Be My (Financial) Valentine: Truth, Lies and Money in Relationships

As Valentine’s Day approaches, you might be planning a special celebration with someone in your life – whether enjoying the feeling of a fresh and exciting relationship, or enjoying the company of a long-held partner. Even if you’re single, it may be the motivation you need to get out there and find the right person for you. No matter what you may want from a relationship, many people say that trust is key: being able to communicate clearly and effectively without the threat of emotional manipulation or judgement.

The timing of a new survey by the Financial Planning Standards Council and Credit Canada is no coincidence, then: if its results are any indication, this Valentine’s Day many Canadians may wish to have a timely conversation with their partner about the level of trust they have with each other’s finances.


According to the survey data, thirty-six percent of Canadians responding have admitted to, at some point, lying about their finances to their partner, while the same percentage report having been the victims of financial infidelities. Furthermore, thirty-four percent of those polled admit to keeping secrets about their finances from their romantic or domestic partner. These trends appeared not to be influenced by income level or gender, but age is a significant factor: nearly half of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 had reportedly been lied to about a partner’s finances.

Just as each relationship is unique, so too will each couple find an unique way of managing, planning and tracking their spending, savings, investments and other financial goals. There’s no “right” way to do it. Any two people are free to define the level of informational freedom of discourse, or of confidentiality, between them when it comes to money. No matter what form the conversation about money takes, however, actually having it is statistically likely to improve the financial health of both partners over time.

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