7 Things I Hate About Your Finances: What Canadians Want to Change

A new BDO poll found that 59 per cent of Canadians in a relationship would like to change at least one of their partner’s financial habits. Whether overspending, not saving or just not keeping track of what they buy, several couples have their own personal pet peeves when it comes to their partner’s spending. Here are the seven biggest concerns we found in our poll:

1.Overspending or a lack of budget. This was the runaway winner with 42 per cent of men and 44 per cent of women saying they were worried about their partner’s overspending. This brings us back to the first thing you can do to fix your finances: create a budget together, and stick to it!

2.Not saving enough for long-term goals like retirement and emergencies. Women (42 per cent) were much more likely than men (29 per cent) to say they were worried about their partner’s long-term savings habits. The best way to put more money aside is to treat it like an expense: Create a line for “retirement savings” in your budget so you contribute to it each month.

The best way to put more money aside is to treat it like an expense: Create a line for “retirement savings” in your budget. Click To Tweet

3.Not keeping track of their spending. Both men and women were worried about this, as over one-third (36 per cent) of people found their partner wasn’t keeping track of spending. Having a budget would help here, but you could also try using the cash envelope system—putting a certain amount of money in an envelope for everything you spend on (i.e. groceries, gas, eating out). Once the envelope is empty, you can’t spend any more on that category for the rest of the month.

4.Lack of knowledge about personal finance. We are big believers in financial literacy. Improving your knowledge about money can help you make better spending decisions. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) is a good place to start—check out their modules on managing your money.

5.Not investing enough. As Licensed Insolvency Trustees, we are not going to give you any investment advice. But again, if you have money set aside in your budget for savings or investing each month, it can help you make regular contributions to your investments.

6.Using credit cards to extend their income. Now, this one is right up our alley. Credit card debt can be seen as one of the worst kinds of debt—it comes with a high interest rate, and often isn’t used to buy something of lasting value, unlike a mortgage or student loan. If you’re using a credit card to extend your income, it’s best to take a closer look at your budget—you’ll have to find areas where you can cut back.

7.Other. We are not entirely sure what 46 people had in mind when they chose “other” in our poll. However, whatever the issue may be, your best bet is to talk it out with your partner. Go on a financial date night, where you discuss everything about your finances—including those little habits that annoy you. Work on creating a budget together, if you don’t already have one. And come up with a financial plan so you can both be on the same page going forward.

Need help with starting a budget? We have a spreadsheet for that. Download our budgeting worksheet. Join the discussion on social media with the hashtags #DebtConfessions or #LoveAndMoney.