According to a recent TD Bank Group survey, nearly half of Canadians (49%) believe it is easier to find true love than financial success — though it isn’t stopping respondents from trying to reach their money goals.
The report found that most respondents (88%) are currently saving for something despite ongoing challenges due to the pandemic. Not only that, but some couples say it has been easier to talk about money during COVID-19, which can be positive.
Overall, nearly half (49%) of respondents say the pandemic has led to more open conversations about finances, including reducing spending (62%) and delaying big purchases (36%).
However, Canadian millennials may be putting off the most, as 40% say the pandemic is postponing the decision to buy a home — more than any other generation.
But they aren’t the only ones struggling. Sixty percent of the Canadian couples surveyed report having trouble meeting their financial goals during this time.
Money and relationships
Most Canadian couples surveyed say they open up about their finances early on in their relationships, with 77% in the first year and 56% within the first six months.
“Money conversations include chatting about a dream vacation or getting on the same page with a budget. It’s all about creating a financial map for your future together,” Melissa Leong, personal finance author, speaker and television personality, said in a release.
Although, a few Canadians think some things are better left unsaid. Of the 8% of respondents who admit to keeping financial secrets from their significant other, more than half (62%) don’t ever plan to tell them.
Further findings suggest millennials may be sending mixed messages. Just over half (53%) of Canadian millennials say they agree with their partner on the expenses that they want versus need. Still, most millennials (81%) admit to making unreasonable decisions regarding money, and a quarter (25%) confess to excessive and frivolous spending.
Love and marriage… and COVID-19
But when it comes to this relationship milestone, some couples are now recouping their costs. The TD survey found 56% of the engaged couples surveyed whose wedding plans were affected by the pandemic chose to postpone or downsize their big day.
Other key findings:
- More than half (53%) of Canadian millennials think it’s okay to take financial risks for their wedding.
- When it comes to the bill, 46% of Canadians say the couple should pay for all the wedding costs.
- Just under half (49%) of married respondents spent less than $5,000 on their wedding, while 31% spent between $5,000 and $15,000.
Preparing for these expenses can take lots of planning and communication concerning finances.
Take control of your finances
When it comes to financial worries, wedding expenses don’t top the list.
Retirement is the leading financial concern amongst the respondents, with 16% fearing they will not retire.
While other financial worries include:
- Not being able to afford their current lifestyle (14%)
- Not being able to pay off debt (11%)
- Loss of employment (9%)
- Not being able to provide for their family (8%)
Although everyone will have their definition of financial success, proper organization and planning can help ease some of these concerns.
Here are a few simple ways to start:
- Start a budget. Keeping track of income and expenses can help you spend within your means and find areas where you can cut back or save money. Budgeting is usually the best place to start for both saving and paying off debt.
- Pay off debt. Working to pay off high-interest debt first can cut down on costly interest charges. Consolidating debt can combine debts into one place, often at a lower interest rate for several months. This approach can assist people with managing and paying down their balance.
- Create an emergency fund. Building a rainy day fund can help you prepare for the unexpected like job loss, for example. Experts recommend savings three to six months’ worth of expenses to start. If you can, try and save three to six months’ worth of income.
- Communicate. Talking with your partner, a financial advisor, or even your lender may help you find a solution to your money woes or questions. Being proactive about financial hardships may lead to a resolution like a payment plan and having open lines of communication may generate a strategy to reach your goals.
- Seek retirement advice. It’s never too early to start searching for the answers you need. Speaking to a professional can help you set goals and the benchmark for the income you desire in your later years. Also, starting to save for retirement early on may be in your best interest with the benefit of compounding.
Follow these steps to ease money concerns and avoid financial heartbreak.