When your finances are overwhelming, do you always confide in your significant other? Not necessarily, according to a new survey from Manulife Bank of Canada.
While four in 10 married or common law survey participants often talk about money with their partner, half said that such conversations can cause tension in their relationship. And two in 10 confess they try to ignore money issues altogether, taking an “out of sight, out of mind” approach to their finances.
It’s not just talking about money, either. One in 10 in-debt have completely hidden the cost of a large purchase from a loved one, according to the survey, with an additional one in 10 saying they lied about the cost. The bulk of these purchases (63%) were under $1,000 and shockingly, eight per cent of men surveyed have hidden a purchase worth $15,000 or more.
“Conversations around money and debt can be one of the most difficult things couples ever discuss,” said Rick Lunny, President and CEO, Manulife Bank. “The trick is to get these issues out in the open and having an open and frank discussion about them.”
There are also mental health risks to not talking money with your partner. Forty per cent with debt said debt negatively impacts their mental health – which jumps to 70% for those living with lots of debt. Nearly half say they’re often overwhelmed by their financial situation, with one in three stating they are kept up at night worrying about their debt.
Those under 35 and those who say they are in a lot of debt are more likely to say their debt is causing issues in their relationship; men, those under 35 and those in a lot of debt are most likely to say their partner doesn’t know how much debt they are in.
In addition to impacting their relationships and mental health, debt impacts the ability to save for retirement of more than half of the respondents with debt, and over half say they would struggle to handle unexpected expenses.
How to Talk to Your Partner About Money
Remember how painful those “Define the Relationship” conversations are? Wait until you get to the “Money” conversation!
Capital Lifestyle has found a definitive script on how to talk to your partner about money. According to I Will Teach You To Be Rich, you should use this script when you get serious with your partner.