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20% of B.C. love birds have hidden money from their partner

Five pre-Valentine’s Day tips for managing love and money

February 9, 2016, Vancouver, B.C. - Twenty per cent of British Columbians who are married or in a serious relationship say they have hidden money from their partner, according to a new Vancity survey.

The survey also found that 21 per cent brought debt into their current relationships, with the average amount being just over $30,000.

On a positive note, communication about money is fairly strong among these couples: 88 per cent discuss their finances at least monthly, with 59 per cent discussing daily or weekly, while 59 per cent always check with their partner before making a major purchase of $500 or more.

The survey also revealed some imbalances when it comes to making and managing money. In the majority of relationships, one partner makes significantly more or less than their partner (62 per cent) and one partner handles most of the day-to-day management of the finances (57 per cent).

Also according to the survey:

  • 69 per cent have a joint account, while 31 per cent have separate accounts
  • top savings goals as a couple are retirement (32 per cent) and home/mortgage (32 per cent), while 12 per cent of couples don't have any savings goals.

Here are five tips for managing love and money successfully, inspired by some well-known love stories:

  1. Fifty Shades of Green: Everyone has a different approach to money, so try to understand your partner's perspective and work towards a common understanding.
  2. Cents and Sensibility: Understand the basics of all your finances, including assets, debts and documentation, even if your partner does most of the day-to-day management.
  3. Great Expectations: Create some spending rules or limits together, like a maximum amount that you can each spend without checking with the other.
  4. Budget Actually: Create a realistic budget together that works with your individual spending habits and joint savings goals.
  5. An Account to Remember: Start setting some money aside in an emergency fund account, so you have a safety net and can avoid extra stress on your relationship if something goes wrong.

Vancity is committed to increasing the financial literacy of its members and others in the community because having the knowledge, skills and confidence to make financial decisions greatly impacts overall well-being.


“Everybody likes a great love story, but we often forget that couples need to work together to manage their finances effectively.” Eleanor Wong, financial literacy program manager at Vancity

Additional information


Vancity conducted a poll of 516 people in British Columbia who indicated they are married or in a serious relationship from January 26 to February 4, 2016, using Google Consumer Surveys. Google Consumer Survey is an online tool that collects feedback from the general population targeting visitors to desktop and mobile websites. The results of this survey are accurate at the 95% confidence level +/- 4.3% and statistically weighted according to age and gender to ensure a representative sample.

About Vancity

Vancity is a values-based financial co-operative serving the needs of its more than 509,000 member-owners and their communities through 59 branches in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria, Squamish and Alert Bay. As Canada’s largest community credit union, Vancity uses its $18.6 billion in assets to help improve the financial well-being of its members while at the same time helping to develop healthy communities that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.

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For more information:

Lorraine Wilson | Vancity
T: 778-837-0394


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