent have fibbed about the expense of an item, while just 11 percent said they have hidden a new purchase from their other half.

“Talking openly and honestly about money is an important part of establishing a healthy financial foundation,” says Fraser.

“If you’re saving for a rainy day but your partner is thinking about the next big shopping adventure, you might be headed for some challenges. Couples who discuss their personal and financial goals openly, and work with a financial advisor, can create a roadmap for success, together.”

Investing Together

The poll revealed that among Canadians, Albertans are the most comfortable sharing and investing money together.

Only 19 percent keep their finances completely separate from their partner’s, compared to 33 percent nationally.

Albertans are also 10 percent more likely than the national average to buy a home together, have a joint bank account, and have a joint financial plan.

“Regardless of how intertwined your finances are, you may also consider talking together about your individual financial goals outside of those you have as a couple,” says Andrea Phillips, VP of retail savings and investing at TD Canada Trust.

“For instance, having a credit card and bills in your own name that you pay back in full and on time will help you build your personal credit rating. Similarly, making regular contributions from your paycheque into your RRSP will help you build a healthy nest egg for the future.”

Albertans Pass on Pre-Nups

Despite the higher likelihood of combining finances, 86 percent of Albertans said they would not consider a pre-nuptial agreement.

Nationally, Canadians who are currently separated or divorced are more likely to consider a pre-nup for their next relationship—29 percent versus 16 percent nationally.