Though Stiteler has never come across a situation like this in her career, she did have a client who was trying to hide debt from her husband. Together, they brought the debt down to a more manageable level by withdrawing from RSPs, but Stiteler didn’t fall short of providing an extra piece of, perhaps unsolicited, advice.
“I told her (the client) ‘You have to tell your husband. You can’t keep it a secret.’” Stitiler recalls. “’It’s important that you financially plan together.’ It did cause a bit of a rift but things are fine now.”
Despite this story, Canadian couples appear to be on the right track when managing their household finances.
A national survey conducted for the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) last November found that 96 per cent of respondents are comfortable talking about financial matters with their spouse or partner, while 92 per cent said they trust the money decisions made by their significant other.
“It comes out loud and clear from our survey that Canadians believe that sharing information between spouses and partners is key to a successful relationship,” says Nicholas Cheung, director with CPA Canada. “And, it only makes sense because it is so important to share the same (financial) goals as your spouse, and to be on the same page to achieve those goals."
Other survey findings included:
• 94 per cent of the respondents felt that speaking openly about money signifies a strong relationship
• 85 per cent felt making a major purchase was a task equally shared
• 56 per cent had the same opinion about managing financial investments
• 50 per cent of respondents felt that managing day-to-day banking was equally handled
• 49 per cent felt the same way about ensuring the tax returns were filed
• 46 per cent of those surveyed felt that ensuring the bills were paid was equally split
• 69 per cent of respondents stated their spouse or partner had shared with them the PIN for at least one credit or debit card
• 70 per cent of those surveyed said they set a household budget together with their spouse or partner
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